Corporate social responsibility: opportunities for reproductive health.
Although health-related CSR programs are fairly common, reproductive health (RH) and family planning (FP) initiatives are underrepresented in the global portfolio of CSR programs. These programs might include maternal and child health, STI/HIV/AIDS prevention and education, and provision of contraceptives. To help facilitate the inclusion of RH initiatives in CSR programs, this paper addresses the following questions: What are the motivations behind CSR programs, and what are current CSR trends? What characterizes different CSR models, and how does each model lend itself to the inclusion of family planning and reproductive health services? What opportunities exist for partnerships focused on reproductive health? To answer these questions, CMS conducted in-depth interviews with more than 50 business leaders whose companies are noted for their CSR programs. CMS’s research was designed to unearth the depth and detail of CSR processes from the corporate perspective, seeking to understand why corporations become involved in CSR, as well as how they do it, so that this knowledge could be applied to potential RH initiatives. CMS’s research clearly shows that corporate culture and values drive CSR initiatives. There are usually both internal and external motivations for these programs. Most companies do not view their social and financial responsibilities as mutually exclusive; instead, they link CSR to their core business strategies. CMS also found that a company’s stakeholders play an influential role in selecting and designing its CSR program. Companies are increasingly interested in forming partnerships with the public sector or NGOs, in order to bring technical expertise or other resources to CSR programs. (excerpt)