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FEATURE STORY

Event: Corporate Social Responsibility Practices and Knowledge Sharing between Japan and India

July 17, 2012

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A strong demand has emerged among CSR stakeholders in India for learning from international best practices.
  • Japan has been chosen as the first country for this international knowledge exchange because the nation has undergone a transition similar to India's.
  • Companies interested in learning about CSR practices from Japan as well as NGOs and CSOs exploring partnerships with Japanese corporations can participate in this seminar.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities have been playing an essential role in addressing the development needs of nations and in promoting social inclusion, particularly in developing economies. In 2009-2010, private companies in India spent $7.5 billion for CSR activities while public-sector enterprises spent an additional $700 million.

To channel CSR efforts toward attaining the Millennium Development Goals in a socially responsible manner, the World Bank is assisting India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in structuring its CSR work. It is doing so through the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), a think tank affiliated with the ministry. The Bank has also been working closely with the IICA in structuring the National Foundation for CSR, the model body for CSR work in India. As part of these efforts, the World Bank is providing the ministry with access to international best practices, including institutional frameworks with transparent guidelines and effective monitoring mechanisms.

After the first videoconference on CSR, held through the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) in December 2011, a strong demand has emerged among CSR stakeholders in India for learning from international best practices in the field.

In response to this demand, IICA, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the World Bank, and GDLN will jointly organize a videoconference-based seminar on Aug. 3 to exchange practice and knowledge on CSR in India and Japan.

Japan has been chosen as the first country for this international knowledge exchange because the nation has undergone a transition similar to the one that India is going through. A new network and platform for collaboration between corporations, government organizations, and civil society organizations (CSOs) has also emerged. In addition, the movement for BoP (Base of the Pyramid) business, or so-called “Inclusive Business,” has been active since 2009, when the government of Japan, including JICA, officially strengthened its supports to promote such business. Many Japanese corporations are interested in incorporating poverty reduction and economic development aspects into their core business or their CSR work. The most popular country for implementation is India. Japanese corporations are also interested in opportunities for collaboration with organizations in India. The interaction between Japanese and Indian corporations is expected to lead to a substantial transfer of ideas from CSR as practiced in Japan for possible adoption by Indian businesses in their CSR agendas.

India has a rich tradition of CSR since ancient times. Large Indian companies are now transitioning from philanthropy to a rapidly evolving strategic engagement in development issues. India has already created structures and is in process of enactment of a Companies Bill that will make CSR a voluntary, but necessary, engagement for business. Learning gleaned from these collaborative initiatives will therefore help India develop its own frameworks.

Companies interested in learning about CSR practices from Japan as well as NGOs and CSOs exploring partnerships with Japanese corporations can apply to participate in this videoconference seminar. Through attending this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand CSR development and challenges in India and Japan (actors, policies to enhance CSR, collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders, etc.)
  • Obtain practical lessons on CSR activities from actual cases from India and Japan
  • Exchange information on markets and players for BoP business for India and Japan

Details of the Seminar

The seminar will be held Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, from 10:30-13:00 in India / 14:00-16:30 in Japan. Locations will be the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi and the World Bank’s Tokyo Development Learning Center. The moderator will be Shabnam Sinha, senior educational and institutional specialist, South Asia Human Development Sector, the World Bank. The seminar will be conducted in English, with simultaneous interpretation available in Japan.

How to Apply

Email Saori Imaizumi, education specialist, Human Development Unit, South Asia Region, the World Bank, or Takiko Koyama, program officer, Tokyo Development Learning Center, the World Bank. Koyama can also be reached by telephone at +81-(0)3-3597-1333.