Home CATEGORIES Business Ethics & Philanthropy Why companies need to evaluate long-term CSR partners for creating real impact

Why companies need to evaluate long-term CSR partners for creating real impact

The Indian CSR sector, although active, is only now waking up to creating a sustainable and impactful presence. Especially in the case of healthcare CSR, which has received a lot of attention, post the pandemic. The past two years of COVID-19 have unfolded several loopholes in the Indian healthcare and medical infrastructure and have demanded urgent attention from corporate and public sector institutes to take action. In order for any healthcare CSR to make tactical, everlasting, and effective contributions, it is now clear that there needs to not only be intention and resources but also stronger on-ground implementation and effective public-private partnerships.
With challenges like lack of access to critical care facilities, lack of skilled, medically trained workforce, and latest tech empowered equipment’s, there is also an absence of basic medical infrastructure, and facilities are often not well maintained. These struggles of the Indian healthcare system can overcome with the help of credible and long-term CSR initiatives that are focused on creating impact, through association with expert on-ground implementation partners. The following are the ways companies can evaluate long-term CSR partners to create a meaningful impact in the healthcare sector:

1. Aligning with the right CSR partner:

A brand looking to partner with an NGO for healthcare CSR must lay out its long-term CSR objectives and choose the region or area of operation because there is an urgent need to make sustainable improvements to the healthcare infrastructure. Once this is decided, picking an implementation partner is simpler because you may search for an NGO whose goals coincide with yours. The chosen NGO must possess the necessary network, capabilities, and willingness to carry out the same if a business has a complex, long-term strategy to improve the healthcare infrastructure in a certain location. To mobilise the resources and accomplish the long-term objectives, CSR partners must share the same vision and collaborate in a constant relationship.

2. Checking History of the CSR Partner:

As soon as the long-term goals and objectives are in line, it is time to conduct some simple background research to determine the implementation partner. It is important to comprehend their past job experience, success rate, influence, and specifics of current initiatives, among other things. To determine whether the relationship will be successful in the long run, it is crucial to evaluate the NGO’s past performance. The healthcare programs that the NGO previously undertook must be examined to determine if they were carried out on schedule and achieved the desired outcomes and impacts. An analysis of the team’s past performance can reveal the team’s level of dedication, cooperation, and other abilities that are essential for the project’s success.

3. Deciding Short or Long-Term Relationship with CSR Partner:

The nature of the partnership is another important point to consider. Short-term business relationships with NGOs will not work if the company has a set of goals that it wants to achieve through CSR activities. Supporting the distribution of medicine to underprivileged people and other activities that provide short-term relief can be done through short-term relationships. Companies that are serious about making long-term impacts through well-planned large-scale projects, such as increasing bed capacity and providing high-end equipment, are open to NGOs and have sufficient capacity for sustainable implementation. You need to make sure that you have an intervention.

4. Consensus on Key Areas:

When NGOs and businesses work together to achieve a common goal, resources and funds are directed through the impact matrix and consensus is needed on the key areas to be achieved. The Impact Matrix helps identify opportunities, optimise resources, and see the impact of actions and strategies implemented over time. For long-term health projects, NGOs need to submit regular reports highlighting goals that have been achieved and goals that have not yet been achieved. This gives companies a clear understanding of where the CSR initiative is heading.
It has been seen that companies face difficulties to identify the right partners to conduct the smooth implementation of CSR activities. They need to carefully select the right CSR partner and do a formal background check to confirm that they have chosen the correct CSR partner. But when it comes to healthcare, both companies and CSR partners need to dedicate themselves in terms of capability and proficiency to create a real and meaningful impact. Companies must look beyond their financial providers and partners who do this CSR activity to follow government norms. The partnership between the companies and CSR partners needs to commit themselves fully to the objective of the CSR activity.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
Maanoj Shah_Mission ICUMaanoj Shah is a Chartered Accountant, a People Champion with strong Business creation, strategy and scaling-up experience. Apart from co-founding Mission ICU, he has played a key role in many social initiatives like Khaana Chahiye (Volunteer management), Co founder Corona Champions (Covid awareness initiative) & Giftchange (A platform for changemakers).