2nd CSR Conference: Capacity Building in the CSR Ecosystem

AMCHAM’s CSR Committee organized the 2nd CSR Conference: Capacity Building in the CSR Ecosystem that brought together key stakeholders in corporate social responsibility — policymakers, government, corporates, NGOs, social and developmental impact agencies, for cross-sectoral panel discussions that identified and addressed challenges, opportunities and avenues for capacity building in CSR. The day-long event was held on November 6th at Aloft in New Delhi.

 

The welcome address was given by Mr. Harish Krishnan, Chairman – CSR Committee, AMCHAM and Managing Director, Public Affairs & Strategic Engagement, India & SAARC Cisco Systems India. While welcoming participants, he gave an overview of the CSR Committee and spoke of the commitment of AMCHAM supporting USAID’s mission to eradicate TB by inviting American companies to sign the Corporate TB Pledge. In the special address delivered by Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Director General (Training), Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India, he informed participants that the three most important areas of focus for CSR included health, education and skilling. He also spoke about the importance of soft skills in today’s corporate scenario. It was followed by the keynote address by Mr. Edgard Kagan, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, who spoke about the importance of all stakeholders working together in problem solving. He highlighted the CSR activities being done by American companies and encouraged AMCHAM and member to project them. Mr. Ramanathan Ramanan, Mission Director of Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, in his special address, spoke about the Mission’s objectives of self-employment and talent utilization to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. The closing remarks of the session were given by Mr. Harish Krishnan who expressed his gratitude to the Co-Chairs of the CSR Committee and the AMCHAM secretariat for organizing the conference.

 

In ‘Session 1: Collaborative Skilling Models,’ Ms. Kshitija Krishnaswamy, Co-Chairperson – CSR Committee, AMCHAM and Director, Corporate Citizenship, Accenture India moderated with panellists Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Director General (Training), Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Ms. Rohini Kamath, Program Manager, Corporate affairs, Cisco India and Mr. Aakash Sethi, CEO, Quest Alliance. The panellists discussed the Skill India mission including short term, long-term trainings and digital skill training. The panellists enumerated some of the major challenges being faced in imparting skilling such as wage difference in cities and states, early girl marriages and heavy migration of skilled labours from different parts of India.

 

‘Session 2: Best Practices in Monitoring and Evaluation’ was moderated by Mr. Vikas Gambhir, Director, Grant Thornton with panellists Ms. Sangita Ghalay, Co-Chairperson – CSR Committee, AMCHAM and Head – CSR, Honeywell India, Mr. Anuj Alphonson, Director – Livelihoods & Partnerships, Magic Bus India Foundation, Mr. Nitin Sharma, Legal Counsel, South Asia, Becton Dickinson and Ms. Sapna Moudgil, Director, NIIT Foundation. The discussion was focussed on the relevance of monitoring, evaluation with data, data analysis and action on the information received from data followed by the screening process and frequency of reports.

 

‘Session 3: Innovating for Social Impact’ was a plenary session with presentations by Ms. Ramona EI Hamzaoui, Deputy Mission Director, USAID/India, Ms. Neelam Makhijani, Country Director, ChildFund India and Mr. Sanjay Podder, Managing Director, Accenture Labs – Asia Pacific, Accenture. While Ms. Ramona El Hamzaoui mentioned the positive demographic dividend available in India and how concerned Indian youth are more concerned than ever before about development. Ms. Makhijani discussed the feasibility of impact bonds for CSR and cited an example project through USAID. Mr. Sanjay Podder explained how Accenture has used technology as the innovating factor in creating a social impact.

 

‘Session 4: Public Private Partnership for Sustainable Outcomes’ was moderated by Colonel Ashwini Channan, Senior Director, Government Relations, Honeywell India, with panellists Mr. Keith Simmons, Acting Mission Director, USAID/India, Ms. Kritika Sangani, Senior Lead, Organizational Development, Indus Action and Dr. Ishaprasad Bhagwat, Program Manager for MIYCN Projects, Tata Trusts. The session focussed on the need for private financing as public initiatives alone are not viable enough. The session also brought out the importance of having an inclusive society.

 

The conference concluded with closing remarks from Ms. Kshitija Krishnaswamy, Co-Chairperson – CSR Committee, AMCHAM. Ms. Valerie Swope, Program Coordinator, AMCHAM, thanked the partners for this event – Accenture, Cisco and Honeywell.