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Enhancing Business Community Relations
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the New Academy of Business have been engaged in a collaborative project since mid-2001 to explore trends in business-community relations and corporate citizenship. Undertaken simultaneously in seven countries - Brazil, Ghana, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Philippines and South Africa - the action research project has explored how businesses are contributing to their communities and the role of volunteers in promoting responsible business practices. There are 70 case studies and seven national reports as well as a global report and an executive summary from the project available for downloading (in PDF).


About the project: Enhancing Business-Community Relations 
To better understand the interface between the private sector and volunteerism and to prepare the ground for effective collaboration with the private sector, the United Nations Volunteers programme developed a research project ‘Enhancing Business-Community Relations’, implemented internationally in partnership with the New Academy of Business, the United Nations Development Programme and local partners in the seven countries.  Read article

About the team 
In each of the seven countries the work was guided by a ‘UNV Business-Community Relations Specialist’. These seven individuals were chosen in early to mid 2001. They all came together for an initial orientation workshop run by New Academy of Business in Bristol, UK in September 2001.  Read article

Brazil case studies 
The research conducted provides a better view of the country's  business-community relations and helps increase the efficiency of corporate social actions.   Read article

Ghana case studies 
The research in Ghana revealed that the prevailing social norm accepts irresponsible corporate activities or actions and  civil society's lack of ability and willingness to demand corporate accountability and responsibility.  It also revealed that most Ghanian companies lack the skills and competencies to effectively work or partner with civil society groups.  Read article

India case studies 
The local objectives of the project were to promote good corporate citizenship and improved business-community relations. The key components of the project were, through collaborative inquiry, to identify existing practices while promoting partnerships. Corporate volunteering as a means of enhancing business-community relations was also a priority, in line with the overall project objectives, although this proved less relevant in India than in some of the other participating countries.   Read article

Lebanon case studies 
This research concludes that volunteerism and social responsibility should be a top priority on companies and people’s agenda, and a key strategic imperative to ‘survival’ in the market place. That there is no better reward in life, than making a difference, and there is no better way to do it, than to benefit one’s own self and corporation at the same time.  Read article

Nigeria case studies 
These case studies serve as good reference indicators on local business-community relations practices and provides a basis for understanding the relationship that exists between companies and their community of stakeholders in Nigeria.   Read article

Philippines case studies 
The Philippine case studies focuse on determining innovative corporate-community relations model and the characteristics of genuine corporate-community partnership (CCP) building.  Read article

South Africa case studies 
Many companies around the world and the USA in particular believe that corporate volunteer programmes benefit their employees, the corporation and the community. However, in South Africa it is only recently that companies are starting to allow employees to bring their personal experience of volunteering in the community into the company. Employee involvement programmes are still at a developmental stage and need further elaboration in order for companies and employees to maximize the benefits offered by such opportunities.   Read article