OPINION via Tony O. Elumelu: CSR as an anti-poverty instrument

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In 2000, the United Nations made the historic announcement of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They were very specific and had a timeline of 15 years for delivery. Progress on most of these objectives has been encouraging, but as we look towards the next round of development goals, we must recognise how the world has changed since 2000.

The global financial crisis had a devastating impact on both individuals and the public sector. Conversely, the rise of the BRIC economies and Africa’s emergence mean that aid is simply not needed on the same scale as it was before.

Therefore, we in the emerging economies need to reconsider not only the substance of the new development framework, but also the implementation process. In the original MDGs, the private sector was noticeable mostly by its absence. This time, we must step up as part of the solution and pioneer new approaches that could hold the key to a more innovative and inclusive way to deliver development.

Take, for example, India. While its economy has expanded impressively over the past decade and half, so has income inequality. Improvements on social indicators such as malnutrition and hunger have not kept pace with its growing prosperity, primarily because public spending to tackle these challenges was simply inadequate.

Source: The Hindu Business Line (link opens in a new window)

corporate social responsibility, financial inclusion, poverty alleviation