As companies began to incorporate Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) into their strategy and processes, there has been a spurt in the demand for services connected with CSR projects. Companies realised that funding and implementing isolated and fragmented initiatives have not been effective. So, the first challenge was to evolve a comprehensive CSR policy and identify key thrust areas which align with the company’s overall business plan and strategy. Secondly, companies often lacked internal expertise to run full-fledged CSR programmes. Moreover, running programmes with one’s own staff was not cost-effective either. We at ISRF provide a range of support services and end-to-end solutions in the area of CSR projects. It starts with consulting and advisory services in the area of policymaking. We work with companies in tweaking and fine-tuning CSR policies. The next step is to translate the policy into actionable projects and programmes. This involves conducting preparatory surveys and studies and followed by project design.
- Thrust areas for CSR projects – in alignment with business policy and practice
- Identification of target communities – Direct and indirect
- Selection of implementation partners – with proven track record and due diligence
- Budgeting and resources – linking money spent to tangible and measurable impact on communities and long term benefits for the company and its brand
- Project management – Minimising delays and cost overruns
- Project Monitoring & Evaluation – Measuring effectiveness
The CSR programme in the field of agriculture mainly focuses on income enhancement of marginal paddy farmers through mechanized cultivation. Training, exposure visit and demo farming activities are carried out to overcome their beliefs and make them use machineries for the transplantation and weeding process. This reduces the drudgery and increases the yield of the crop there increases their income.
Skill training is also given to the farmers to develop alternate employment opportunities. Tuition program for computer and English subjects is conducted for the children of the marginal farmers to increase their knowledge and education.
Enhancing productivity and income of paddy farmers – a CSR project funded by A John Deere India Pvt. Ltd, Pune and implemented by MNEC, Madurai.
Client : John Deere Indian Private Limited, Pune and its implementation partner MNEC, Madurai
Location : Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Duration : 5 years (2014 – 2019)
Thematic Sector(s) focussed : CSR, Agriculture Development, WASH, Livelihood and Skills Development
Activity brief : John Deere India Private Limited has supported a CSR project “Enhancing productivity and income for paddy farmers”for four years since April 2016 till March 2020 implemented in Thenkarai village, near Madurai, Tamil Nadu state. The programme was implemented by a local NGO partner, Madurai Non-formal Educational Centre (MNEC). The programme aims to achieve holistic development of marginal farmers community (owning less than 1 hectare of cultivable land) inThenkarai village with specific focus on (a) income enhancement and drudgery reduction through mechanized solutions to paddy farming, (b) alternative livelihood development for women workforce, (c) education support for children of marginal farmers and local schools and educational institutions. In this pilot and experimental project, ISRF worked with MNEC in designing, implementation and conducting Baseline and Endline study. The project achieved the targeted behaviour change in the knowledge, attitude and practice of marginal farmers in adopting mechanized farming methods which enhanced their income and reduce drudgery in paddy farming.
CSR programme for Poverty eradication through financial literacy and digital inclusion for marginalized rural community in rural areas in Tamil Nadu
Client : NATRUST
Location : Tirupattur district, Tamil Nadu
Duration : 2 years (2017 – 2019)
Thematic Sector(s) focussed : CSR, Financial Literacy
Activity brief : The project aimed to (a) build knowledge and awareness on financial literacy among the targeted rural households, (b) create awareness on various government financial services (e-governance centres) and policies that aim to improve the lives of the targeted households in rural areas and (c) mobilize and sensitize the targeted rural households for collective learning and practicing of financial literacy thereby benefiting from the financial inclusiveness.
ISRF, through its non-profit Trust, designed the project and supported the implementation with the target groups through developing appropriate IEC/BCC awareness materials.
Community Promotional Campaign and Household Survey for Diha Clinic, Nanganallur, Chennai
Client : Lister Technologies Private Limited, Chennai
Location : Chennai city
Duration : 6 months (Oct 2018 to Mar 2019)
Thematic Sector(s) focussed : CSR, Community Health
Activity brief : Lister Technologies Private Limited, is a software company having its offices in India and USA. The company planned to design and implement community promotional programme for its CSR initiative, ‘Diha Clinic’ for the low and middle income target population in Nanganallur area, Chennai. ISRF undertook the task of conducting a needs assessment survey with 2000 households, designing a participatory health programme for the target community. As part of the programmes, ISRF designed and conducted a range of individual and group based IEC/BCC campaigns.