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News - 1 August 2008

Advancing Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia

EDC brings multinationals and communities together EDC’s Health and Human Development Programs in Asia is spearheading this effort, which brings HP’s philanthropic arm together with a local university, and other agencies in a novel approach to corporate/community relations. The program, known as the Community Enterprise Support Project (CESP), identifies and trains local business people to integrate information technology into their business practices in ways that will expand their reach and profit. The project’s focus on small and medium enterprises sets it apart. “They tend to be overlooked by nongovernmental organizations, which focus more on those in extreme poverty,” explains Prawit Thainiyom, EDC’s project officer in Thailand. “But HP wants to pinpoint traditional businesses that are ready to integrate new technology practices and sustain them.” The program is expanding to 10 additional countries in Asia Pacific. CESP is just one example of how EDC works with corporate partners on social responsibility efforts, according to Thainiyom. “We help donors articulate goals and then tailor programs that match those goals with local needs. Businesses want to invest money in order to develop their brand image; communities are looking for resources to improve health and education. We bridge these needs by first asking, what does the donor want? What does the community want? Then we develop sustainable programs to meet both needs.”

01 Aug 2008

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