Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by National Insurance Corporation (NIC) in Uganda

How NIC’s CSR Benefits the Community
  1. Literacy enhancement.
  2. Improving the reading culture head-on with termly awards to all children of a designated school with reading passports or Diplomas.
Description of CSR as externally perceived 
Partnership with Newspapers in Education (NiE), a concept by Daily Monitor news paper that uses newspapers in primary schools for purposes of improving literacy, addressing the reading culture head-on with termly awards to all children of a designated school with reading passports or Diplomas.

Daily Monitor successfully carried out the reading passport in term 1 of the school program in 11 schools located in central Uganda. NIC sponsored a total number of 5,580 children from 11 schools and all these children are able to benefit from this project in Term 1, as a major seed planted by NIC to inspire them to read and develop their education by Supplying them weekly with reading material on current social, economic and political issues through Daily Monitor Newspapers. This is in line with NIC’s comprehensive package for schools insurance policy.

Long term impact on Ugandans 
An increase in literate Ugandans contributing to the economy collectively ultimately reducing povery.

CSR Rating against 10 
 An ingenious type of CSR bringing together 2 companies and leveraging well on the core operational competence of Daily Monitor.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by Vision Group in Uganda

How Vision Group’s CSR Benefits the Community 
  1. Women empowerment through recognitions.
  2. Contributing to environmental protection.
  3. Peace building especially in the war affected area.
  4. Social development in many areas.
Description of  Vision Group’s CSR as externally perceived 
The Vision Group supported a partnership with Straight Talk Foundation, a leading communication-for-social-change NGO, which aims, among others, at HIV prevention and social change in adolescents.

Through the Women Achiever Award, the company has recognized the contributions women have made to their community and in particular recognized women who have developed schemes that preserve the environment.

A special peace and conflict resolution supplement, which targeted secondary schools, was embarked on. The project code-named “Jazz Peace” aimed at cultivating a non-violent culture of mediation and peace building among teenagers. Aspects handled included the management of anger, understanding the dynamics of conflicts, making decisions, and development of negotiation skills.

Public health campaigns, including malaria prevention, water and sanitation projects, blood donation exercises and an extensive environmental coverage promoting tree planting, were also among the company’s corporate social responsibility undertakings.

Long term impact on Ugandans 
General increase in social wellbeing of community members.

CSR Rating against 10
Vision group has not utilized its own core operational competence for its own CSR and diversified too much. Fewer objectives in our opinion do a lot for the community.

Does it pay business to be good to society?

The role of business in society and the accompanying responsibilities that emanate from that role is rapidly becoming very crucial. In principal, the “business of business is business” and thus it has only one responsibility and that is to generate profit for shareholders while adhering to the law.

Contrary to that argument is the thinking that recognises business as a system in society that is affected by and affects other systems in society (such as the surrounding community, government bodies, other types of organizations, the natural environment, etc.). Thus business needs to work with these systems to attain its economic goals in a way that will also benefit the system (society) as a whole.

Although business has always had a social bond with society, the nature of this bond is rapidly changing. The social bond summarises the complex societal and ecological relations and related responsibilities between business and society.

In this business era, the bond embraces not just direct stakeholders (such as consumers, employees, regulators and shareholders) but also, and increasingly, a broader set of stakeholders (such as the communities where companies operate, the media, academics and the nonprofit sector).

Today’s significance of social responsibility reinforces the need for a collaborative approach to addressing socio-economic and environmental challenges. Consequently, other stakeholders in society, that is, business and civil society, are increasingly stepping up their interventions to promote social good.

Corporate Social Responsibility by International Medical Group in Uganda

How International Medical Group CSR Benefits the Community 
  1. Free treatment for people who cannot afford treatment especially those from war ravaged areas.
  2. Community treatment outreaches to neglected communities.
Description of CSR as externally perceived 
International Hospital Kampala has a charity ward, which is known as ‘Hope Ward’. The capital costs of this ward were met by International hospital and some private donors and the operational costs are met through companies and individuals sponsoring beds.

The type of patients, who are treated, are those who have complex conditions for which they might not otherwise access treatment. Victims of the war in the north, who require plastic surgery, those with tumors, children with HIV who need hospitalization, abandoned babies, women with bladder fistulae due to birth injuries and victims of road traffic accidents will be able to access treatment at ‘Hope Ward’.

Corporate Social Responsibility by Hewlett Packard in Uganda

How Hewlett Packard CSR Benefits the Community
  1. Promotes micro economic growth in Uganda. How has this been done? Hewlett Packard built a new public-private consortium in Uganda to provide micro-finance, involving organizations as diverse as ACCION International, Freedom from Hunger, and the Grameen Foundation, and with some funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. 
  2. Uses technology to ease micro economic growth and ultimately contributing to the micro-economy of Uganda. This was evident in 2002 where Hewlett Packard formed a partnership with a number of microfinance networks (MFIs) and commercial partners working in related areas to explore how technology could be used effectively to help scale microfinance. The partnership – called the Micro - development Finance Team (MFT) – was quite successful at mobilizing resources from the United States Agency for International Development, leading academic institutions, and engaging a large management consulting firm. 
Description of CSR as externally perceived 
Using a combination of technology and business processes, the Remote Transaction System (RTS) was developed, that supports both group and individual lending, online and batch offline processing, and back office synchronization. This solution was intended to become an industry standard, help MFI reach isolated clients cost effectively, and enable microfinance to reach a new stage of development.

The RTS is based on the use of sturdy hand-held devices that can communicate over GSM cellular networks. Combined with the use of smart cards given out to clients and microfinance agents, the system allows MFI agents to collect crucial financial data in the field and subsequently to transfer the data directly into the MFIs’ computerized financial management systems. The RTS eliminates the need to prepare, transport, and enter hand-written reports, reducing costs for rural operations.

In addition, electronic collection of data raises client confidence in MFIs, as well as reducing fraud. Finally, the system, if used by the industry as a whole, might allow MFIs to take full advantage of latent synergies that exist among geographically and financially diverse institutions.

CSR way to business sustainability

For consumer products companies, there is often a quick assumption that sustainability will focus on the products themselves – products that are green, organic, natural or similar designations. But many new companies, the sustainability importance is rooted organically into the business enterprise, with a commitment to identify and leverage sustainable opportunities in the processes required to develop, create and deliver products to the consumer.

These processes have been invisible to the stakeholder, but with the increased demand for transparency and disclosure, companies have a greater opportunity to showcase meaningful commitments – a silver lining in the sometimes darkened practice of reporting, rankings and ratings. And, along the way, the thousands of employees who bring the sustainability commitment to life, from environmental engineers to marketers, are elevated to playing a role in a larger mission, not just “doing their jobs.”

In developing policies and processes for sustainability, one of the principles to commitment to is to “meet fully the obligations of corporate citizenship by contributing to the well-being of society and the environment in which it functions.” Today, in Uganda only a handful of companies are passionately committed to ensuring this commitment is met.

In the commitment to being internally genuine, companies face many possible environmental areas to tackle. When the lens of materiality is applied – is it meaningful to the company, the stakeholders, and the planet, and can the company have an impact – certain opportunities rise to the top.

For a company like Stanbic Bank, as the largest financial institution in the country, it has a huge impact on the people’s financial wellbeing as people take loans and seek other services. Therefore, a core mission would be to help people plan their finances well so that they never fall into financial traps and make wise investments. Of course it would be different for cement, furniture or brewing industries.

Corporate Social Responsibility by Eagle Lager in Uganda

How Eagle Lager CSR Benefits the Community 
  1. General community improvement and empowerment. Eagle Lager project in the Soroti District, conducted with the local government, reports that an assured income allows farmers to plan for their futures, and has enabled them to send their children to school, buy more land and oxen for ploughing, eat better, afford improved health care, and employ other people to help them with planting.
  2. Enhanced micro economic and purchasing power of farmers. One example was through working with Serere Animal and Agricultural Research Institute, farmers received training in agronomy.
Description of CSR as externally perceived 
By switching to an indigenous raw material – sorghum – and using small-scale farmers to supply it, the brewery was able to simultaneously replace expensive imported ingredients, and convince the Ugandan and Zambian Governments to cut excise duties by at least half. While sorghum lager is slightly more expensive to produce than other beers, its retail price is still around a third less than the price of lagers that use imported barley, thanks to the favorable excise structure.

Eagle Lager has created a new and credible, long-term market for sorghum as a cash crop. Purchase agreements are signed in advance that guarantee prices at levels considerably above market rates. Sorghum, itself, also has particular attractions for farmers: compared to other crops, it is more drought- and flood resistant, higher yielding with more stable prices, and easier, cheaper and so more profitable to manage. In total, Eagle lager has brought 8,000 small-scale farmers in Uganda into its supply chain. Assuming an average of 6 dependants per household, this translates into benefits for 63,000 people.

The viability of Eagle lager has hinged on the partnership that was forged early on with the national governments, and the resulting enabling tax environment that was put in place. Fundamentally, this reflected a shared understanding by the government of the importance of a product that utilizes local inputs and supports small-scale agriculture. On-going communication with government stakeholders has helped maintain government buy-in.