Research and practice reveal that existing CSR and business activities inadequately meet communities’ needs and expectations. Companies often do 1) too much, 2) not enough, 3) or performing random CSR activities that do not feed into a development agenda. This can lead to misunderstandings, shutdowns or even fuse conflicts. As an extreme example, several Ethiopian based companies got attacked and burned down by unhappy communities. Doing business in emerging countries is already challenging in itself. So how can companies develop impactful CSR activities that contribute to mutual beneficial relationships that protect and champion (Dutch) investments?
The Context Sensitive Investment (CSI) program facilitates good company - community relationships. We provide practical support that advocates Inclusive Business development where companies’ CSR and business activities become strategically aligned with communities’ needs, thereby creating mutual beneficial relationships and defusing community dissatisfactions at an early stage. We focus on understanding the individual motivations of a company for initiating CSR. We subsequently provide tailored support to understand their context-specific risks, impacts, and develop activities that enhance competitiveness of the company while simultaneously advancing economic and social conditions in the communities in which they operate.
Since the initiation of the project in April, 2018, we have worked directly with 23 foreign (Dutch) investors to redefine their companies’ operations and CSR activities in order to better align with their communities’ development priorities. Through improving local goodwill and creating a more stable business climate, this will reduce risks and costs associated with company shutdowns.