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CSR Conclave in Jharkhand

10 November 2016 Share: facebook share twitter share

The PACS Office Jharkhand organised a one day Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) Conclave in Ranchi with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to discuss the scope and future perspectives of strengthening the implementation and access of development programmes- specifically on basic services, livelihoods and skills. The objectives of the CSR Conclave were to:

  • develop a well-defined plan of action for effective functioning of the CSR Council in the state
  • understanding how to institutionalize the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Jharkhand in implementing CSR projects
  • explore ways of strengthening existing government programmes and schemes through CSR intervention
  • share lessons learnt from implementing CSR programmes in  education, health, skills and livelihood in Jharkhand
  • build partnerships among the three key sectors of development- the government, the industry and the CSOs
  • deliberate on how to leverage the combined expertise, assets, and resources of the three sectors to deliver cost-effective, innovative, inclusive and sustainable development solutions

The event was attended by 85 participants from the government, industry, bilateral agencies, CSOs, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and the media.

Proceedings

Biswaroop Thakur, Assistant Director, Skills Development, FICCI welcomed the participants and said that the Conclave was an important event to bring the CSOs, government and industry on one platform. He provided the participants with an overview of the Conclave.
Johnson Topno, State Manager, PACS provided examples from the PACS work to underscore the need to work in partnership with different sectors specifically in the context of Jharkhand which faces a development paradox. He ended by saying that everyone involved in development planning and implementation should constantly ascertain that development is inclusive and sustainable.
Archana Shukla Mukherjee, Senior Programme Officer, Change Alliance presented an analysis of the CSR spending pattern of the best 100 industries of India in the year 2015-16. Majority of the funding (64%) was spent on work on areas of health, education, skills, water and sanitation. More than one-fourth of the budget was spent in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. States like Jharkhand which were very low on the development index were not given priority by industries while planning for their CSR activities. Going forward she suggested that CSR programmes should be designed based on needs of community, CSR mandate and the government priorities. While planning care should be taken that programmes should be based on local context and should be sustainable.


Harishwar Dayal, Director, Institute for Human Development, Jharkhand presenting on the development gaps in Jharkhand

Harishwar Dayal, Director, Institute for Human Development, Jharkhand made a detailed presentation on the development gaps in Jharkhand. The state lags behind in all development indicators except infant mortality rates (but malnutrition rates are high). Development deficits exist in other areas too such as- tele density, percentage of households with drinking water and toilet facilities. There are development distortions in employment, income in various sectors such as mining and agriculture, and urbanization. 45% urban population lives in cities. Some steps that the state can take to bridge this gap are:

  • diversify agriculture and rural development
  • strengthen the health sector including both preventive and curative services
  • strengthen education including higher education
  • increase urban growth by developing marketing towns and smaller towns in rural hinterland.
  • increase employment generation opportunities
  • tap and develop emerging business opportunities within the state such as-  exploiting the vast mineral resource base using safe environment practices or developing forgotten traditional means of livelihood such as lac cultivation

Mamta Kohli, DFID, Senior Social Development Advisor praised the Jharkhand government for setting a benchmark to work with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on complex and difficult issues such as Forest Rights Act (FRA), livelihoods and labour welfare. She informed that DFID had changed focus to work on economic prosperity. The new priority areas for the British High Commission are urban development, energy, ease of doing business, financial inclusion and skills. Poor women would remain a key focus among all these priority areas. DFID will soon launch a platform- SHE- to bring the development sector and industry together. She ended by stating that the CSR Conclave organized by the PACS Jharkhand office is the first platform to bring all state actors on one platform. The momentum generated by the Conclave should not be lost.
Key Note Address by Sunil Barnwal, IAS, Secretary to Honourable Chief Minister & Secretary of Department of Industries and IT, Government of Jharkhand

Mr Barnwal began by stating that to increase the impact of development programming, CSR should provide financial assistance to those activities which cannot be supported by the government or other funding agencies. The state government has taken some steps towards building partnerships with the industry. Jharkhand is the first state where a CSR council has been formed under the Chief Minister – which meets at regular intervals.  However, there is still a long way to go. Steps suggested by him to strengthen and make full use of the available CSR funding are given below.

  • Planners and funders should take into account the unique needs of each district in the state to make the full use of the CSR funds.
  • There is a need to review existing gaps in development programming, and identify which gaps can be filled through CSR funds.
  • Government privatization strategies need to be matched with the priorities of the private sector.
  • Companies should invest in skill building and development in a more focused manner. One way of ensuring this is to ensure that the manpower requirements of the company are met from the areas where they work in.

The CSR conclave should deliberate on:

  • How to fulfill the gap between the large presence of corporate companies in Jharkhand and low spending of CSR funds on development in Jharkhand.
  • Key areas where CSR funds should be channeled and spent.
  • New areas that the government needs to work on. Identifying and investing funds in developing successful pilot models to guide the government on how to work in these new areas. The government in turn can help in scaling up these projects.
  • Government institutions that need to be created to facilitate the recommendations that emerge from this Conclave.
  • Platforms that need to be created to strengthen engagement with CSOs who spend the CSR funds to enable efficient use of the funds, and ensure that the funds reach those who require it the most.
  • Institutional structures that  need to be created within the government to facilitate the companies to spend more funds.
  • Governance reforms that need to be developed and implemented to facilitate better spending of CSR funds.
  • Capacity building requirements of NGOs to strengthen CSR initiatives
  • Companies need to develop a road map on skill development for the communities near their area of operation.

He concluded by saying that the ideas of the Conclave should be shared with the government so that the Government of Jharkhand can create an environment where companies feel confident in spending the CSR funds in the state.

PANEL DISCUSSION I: Driving for economic equality through skill development, employability and entrepreneurship


Siddhartha Tripathi, IFS, MGNREGA Commissioner, GoJ suggesting how the government and the CSOs can work together to increase employability

Siddhartha Tripathi, IFS, MGNREGA Commissioner, GoJ informed that developmental challenges in Jharkhand can be addressed by adopting an integrated approach. Government has its limitations as they have limited time in bringing about the required change.  CSR should develop pilot models with an integrated approach which look at development holistically, and take the village as basic unit. These models would guide the government in how to increase the impact of its development policies and programmes.
Further, CSOs and CSR funding can help the government in providing technical assistance on thinking innovative solutions on key thematic areas at block or village level. If successful, the government can help in implementing programmes on scale.
Jaikant Singh National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), New Delhi spoke on Partnership and State Alliance. He said that it would be wrong to say that there was no development. However, the speed of development and the scale of reach of development are far from desirable. India needs to accelerate development given that more than half of its population is comprised of young people. There is a need to start planning now so that adequate employment opportunities are available to the young population in the next ten years. Some of the steps that the Government and CSR can take are:

  • Government should invest in skill development.
  • Government should generate self-employment opportunities in rural areas to stop migration from rural areas.
  • CSR needs to plan and inform the government on the areas they would be interested in implementing. Government can provide the requisite support. For example, The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra can provide support in terms of training on skills. The government can also upgrade existing laboratories built by CSR to state of the art -centers of excellence

Dheeraj Horo, PACS Jharkhand presented the experience of PACS Jharkhand in skill development and livelihood initiatives (Lac and Fisheries).The lac cultivation was implemneted in Gumla district of Jharkhand with support from CSO partner Udyogini, while the inland fisheries  model was developed in Palamau district of Jharkhand with the support of WASSAN Foundation and Vikas Seva Kendra.
Both the models involved: training a cadre of service providers to provide technical support on business development; developing the required skills among the community members; strengthening the value chain through end to end solutions; collectivising produces into groups, and setting up village level service centres for aggregation, value addition and fair pricing.
In the lac model lac co-operatives were set up to act as the market-facing entity for lac selling. In the inland fisheries model  community rights over common water bodies were restored. Further, public investment in the project was sourced by partnering with local government institutions.

Mr. Vijay Kumar, ACC shared the three approaches adopted by ACC in its work, namely: building partnerships; convergence, and integration. He suggested that in order to promote economic equality in the state following measures needs to be taken:

  • Modification of curriculum of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)
  • Preventing and controlling alcoholism among young people
  • Creating Marketing linkages

Ms. Priyanka, Sector Skill Council- Agriculture, NSDC, New Delhi presented the NSDC Jharkhand’s approach to agriculture. The focus has shifted from farmer centric to farm centric. Efforts will be made to increase the cropping intensity in the state by promoting multi cropping.

Ms. Vicky Madan, Sector Skill Council, Beauty and Wellness, NSDC, focused on the beauty and wellness sector which is emerging as a major employment opportunity. For this interested people need to be trained on technical aspects as well as soft skills and entrepreneurial skills. To reach out to young people interested in developing skills on beauty and wellness NSDC has tied up with schools affiliated with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), UGC colleges and open schools.
The Chair of the session Shri Ajay Kumar Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Higher Education and Technical Education, Government of Jharkhand concluded the session by emphasizing that the government and industry should invest in higher education. Accessibility to higher education is low in Jharkhand- 13% compared to 23% for India overall. Government is now investing in higher education.  A hundred new colleges- academic institutions, technical and non- technical institutions will be opened in the state in the coming years. The state is also promoting private institutions. A private institution bill has been passed. Data on the manpower required in each sector- tourism, agriculture, mining and animal husbandry has been compiled and is available.
CSR can provide support by:

  • Taking over the operations and management of government owned ITIs.
  • investing in research and development.
  • building skills so people are trained before they join the industry.
  • managing polytechnics run by the government.
  • strengthening linkages between the CSR and the academic institutions as currently there is a gap between what is taught and the employability requirements.
  • Conducting studies to assess the current knowledge, skills and training required for employability.

PANEL DISCUSSION II: Achieving better Education and Health outcomes in the state through CSR

Panelists of Panel Discussion 2

Suranjeen, JHPIEGO initiated the session by stating that health and education are important sectors in development. The highlights of his presentation were as follows:

  • Access to education has now become a universal right
  • The state should similarly ensure universal access to health. The corporate sector can help in expansion of health services by providing medicines at cheaper prices since the government can only invest a limited percentage on health.
  • CSR should think of innovative models and implement pilot projects in the health and education sectors, which can be considered by the government and implemented on scale. For example,  a pilot project implemented by Usha Martin and ICICI resulted in the creation of  Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA), social mobiliser who delivers health services at the grassroots level, and is the backbone of the health service delivery today.
  • The corporate sector can help the government to ensure that services reach the last mile. This is possible as the industry has changed from ‘pull to push’ (demand driven) mechanism, but the government still follows the pull (based on inventory) mechanism. For example, health supplies only reach the village after the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) has to indent first; only then supplies are delivered to her.

Biren Bhutta, Chief, CSR, Tata Steel  listed the take away principles adopted by Tata Steel on what CSR should be doing and how it can help further the development goals of the state

  • Impact: show and measure impact at scale in a contextual setting
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships and collaborations
  • Leverage the path of innovation and technology
  • Reach those who cannot reach us
  • Use business solutions to solve social problems

These need to be accompanied by dynamic and visionary leadership in the government.
Mr Bhutta illustrated how the principles can be adopted in practice by giving the example of Project MANSI (Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative). MANSI was implemented in the entire  Seraikela block with 167 villages from 2010-2015 where Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was high (60 per 1,000 live births). A preliminary survey conducted in the block revealed that 80% of the deaths occurred in neonates. Causes of death were sepsis, low birth weight leading to hypothermia and asphyxia. Additionally, health services were inaccessible to many community members. Tata Steel implemented the project in partnership with the American India foundation, the Department of Health, Government of Jharkhand, local NGOs and the community. Community based health workers called Sahiyas were trained in neo natal health care. The Sahiyas closely supervised the expecting women, encouraged them to go on regular health visits and even counselled them to opt for hospital births. Monitoring and evaluation showed that almost every process indicator of the project improved.  Mr. Bhutta concluded by reiterating that community is an important partner of every development project.
 Mayank Murari, Usha Martin, DGM, CSR   started the presentation by saying that companies should not think of profit always, but also invest in development. For example, Usha Martin set up health centers in some of the remotest areas of Jharkhand where profits were minimal. The projects are implemented in partnership with the government and the community, and focus on changing the behavioral aspects of the community.
SS Batwe, Assistant General Manager, MECON presented on the solar pumping unit installed by the CSR unit of MECON to provide safe drinking water for the community. MECON identified the problem during its existing work in the community and responded to the problem by replacing the mechanical pumps with solar powered pumps. As a result water supply in the community was not dependent on erratic electric supply. This led to both direct and indirect results. One indirect result was that girls who stayed at home to pump water whenever electricity came, started going to school.
Anu Singh, PACS Experience in Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).  Ms. Singh informed that the RSBY project was implemented in joint collaboration with PACS, partner CSOs, Department of Labour, Government of Jharkhand, insurance agencies and the community. She emphasized that community volunteers were key to the success of the project, specifically in reaching marginalized groups.  RSBY Mitras, trained community mobilisers provided support to the communities especially members from Socially Excluded Groups (SEGs) in registering, accessing services, and in filing complaints if required.  Establishing channels of two way communication such as a helpline to address concerns of beneficiaries further improved access.
 The Chair of the session, Praveen Chandra, Director in Chief, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand summed up the session by stating that corporates and CSOs can help the government by:•    implementing pilot projects on scale such as a whole block to show impact.

  • digitizing systems and processes such that nutritional and health data can be uploaded at the village level itself and accessed at state level.
  • developing a model health centre by adopting an existing government community health centre.
  • exploring various projects that can be implemented in Public Private Partnership (PPP).

 Panel Discussion III- ‘Changing Paradigm of Development-Scope and Importance of Working (Government-Private-CSO) in Collaboration   

Speakers of Panel Discussion 3

 S C Sahoo, NABARD, Jharkhand Regional Office, Ranchi spoke on the role of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in strengthening the development efforts in Jharkhand. Over the years NABARD has emerged as a strong institution, and CSR agencies and CSOs should partner with NABARD to work for the betterment of the region. Some of possible areas where CSOs and the industry can collaborate with NABARD are watershed development, tribal development, and innovative projects under the farm sector.
Rajinder Singh, Director, Reliance Foundation, Deoghar presented the development initiatives implemented by the Reliance Foundation in Jharkhand. The Foundation has been working since last four years in 21 villages in Madhupur block in Deoghar District in Jharkhand.  Some of the areas where the Foundation has been working are: agriculture based livelihood, health, water harvesting structures, skilling and employment.
Ratan Tirkey of Tribal Advisory Council stressed on the need for better coordination in planning and execution of CSR projects so that they are able to reach the last mile. CSR projects also need to involve the community in planning and execution of projects to better address the needs of the community.
Johnson Topno, PACS, Jharkhand summed up and stated that both CSR and CSOs are can play an important part in the development of the state. Corporates can provide the funds while CSOs can increase the outreach of services.  Participants in the Conclave now need to deliberate on:

  • How to strengthen the CSR council in the state
  • How should the CSOs, industry and the government work together
  • Some areas where the CSO, industry and government can work together are: agro forestry, livelihood and better watershed management.

There is a need to engage more youth in the skills development programme.
He suggested that PACS and Phia Foundation can facilitate the process, and provide support in management and setting up strong monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
The Chair of the session Ravi Ranjan, Mission Director, Jharkhand Skill Development Mission Society (JSDMS) concluded the session by stating that CSR is a new concept and the structures are still evolving in Jharkhand. Ambitious projects of the government like skill development and Make in India will not succeed unless the industries came forward. He informed that the JSDMS is an autonomous government body under the Department of Labour, Employment, Training and Skill. Development, Government of Jharkhand. The autonomous status helps the Society in speedier decision making and implementation. The Society aims to train 20 lakh young people. Some of the challenges facing the society are:

  • selection of reputed training agencies
  • selection of schools and colleges
  • skill strengthening.
  • reaching the grassroots and mobilising the youth

CSOs like PACS and its partner agencies can help overcome some of the challenges, specifically mobilizing the young people. CSR and CSOs can help in setting up strong monitoring mechanisms.

Concluding Session

Possible Areas of convergence and recommended action points under CSR on livelihood, skill and basic services for the state- Ramesh Sharan, HOD, Department of Economics, Ranchi University

Concluding session by Ramesh Sharan, Department of Economics, Ranchi University
Lack of proper planning, decision making and integrating different programmes impede development. Following measures are required to take Jharkhand to the path of development:

  • A government planning body which will serve as a Think tank should be set up. This could be a new body or the existing state planning board should be stregthened. The body should provide a well- defined systematic plan of how and where to implement skill development courses. The body should focus on developing both soft and hard skills.
  • CSR Council, the body which will ensure efficient utilization of corporate funds for sustainable development. The council can also help in deciding how and where corporates should replicate programmes to scale. The council should be more participative, and should involve the community in planning-identifying gaps, and developing programmes based on needs.
  • Developing an integrative process of thinking. Efforts should be made to converge and coordinate programmes of different sectors to enable  programmes to reach the poorest person.
  • Developing a development framework for the state based on the framework of Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
  • Increasing transparency in CSR funds. Corporates need to develop a CSR balance sheet based on the lines of balance sheet for shareholders
  • Using advancements in information and technology to bring about rapid transformations in development and improve delivery mechanisms for basic needs- food and safe drinking water.
  • CSR should focus on being more accountable to its actions and environment friendly.
  • CSOs should act as the watchdog
  • CSOs should help in the identification of the poorest areas and the poorest of the poor.
  • Create a platform to share all knowledge generated. Existing government institutions and platforms at the various levels in the state should be strengthened with equal representation of CSOs and other development agencies.

 

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