Alliance for corporate social responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) aligns business operations with social values. The term CSR is used to describe a wide range of economic, social and environmental initiatives by enterprises that go beyond legal requirements and mostly voluntary in nature. As a part of the A-CSR activities, a Round Table Discussion Program on Celebrating CSR in Nepal has been felt an effective tool that will bring together corporate leaders in a forum and give them the opportunity to highlight their social contributions with in the community. It will also be an appropriate platform for ICRI-Nepal to promote better understanding on pertinent issues related to individual business and corporation communities and thereby develop working strategy for A-CSR intervention program in future. Hence it is expected that this forum would be an ideal platform to bring selected business leaders in one place and join hands together in order to address the social issues collectively.
ICRI has launched “Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility” initiative for Children on August 4, 2005 amid a colossal event represented by prominent organizations including SAATHI, CCWB and NUSACCI. The goal of the initiative was to launch and build a sustained social force benefiting children in developing transitional countries around the globe through public, private and local partnerships.
The Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility (A-CSR) emerged as one of the key projects of ICRI-Nepal. The main goal of A-CSR is to germinate a sustained societal force for the outcomes of survival, development, protection and participation of children of Nepal and the South Asian region. The key objectives of this project are to:
- Facilitate, manage and enable voluntary agreements between private corporations and the social sector organizations to meet the goals of corporate social responsibility as articulated in the ICRI mandate.
- Distill learning and help spread key strategies that work and the obstacles to avoid in future replication and scaling of activities within Nepal and the south Asia region.
- Facilitate dialogue between the government and the media partners in order to enable greater impact and tangible results of the voluntary agreements.
- Initiate a regional network and design programs with the goal of launching a south Asia spread strategy.
- Integrate all activities globally in coordination with ICRI-HQ
The primary focus of A-CSR project has been to raise awareness and promote understanding of business organizations about problems that exists and the challenges that are being faced by the children. Considering the facts in mind, individual businesses and corporate houses were encouraged to contribute to reduce problems while promoting their business activities. Mobilize business organizations to shift their philanthropic approach into CSR model creating CSR culture as a key of business ethics. On another aspect, it institutionalized outcomes/output and learning in a more specific way. Enhanced professional relationships with like-minded organizations so that duplication of works could be minimized. Assembled database and roster of information of business organization and social organizations to prepare conducive environment to interact on this issues. Developed coordination networking linkages with media to disseminate success stories while advocating for this issue in an expanded way.
A-CSR project, its intervention and outcomes may look less visible because of its nature since it is more likely an awareness and sensitization program at the initial step of intervention. Nevertheless, we have been able to achieve the following outputs by mobilizing of corporations and social organizations.
- Recorded & compiled database and roster of information of individual business/corporations and social organizations.
- Organized workshops, roundtables, and seminars with government agencies, business organizations and social organizations to get their perspectives on issues related to CSR.
- Advocated to transform philanthropic approach to corporate culture while creating a win-win situation for business as well as the social organizations.
- Advocated for tax exempt of individual business and corporations who have been practicing CSR within their corporate/business set-up.
- Expanded cordial relationships with paper and print media partners to disseminate about what works and what does not work in local context and culture.
- Created a support base of collaborations with like-minded organizations to prioritize children centric CSR program delivery.
- Signed thirteen tripartite (business entrepreneur, NCPD and ICRI-Nepal) voluntary agreements with commitment of the business organizations to provide requested assistance and support to the needy children of Nepal.
- Carried out situation assessment, micro-research, study about/on global practices on child centric CSR intervention program modality and discussed with CSR experts to identify and explore-opportunity to replicate similar program with suggested modifications in Nepal for the best interest of a child.