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Multi sector CSRpartnerships: Natural partnerships-unnatural partners

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A CSR Thoughtpiece from the CSR Training Institute
-by Wayne Dunn
Multi-sector CSR partnerships can drive organizational successes.

Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners. Business, NGOs and development agencies might have natural partnership opportunities but organizational history and the often conflicting perspectives of internal and external stakeholders can make these partnerships hard to realize. Far too often they start and fail, or even fail to start

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Multi sector CSRpartnerships: Natural partnerships-unnatural partners

  1. 1. Helping business to serve shareholders AND society SIMULTANEOUSLY Multi-Sector CSR Partnerships Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners -by Wayne Dunn www.csrtraininginstitute.com/knowledge-centre
  2. 2. Multi-sector CSR partnerships can drive organizational successes and value creation. Yet why do so many fail to start or start and fail? Business, NGOs and development agencies might have natural partnership opportunities but organizational history and the often conflicting perspectives of internal and external stakeholders can make these partnerships hard to realize. Far too often they start and fail, or even fail to start. The private sector is playing an increasingly important role in development. Companies from all sectors, including especially the extractive and fast-moving consumer goods sectors, are investing in development initiatives in areas such as education, health, poverty alleviation and livelihoods, environment, gender equality and overall development partnerships. These businesses strive to positively impact these areas at the community, local and national levels, recognizing that doing so is good for their business in many ways (or else why would they do it) and also good for the communities and countries in which they work. Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners. Multi-Sector CSR Partnerships Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners Chasms often separate natural development partners
  3. 3. Multi-Sector CSR Partnerships Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners Page 02 The impact areas of these private sector social responsibility investments closely maps the impact areas outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and anticipated impact areas of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MDGs and SDGs serve to guide the development activities of the member countries of the United Nations and the vast majority of development NGOs and organizations. Every member country approved the MDGs at a special Millennium Session of the United Nations. Official Development Agencies (ODA), national governments, multi- lateral and international organizations and NGOs focus development efforts on MDG/SDG focus areas such as education, health, poverty alleviation and livelihoods, environment and gender equality While the various private, public and civil society organizations noted above approach development with a focus on common areas and themes, they often bring unique skills, experience and capacities to the work. Coupled with the natural diversity of their organizations this should/could add a lot of value to development efforts. The synergies seem natural. In many cases this focus on common themes and areas appear complimentary and synergistic, at first glance, would seem to naturally invite partnerships and collaboration and the various sectors (e.g., ODA agencies, private sector companies, NGOs, etc.) even have stated goals of collaborating with each other in support of their development efforts. Simple logic would suggest that collaboration would result in efficiencies and more and better development impact per dollar spent or effort expended for all parties. That government, NGOs and industry would see a more and better impact for their spending and their efforts. They seem like natural partnerships
  4. 4. Page 03 Whether on an individual project level or a strategic organizational level these natural partnership opportunities too often do not result in effective partnerships. Value is lost for the organizations involved but the real price is paid by their community partners who do not receive the full impact that they could have received had these natural partners found an effective way to collaborate. The good news is that progress is being made. There is increasing collaboration amongst business, NGOs and development agencies. ODA Agencies such as Germany’s GIZ, America’s USAID, Canada’s DFATD (formerly CIDA) and many others are developing and implementing programs that enable co-investing in development with private sector partners. NGOs such as Care, World Vision, WUSC, Cordaid and many others are actively working to find productive ways of partnering with industry on CSR and development programs. Natural Partnerships are too often held back by seemingly unnatural partners Yet, the reality is that, while there are notable exceptions, this collaboration is not easy to achieve. Multi-Sector CSR Partnerships Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners Chasms often separate natural development partners
  5. 5. Page 04 There are some great examples of success – for example see From Pariah to Exemplar: CSR & Stakeholder Engagement in Six Best Practices (here) for an analysis of a 2001 CIDA, Placer Dome, World Bank and various NGO partnership that was credited with ‘changing the social face of the South African mining industry’. Companies such as Golden Star, Kosmos, Tullow, Newmont, Kinross, IAM Gold and many others are working with NGOs and development agencies. Companies such as Golden Star, Kosmos, Tullow, Newmont, Kinross, IAM Gold and many others are working with NGOs and development agencies. Multi-Sector CSR Partnerships Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners Placer Dome went from Pariah (‘worst employer in South Africa’) to Exemplar, credited with ‘changing the social face of the South African mining industry’ Read the Stanford case study and the CSR Training Institute analysis of the project
  6. 6. Page 05 Multi-Sector CSR Partnerships Natural Partnerships – Unnatural Partners The CSR Training Institute is interested to learn more about the successes and failures of Multi-sector CSR partnerships in the space where business meets society. If you have a case study that you’d like to share please contact us (info@csrtraininginstitute.com) and we may be able to work with you to develop and publish your case study. Development Agencies often have approval and operational criteria that is slow, cumbersome and makes the cost of the partnership way too high. NGOs too often struggle with fully embracing the value of partnering with the private sector and communicating that value effectively to their internal and external stakeholders, including especially individual and organizational donors. Businesses struggle to accept and adapt to the execution speed, launch processes and reporting requirements of ODA agencies and NGO partners. Much more can be done, and should be done. An early success and yet, the progress is, in my opinion, too slow.
  7. 7. Professor Dunn brings a practical and realistic approach to CSR, blending theory and practice to develop realistic models and approaches to address real-world challenges Dr. Ellis Armstrong Former CFO, BP Exploration …coherent, thoughtful, stimulating and insightful… state of the art! The network of participants from the public, private and civil society sectors was incredible, some of the leading experts in the field.   Kojo Busia, Ph. D. Snr. Mineral Sector Governance Advisor United Nations Economic Commission for Africa/UNECA …pragmatic blend of theory and practice, very applicable to helping organizations meet real-world challenges. Frank McShane Manager, Corporate Responsibility Policy and Ethics, Talisman Energy … readily available to provide support to organizations like Amref that are seeking partnerships, and looking to bring about positive change in a collaborative and concrete way. Wayne and the CSR Training Institute helped us to identify and connect with potential partners and are always available. The training, the expertise, the network and the overall support are world-class. Onome Ako Director of Strategic Partnerships, Amref Health Africa “The program enhanced the CSR knowledge and strategic skills of our Kosmos Energy Ghana team, and offered the participants a platform for networking with professionals from other organizations across Africa and Ghana.”  Reg Manhas Sr VP Kosmos Energy Very much helpful Wayne; some of the tips and questions you gave will be an extremely helpful guide in the process of developing a CSR Strategy for my company. Emmanuel Aubynn Regional Social Responsibility Manager, Newmont Africa The CSR Program was excellent. A key aspect of my work is to encourage and support private sector development that contributes to Ghana’s overall socio-economic growth. The learning that I and my staff take away from attending this program will help us immensely with this responsibility. I highly recommend this program. Hon. Rashid Pelpuo (MP) Minister of State for Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnerships (Ghana) New and exciting insights into the theory and practice of CSR… great faculty and participants, very diversified. An excellent learning experience, very practical and useful. I’m very happy I was able to participate in it. Hon InusahFuseini (MP) Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ghana) WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT OUR WORK
  8. 8. Should Business Serve Helping business to serve society and shareholders, SIMULTANEOUSLY. Should Business Serve WAYNE DUNN, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER SHAREHOLDERS? SOCIETY? IT SHOULD SERVE BOTH. Wayne Dunn is President & Founder of the CSR Training Institute and Professor of Practice in CSR at McGill. He’s a Stanford Sloan Fellow with a M.Sc. in Management from Stanford Business School. He is a veteran of 20+ years of award winning global CSR and sustainability work spanning the globe and covering many industries and sectors including extensive work with Indigenous Peoples in Canada and globally. His work has won major international awards and has been used extensively as ‘best-practice’ by industry and academia. He’s also worked oil rigs, prospecting, diamond drilling, logging, commercial fishing, heavy equipment operator, truck driver and underwater logging, done a couple of start-ups and too many other things to mention. Wayne’s career includes big successes, and spectacular failures. He hopes he’s learned equally from both. www.csrtraininginstitute.com

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