The new bottom line for CSR is to create shared value for organizations, that is create value for shareholders and society which is mutually beneficial and not just a public relations gimmick.
The CSR frameworks are varied and could be mind-boggling on which one will work best as you set the motions in place. CSR Frameworks: A summary provides the general terms used in the field of CSR as well as the main core areas that can provide direction to align your organizations values.
Africa has no shortage of social or public challenges, this has called for increased intervention from the private sector which has responded by setting up of foundations. CSR in Africa is growing by leaps and bounds, there are detailed pointers courtesy of Harvard Business School for you to formulate a CSR structure summarized in point form below:
- Philanthropic giving
- Re-engineering the value chain
- Transforming the eco-system
Failure to have a concrete plan in place lead to corporate actions that do not have sustainable impact to the organization, communities and causes being served.
Framework (def.): principles, guidelines, standards, blue prints
CSR frameworks are by and large voluntary mechanisms to guide the formulation of Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and the tool kits to implement, monitor and evaluate CSR strategy.
There is no one size fits all framework, CSR implementation takes place in different environments with different demands and needs. Just a quick breakdown on various terms used by CSR frameworks:
- Principles – A fundamental truth(s) or law as the basis of reasoning or action. A personal ‘code of conduct’. Not enforceable, very interpretive and generally offers little guidance.
- Guidelines – A set of procedures which direct the user through the necessary steps that should be followed with respect to the given topic under consideration. Less enforceable and less prescriptive than standards.
- Standards – A more authoritative model or measure, a pattern for guidance, by comparison with which the quality, excellence, correctness etc. may be determined. Some contractual obligations, guidance, and performance measurement are generally included.
Some of the notable global CSR frameworks that have been localized in Africa include:
It is important to have an understanding of these strategic policy frameworks for your organization to align its values with. By and large the frameworks operate along four core areas:
- Human rights
African firms are currently mandated by law or voluntarily embed the global principles of CSR. South Africa is the leading country in Africa with a notable corporate social responsibility adoption largely driven by the legal act which mandates companies to adopt the principles of corporate social responsibility. South African listed firms are encouraged to apply the King III Code of Governance Principles and the mandatory disclosure requirements of the JSE listing rules (KPMG, 2015).
images sourced courtesy of google images
Why should Corporate Social Responsibility matter in Africa?
Corporate Social Responsibility is
The role of Africa’s private sector in alleviating social challenges is vital as the well being of society and communities in which business operates creates opportunities for return on investments. Beyond the economic opportunities for investments within a thriving society, Africa does not have a shortage of social challenges which pose great risks to the economy in general.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) frameworks provide synergy and ensure efficiency in efforts to attain social progress. International CSR frameworks such as the United Nations Global Compact, ISO 26000, Global Reporting Initiative and the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals are some of the notable development-centric policies for inclusive development in the world, with more attention being focused on Africa.
Social and environmental challenges are a cause and effect of aggressive business and/or political climates which stagnate economic development. This has led to the dire need for global and local partnerships to facilitate the attainment of the ambitious goals stipulated in inclusive-growth policies such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
It is against this backdrop that CSR Africa Dialogues seeks to create an information sharing platform to create synergies for streamlining various Corporate Social Responsibility frameworks as universally accepted benchmarks for localized action by individuals, entities in business, non-profits and governments in Africa.
Additional photos sourced from google images