January 11

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A step towards the Sustainable Development in Madagascar

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since my last post, and actually I’ve been back in Belgium for 2 weeks. However, I had the draft of this following post and I really want to share it with you.

During my assignment, I mainly worked on the strategy of partnership with the private sector in Madagascar. And, another part of my mission with the same final goal – IMPROVE CONDITIONS for MALAGASY CHILDREN – was to help UNICEF and a consulting firm to produce and publish a CSR handbook for the private sector (CSR = Corporate Social Responsibility, could be defined as the responsibility of entreprises for their impact on society, by following the law and integrating social, environmental, ethical, and human rights concerns into their business strategy and operations).

Few words about the context first:

Last July, UNICEF Madagascar Office collaborated to the organisation of a forum about CSR, gathering private, public actors, civil society organizations, NGOs, etc… The aim of this event was to present and promote the CSR and Sustainable Development, in other words, how a company can succeed, by considering Human being in the center of its business (instead of “money”), respecting the environment, minimize the negative impacts of its activities and maximize the positive ones.

This CSR strategy is part of the answer from the private sector to help the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in September 2015 (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/sustainabledevelopmentgoals) and also a leveraging tool for UNICEF to promote the respect and support of Child’s Rights; involving companies in the SDGs agenda is indeed making them improve living conditions of the communities around companies’activities.

During the forum, lots of questions and a great dynamic from participants showed their interest to be part of the 2030 agenda for SDGs. Two main conclusions of this event:

  • Actors need the commitment of the government to support the sustainable development actors,
  • The lack of a CSR document, framework, policy document,… to help them to understand the CSR approach, its advantages, constraints, methodology…

That’s why a handbook is necessary to support them through this process.

So, with the consulting firm, helped by our partners from ministries and companies already involved in a CSR approach, we wrote this handbook by trying to make it adapted to the Malagasy context and culture.

On December 15th, the consultant and I organized an event to present the CSR handbook and also announced the agenda of the next CSR forum in 2017 to the private and public sectors.

This event was a success in many aspects:

  • First, the event was well attended, and we received a good feedback from the participants,
  • Secondly, the representative of the ministry of ecology and environment presented their agenda for 2017: creation of a working group to write a CSR policy and present the draft for the next forum.

This commitment  is a big step towards the Sustainable Development in Madagascar.

  • And finally, it was for me the achievement of one of my project for UNICEF. I’m very proud to be part of it, and that the handbook could have been presented and ready to be distributed in January 2017.

Thank you all for taking part of this and trusting me!

This is the beginning…I’ll follow the next steps from Europe.