Monthly Meeting Report: June 20th, 2014

Categories: Monthly Meeting Reports

Responsible Business Practices and Corporate Social Responsibility:  Delivering Results for Children in India

June 20th, 2014

Theme: Responsible Business Practices and Corporate Social Responsibility:  Delivering Results for Children in India

Date: June 20th, 2014

 

Hosted by: UNICEF and GCNI

 

Venue: The Maharani Hall, Hotel Claridges, 12, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi – 110011

 

Speakers:

 

  • Mr. Pooran Pandey, Executive Director, Global Compact Network India
  • Mr. James Gitau, Deputy Representative (Operations) – UNICEF ICO
  • Dr. Uddesh Kohli, Senior Adviser, United Nations Global Compact, New York
  • Mr. David McLoughlin, Deputy Representative (Programmes) – UNICEF ICO

 

Number of Participants: 95

 

Global Compact Network India (GCNI) and UNICEF India Country Office jointly hosted the monthly knowledge sharing meeting on Responsible Business Practices and Corporate Social Responsibility: Delivering Results for Children in India.  The objective of the monthly knowledge sharing meeting is to bring together members and non-members to share ideas, knowledge, best practices, and interventions on issues related to sustainable development in India.  This meeting was to deliberate on the current status of children in India and ways in which corporates and businesses can act responsibly to deliver positive outcomes among children.

Around 95 members from public and private institutions attended the meeting.  Participants identified the institutions they were working with and the development areas of focus like health, education, water and sanitation, youth and women empowerment, and skills development, among other areas.

While Mr. Pooran Pandey, Executive Director, Global Compact Network India emphasized the need to create and share knowledge around child rights to bring about positive change.  Further to this, he emphasized for companies to report on their CSR practices based on the Communications on Progress (CoP) to the UN Global Compact so that the good work to affect development in India can be shared globally.  He also emphasized that these practices can enhance peer-to-peer learning practices in the backdrop of the CRS provisions of Companies Act 2013.

Mr. James Gitau, Deputy Representative, UNICEF ICO set the context of the meeting by highlighting how businesses and corporations in India are incorporating CSR and sustainability within their core business operations, processes and practices.  He further added that historically Indian businesses and philanthropist have been engaged in affecting positive outcomes in health, education and the environment. To that effect, corporates and businesses need expertise, resources, training, skills and influence to implement development objectives.

To that end, he explained that UNICEF’s approach to CSR is not only about how institutions spend money on CSR projects, but also how they can profit by working with multiple stakeholders to design and implement partnerships.  For example, UNICEF is working with state governments like Gujarat, Maharashtra, and West Bengal, among others, in partnership with the corporates, where work on child rights and child development has progressed.  This approach highlights that UNICEF is engaging with the private stakeholders in both financial and non-financial ways to affect change in communities.

Furthermore, Mr. Tejinder Sandhu of the governance unit revealed statistics that show case poor health and nutritional attainment and water and sanitation status in India.  For example, he stated that 60% of open defecation takes place in India.  To affect positive outcomes, UNICEF approaches the issue in the following 5 ways:

  • Develop capacities
  • Promote decentralisation
  • Leverage partnerships
  • Promote social inclusion to achieve equity
  • Improve knowledge management systems

A perspective from Tata Steel

TATA Steel mentioned the development programs being implemented in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.  He mentioned that Tata Steel’s approach to development and CSR is to ensure that changes in community development is visible.  To that end, all programs and projects are continuously being monitored and assessed to check whether local communities are being positively affected.

The institution holistic approach to community development is based on adopting a village.  This ensures that development is sustainable.  Tata Steel’s public-private partnerships in the areas of health, education, youth development and leadership programs aim to positively affect local communities.  To that end, the institution has partnered with non-profit institutions like Akanksha and ISKCON to raise the nutritional and educational attainment of children and youth in the area.

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