2018 Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index: Asia

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), FHI 360 & the International Center for Non-For-Profit Law (ICNL)

The fifth edition of this annual index analyzes the capacity of civil society organizations in nine countries across Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It assesses civil society’s capacity to serve both as a partner in the delivery of short-term solutions and in driving longer-term sustainable development outcomes. Read it here.

Webinar: Asia Society Hong Kong Center Program Charting the Path Forward

Catching the world unaware, Covid-19 has sent the global economy and the lives of billions into a tailspin. In the wake of this pandemic, the public, private, and social sectors must come together to work towards a stronger and more equitable Asia as we build our way out of this crisis. At a time when foreign funding is declining across the region, “Asia for Asia” philanthropy must fill the gap—and the Doing Good Index shows how.

CAPS’ Co-Founder and Chief Executive Ruth Shapiro and Director of Research Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed present the key findings of the index and showcase how governments, philanthropists, companies and the social sector can work together for mutual benefit. This discussion was moderated by Ronnie C. Chan, Co-Founder and Chairman of CAPS and Chairman of Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

Who’s Doing Good

18 August 2020 - 31 August 2020

THE NONPROFITS

Foreign funding for Bangladesh NGOs drops sharply. Foreign funding disbursed through a government regulatory body has declined sharply in the last fiscal year due to Covid-19. According to the NGO Affairs Bureau, the commitment for grants decreased by almost 17% to Tk 75.59 billion (approximately US$900 million) in FY 2019-2020 from Tk 91.18 billion (approximately US$1 billion) in the previous fiscal year. Kam Morshed, a senior director at BRAC, noted that foreign funding has been on a downward trajectory in recent years as the country grows economically stronger. However, as this trend is accelerated by Covid-19, Morshed underscores the need for more government funding for NGOs and coordination among NGOs to ensure optimum use of resources for social service delivery. CAPS’ Doing Good Index 2020, released in June 2020, had also highlighted a trend of declining foreign funding across Asia. We believe Covid-19 is likely accelerating this trend and widening the resource gap for social service organizations.

Study on Singapore’s charities finds diversity of charity boards has impact on performance. A recent study of 204 charities in Singapore by Conjunct Consulting found that greater diversity of board members shows better financial performance. It says greater ethnic, gender, and expertise diversity guides charities towards a sustainable future. For example, a more diverse board can help charities broaden their networks to fill gaps in expertise and fundraising. According to the study, women comprised a third of the boards studied, yet ethnic diversity was still lacking: over 80% of board members are Chinese and only 3% are Malay. Conjunct Consulting has developed a board diversity calculator tool to help charities assess how they fare on gender, ethnic, and expertise diversity.

Safe home initiative supports Pakistan communities hit hard by Covid-19. The Asia Foundation launched a community-centered initiative ‘Safe Home Initiative for Women and Children,’ together with local nonprofit the Children’s Global Network Pakistan. The initiative addresses the pandemic’s public health and social welfare implications for affected communities in rural areas. For example, the initiative distributes recyclable sanitary pads and refers at-risk women to agencies that offer services for victims of domestic violence. This article highlights the initiative’s key milestones since early July.

THE BUSINESSES

Coronavirus has accelerated growing awareness of need for fairer capitalism, as businesses step up to help. This South China Morning Post op-ed illustrates how businesses that had created bridges to their communities before the crisis were better prepared to aid Covid-19 relief efforts. The article highlights examples such as the Ayala Group in the Philippines, whose contributions to Covid-19 relief efforts have totaled around US$181 million thus far. The Ayala Group set out to protect what it calls its ecosystem, which includes employees, informal workers, small businesses, and the urban poor. This article argues that businesses in Asia who were able to respond the most efficiently had deepened community engagement, worked intensively with government and civil society, and forgone short-term profits.

Hyundai India announced phase two of CSR initiatives amid Covid-19 crisis. Hyundai Motor India announced its Hyundai Cares 2.0 CSR initiative, which will run till December 2020. Under the broad goal of helping communities overcome the implications of the pandemic, Hyundai India’s philanthropic efforts will focus on three key activities: Health, Education and a Clean India. Efforts will include handing out masks, distributing tablets pre-loaded with academic curriculum for lower income children, as well as a sanitization drive to disinfect public spaces in 292 districts/tehsils across India.

TerraCycle Global Foundation tackles plastic pollution crisis in world’s waterways. According to the Ocean Conservancy, over half of the plastic that ends up in our oceans comes from five countries—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. In recognition of this growing issue, the TerraCycle Global Foundation—the philanthropic arm of TerraCycle—launched a new initiative in Thailand together with The PepsiCo Foundation and Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. The TerraCycle Foundation installed river plastic capture traps designed to increase the amount of debris and plastics collected from Thai waterways, thereby intercepting this waste before it reaches the ocean. The Foundation will recycle waste collected by its own initiative as well as that collected by other organizations participating in the Thai government’s marine debris management program.

THE INNOVATORS

Covid-19 has brought much-needed collaboration to India’s development sector. In their op-ed, Deepali Khanna of the Rockefeller Foundation and Sudha Srinivasan of The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation argue that corporates, governments, civil society, and individual innovators have come together to address the pandemic in India in an unprecedented way. They highlight how companies and nonprofits alike assisted the government in immediate relief efforts, while the innovation ecosystem bolstered support like never before as governments extended an open call for innovative ideas to mitigate the outbreak. They argue that this departure from business as usual ushered in a new respect and recognition for each other’s role, and this collective action has demonstrated how the development sector can also expand to include all ecosystem actors.

We’d also like to hear from you. How is your organization responding to Covid-19? Email us your stories at research@caps.org.

Who’s Doing Good

03 August 2020 - 17 August 2020

THE GIVERS

Charitable funds boost donation in a tough year for giving. Straits Times highlights how more wealthy people in Singapore are setting up charitable funds that give at least six-figure sums to charities. According to this article, there were 143 donor-advised funds set up with the Community Foundation of Singapore during the financial year ending in March 2020. Despite many donors tightening their belts during Covid-19, these charitable funds disbursed SG$20.2 million (approximately US$15 million) during that year.

THE NONPROFITS

Hong Kong organizations hoping charity begins at home as economic crunch sees donations dry up. The impact of last year’s civil unrest and Covid-19 has left many Hong Kong charities on the brink of collapse. South China Morning Post spotlights Hong Kong foundations that are stepping in to meet the demand for funding. One example includes Jennifer Chen, CEO of Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, who is leading a campaign called “Bridge the Gap”. The initiative calls on residents to donate all or part of their HK$10,000 (approximately US$1,300) government relief payout to NGOs in need. The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, Fu Tak Iam Foundation, and The Hong Kong Club Foundation will match these public donations up to specified amounts for at least 25 local organizations in need.

A call to digitize Bangladesh’s NGO Affairs Bureau. In this op-ed, associates of The Legal Circle in Bangladesh argue that the government should take immediate measures to digitize the registration process for NGOs. CAPS’ Doing Good Index 2020 found that Bangladesh has one of the longest and most complex registration procedures in Asia. According to this article, there is a severe backlog of registrations, in part due to the influx of NGOs responding to the Rohingya refugee crisis. This backlog is expected to get worse with the Covid-19 pandemic. Digitizing the registration process, they argue, is not only aligned with the government’s vision of a ‘Digital Bangladesh’, but it will also allow NGOs to set up more efficiently and help the country re-build after the crisis.

THE BUSINESSES

Capital markets lawyers sharpen impact investing skills. Financial Times highlights how pro bono work in Asia is evolving to embrace new areas of legal expertise, even as Covid-19 restrictions limit traditional pro bono work. This article argues that a longer-term shift towards impact investing—as well as an urgent need for funding in the NGO sector—provides lawyers with an opportunity to contribute their legal expertise in capital markets. The article cites the example of lawyers working pro bono on Impact Investment Exchange’s Women’s Livelihood Bond deal. Since deals in the impact investing space tend to raise smaller sums, legal services priced at market rates would mean very high fees relative to the deal size. Pro bono legal services offer an opportunity to help get this new market off the ground.

Huawei begins ‘Seeds for the Future 2020’ in Bangladesh. Huawei’s flagship CSR program ‘Seeds for the Future’ aims to develop global ICT (information and communication technology) talent by bridging the gap between academic and industry knowledge. The program is part of the company’s long-term CSR activity dedicated to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and ICT students worldwide. Seeds for the Future has benefitted over 30,000 students around the world, and has recently expanded to Bangladesh. The program aims to help the country achieve its ‘Vision of Digital Bangladesh 2021’ plan by equipping youth with ICT skills that will help them innovate local solutions for local needs.

Mi India pledges 2,500 smartphones worth Rs 2 crores (approximately US$300,000) towards digital inclusion. In addition to recent initiatives to help over 200,000 families affected by Covid-19 and 10,000 families impacted by Cyclone Amphan, Mi India announced a new donation of 2,500 smartphones to students in need. Mi India has partnered with Teach For India, which has shifted to blended learning during India’s lockdown, to distribute phones to children from under-resourced communities and help them access online classes.

THE INNOVATORS

Four lessons for launching a social enterprise. In Stanford Social Innovation Review, the founder and team members of Mauqa Online share their lessons from launching and expanding their social enterprise in Pakistan. By sharing what they wish they had done differently at certain points of growth, they hope to help the next wave of social entrepreneurs. Ultimately, they encourage social entrepreneurs to use the enterprise’s social mission to help guide decision making along the way.

We’d also like to hear from you. How is your organization responding to Covid-19? Email us your stories at research@caps.org

Interview: Ruth Shapiro on the Doing Good Index 2020

CAPS’ Co-Founder and Chief Executive Ruth Shapiro shares insights from the second edition of the biennial Doing Good Index, launched in June 2020.

 

Insights with Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed: Doing Good Index 2020

CAPS’ Director of Research Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed shares insights from the second edition of the biennial Doing Good Index, launched in June 2020.

Webinar: Doing Good Index 2020

Profiling Asia's Social Sector: The Path Forward

The Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS) introduces its second edition of the Doing Good Index (DGI). Hear from Dr. Ruth Shapiro, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, and Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed, Director of Research at CAPS, as they present key findings from the DGI2020 and showcase how governments, philanthropists, companies and the social sector can work together for mutual benefit. During the webinar, learn which factors enable or hinder private social investment across 18 countries and territories in Asia.

Doing Good Index 2020

Profiling Asia's Social Sectors: The Path Forward

The Doing Good Index 2020 lays bare the vital role of the social sector and how the right policies and practices can unleash an enormous US$587 billion per year towards it.

In the wake of Covid-19, the public, private, and social sectors must come together to work towards a stronger and more equitable Asia as we build our way out of this crisis. At a time when foreign funding is declining across the region, “Asia for Asia” philanthropy must fill the gap—and the Doing Good Index shows how. It provides a roadmap of the policies and practices that can unleash this capital by aligning incentives around doing good; mitigating the trust deficit; and maximizing private social investment flowing to the social sector.

The Index has increased its coverage from 15 Asian economies in 2018 index to a total of 18: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It is based on original data gathered through surveying 2,189 social delivery organizations and interviewing 145 country experts across all 18 economies.

The Doing Good Index 2020 offers a way forward for governments, as well as private and corporate donors to meet the imperatives of building a vibrant social sector for a brighter Asian future. It is with great excitement that we bring you this second edition to help plot the way forward in a post-Covid-19 world. The next edition of the Index, planned for 2022, will reveal how these economies have fared following the Covid-19 pandemic.

View our press release here.

Watch the video presentation from our public webinar here.

Interested in interacting with the Doing Good Index 2020 data and graphics? Stay tuned for the microsite–coming soon!

Responding to Covid-19: Who’s Doing Good?

12 May 2020 - 24 May 2020

THE GIVERS
Individuals continue to donate cash, services, and supplies to Covid-19 relief efforts.

Donations to the Cambodian government’s efforts to fight Covid-19 pour in. An estimated US$23 million in donations have come in from local donors and civil servants—64,000 of whom pledged to donate portions of their salaries to help fight Covid-19. Another US$40 million has come in from international partners.

Popular TV talent Shinobu Sakagami and Japanese rock star Toshiki of X Japan are going public with their donations to Covid-19 relief efforts in hope that it will nudge others toward charity. Both stars upped their charitable giving during the crisis—Sakagami pledged to donate his entire salary for the duration of Japan’s state of emergency and Yoshiki donated ¥10 million (nearly US$95,000) to Japan’s National Center for Global Health and Medicine. They aim to fight the stigma around publicizing one’s charity and hope to tap into what Sakagami calls a “hidden reservoir of generosity” in Japan. CAPS’ upcoming Doing Good Index 2020 shows that 88% of surveyed social delivery organizations in Japan believe that individual giving remains low in their economy.

THE THINKERS

Fixing the trust deficit in our sector. Rachita Vora, co-founder and director of India Development Review (IDR), writes about how Covid-19 has irradiated the value of the nonprofit sector, offering a unique opportunity for the sector to rebrand itself. In this article, Vora outlines how the sector can “tell a different story about the work nonprofits do, why it matters, and why the sector must be a crucial part of any effort at strengthening our influence in society.”

THE NONPROFITS
Charities continue to serve communities affected by Covid-19, even as they deal with economic hardship and disrupted operations.

BRAC has allocated BDT 30 million (approximately US$355,000) for low-income families in Bangladesh who were impacted by Cyclone Amphan. Funds will focus on repairing households and water sanitation and hygiene facilities damaged to ensure people living in these areas can continue hygiene practices during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. BRAC is also providing cash assistance to 100,000 families affected by Covid-19 in Bangladesh.

ChildFund Korea is donating US$77,000 to a ChildFund Cambodia project that will help educate more than 275,000 children and their families across 334 villages in Cambodia. The project will help commune councils strengthen their relief plans as well as provide educational materials across national television and social media. Videos produced by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, UNICEF, and Save the Children will be part of the campaign focusing on disease prevention amidst Covid-19, learning from home, and mental and physical well-being, among other topics. Khmer Times interviewed other NGOs in Cambodia to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on nonprofits and how they are soldiering on.

THE BUSINESSES
Companies continue to donate cash and needed supplies to communities affected by Covid-19. For organizations dependent on CSR funding, the pouring of such funds into Covid-19 relief efforts is leaving them uncertain about their future projects. 

In Bangladesh, mobile finance service provider Bkash is the latest company to add a ‘Donation’ button to the main menu of its mobile app to streamline donations to 11 humanitarian organizations aiding Covid-19 relief efforts. Dettol Harpic Porichchonno Bangladesh (DHPB) will donate hygiene products such as Dettol soaps, Harpic cleaners, and other products to 50,000 families across the country, in partnership with BRAC and Bangladesh Scouts. The company will also partner with BRAC to provide cash donations to 500 poor and needy families in rural Bangladesh. 

In China, Ant Financial Services Group released its 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, detailing its efforts to leverage digital technology for social good. The report also details the variety of digital services and measures launched to help fight Covid-19 and mitigate its impacts. 

In India, ET Intelligence Group looks at how Covid-19 is likely to have a severe impact on traditional CSR expenditure and the ecosystem dependent on it, as donations to the PM Cares Fund and Covid-19 relief work qualify as CSR expenditure. The article highlights how some companies in India have already exceeded their FY19 CSR expenditure on Covid-19 related efforts. Whether companies will expand their CSR budgets given the pandemic is still a question to be answered. According to an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office on May 13, the PM CARES fund will allocate ₹3,100 crore (approximately US$410 million) to Covid-19 relief measures, including funds for ventilators, migrant workers, and vaccine development. The announcement comes one and a half months after the fund was established on March 27. SBI Foundation, the CSR arm of State Bank of India, has committed ₹30 crore (approximately US$4 million) to implement various Covid-19 relief programs across the country.

In Malaysia, brands joined forces to launch CSR efforts that support communities in need during Ramadan. This includes Fave Malaysia, Nestle Malaysia, UMobile, Tiffin, AirAsia, Shell Malaysia, and others. Nestle has mobilized its value chain to launch a global Covid-19 response, including in Malaysia. Nestle has pledged to support 200,000 socially vulnerable Malaysians amid the crisis, committed US$3.4 million to a fund that will supplement the livelihoods of lower-income communities and small enterprises, donated US$230,000 to the Malaysian Red Crescent, donated 10,000 Nestle family food packages, and channeled US$115,000 to the Yayasan Food Bank Malaysia. 

In Pakistan, the National Bank of Pakistan has topped up earlier contributions towards Covid-19 relief with a donation of Rs80 million (approximately US$500,000) to support over 26,000 financially vulnerable households.

In the Philippines, LT Group is donating a bio-molecular laboratory, worth P15 million (approximately US$300,000), to the Philippine Red Cross in Batangas City, capable of conducting 4,000 Covid-19 tests daily. The lab is scheduled to be completed within a month. Union Bank of the Philippines’ UShare donation platform is helping ramp-up relief operations by facilitating online donations to NGOs in the largely cash-based country. Since the quarantine began, daily transactions via the platform have increased by 87%. Hyundai Motor through H.A.R.I. Foundation, the CSR arm of Hyundai Asian Resources, donated 2,200 PPE items to the Lung Center of the Philippines. Philippines Tatler gives a round up of Filipinos leading the fight against Covid-19, from conglomerates like SM Group to local mayors. The government also launched a public-private task force T3 (Test, Trace, and Treat) to urgently expand testing for Covid-19 from approximately 4,500 tests per day to at least 30,000 tests per day. The government task force is receiving support from the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the Philippine National Red Cross, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and other private sector actors.

In Singapore, Perennial Real Estate Holding and Hong Kong-based Shun Tak Holdings have teamed up to donate five million surgical masks to the National Council of Social Service for vulnerable communities, making it the largest donation of surgical masks in Singapore for Covid-19 to date. Some Singaporean companies who do not need the Government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) payouts have decided to return the payouts to government, while others are donating the money to charity. For example, German pharmaceutical group Boehringer Ingelheim is donating its JSS payouts to five charities selected by its employees. Food firm TiffinLabs, co-founded by one of Singapore’s youngest billionaires Kishin R.K., has setup the Food is Love Foundation to give free meals to the needy during Covid-19. This includes 20,000 restaurant-quality meals in partnership with charity Free Food For All and 10,000 meals to healthcare workers, among other initiatives.

In Cambodia, Coca-Cola Cambodia diverted US$200,000 from its advertising budget to invest directly in a campaign to help stop the spread of Covid-19. The company also partnered with the Ministry of Health, City Hall, Union Youth Federations of Cambodia, and Samdech Techo Voluntary Youth and Doctors Association to help distribute anti-epidemic supplies, PPE, and educational materials to impoverished communities, front-line medical workers, tuk-tuk drivers, hospitals, health centers and quarantine facilities. 

THE INNOVATORS

Crowdfunding projects help virus-hit businesses in Japan. Popular crowdfunding sites Campfire, Readyfor, and MotionGallery have waived commission fees since late February. Since, these platforms have raised a total of over ¥1.7 billion (approximately US$16 million) for at least 1,000 projects up till May 8, including support for restaurants, hotel operators, and event hosts who suffered sharp falls in sales amid Covid-19.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Oxfam to close in 18 countries, including its country offices in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Oxfam International is to lay off almost 1,500 staff and close operations in 18 countries as the nonprofit’s funding has been impacted by Covid-19 and recent scandals, including the Haiti sex abuse scandal. The charity announced that it will focus on ushering in change and facilitating a deeper footprint of impact in the countries they will continue to operate in.

Covid-19 shrinks civic space in Southeast Asia. In a recent article for The Jakarta Post, the directors of Bangkok-based Asia Centre highlight examples from across Southeast Asia, where civil society organizations (CSOs) are feeling the grip of Covid-19 legislation and social distancing measures. The article looks at how restrictions have halted organizations’ work and how funding has been diverted from CSOs to Covid-19 relief efforts.

International NGOs likely to slash funds for Nepal as pandemic affects developed world, stakeholders say. According to the Development Cooperation Report 2018-19 published by the Finance Ministry, international NGOs disbursed US$215 million to various projects in Nepal in that year. Stakeholders expressed uncertainty about whether the country will see the same funding commitments in the coming year amidst Covid-19. The president of the Association of International NGOs in Nepal noted that while aid pledged to the health sector is likely to remain stable, funding to other sectors might decrease. After the Social Welfare Council allowed foreign NGOs to divert 20% of their budget to Covid-19 efforts, a growing number of foreign NGOs have followed suit.

For microfinance lenders, Covid-19 is an existential threat. The Economist argues that the financial interests of the world’s poorest are not receiving enough attention as Covid-19 impacts microfinance lenders around the world. The article includes examples from Asia, such as Dvara Trust in Chennai, India and the microfinance arm of BRAC in Bangladesh, who are unable to carry out business as usual amidst lockdown measures and economic headwinds from the crisis.

Korean NGO’s role in supporting ‘comfort women’ questioned. The Diplomat reports on recent accusations from a former victim of mishandled donations. According to the Korean daily Chosun Ilbo, if allegations are true, the NGO Korean Council for Justice Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan might have exaggerated when reporting to the tax authorities. In a press conference, the NGO’s director Yoon Mi-hyang admitted there were mistakes in the organization’s accounting practices but pointed to “the nature of a civic group without enough people to handle heavy workloads.”

We’d also like to hear from you. How is your organization responding to Covid-19? Email us your stories at research@caps.org

Responding to Covid-19: Who’s Doing Good?

28 April 2020 - 11 May 2020

THE GIVERS
Individuals continue to donate cash, services, and supplies to Covid-19 relief efforts.

Hussain Dawood, chairman of Pakistan’s Engro Corporation and Dawood Hercules Corporation, pledged PKR1 billion (approximately US$6.3 million), in services, supplies, and cash to support various organizations in their fight against Covid-19.

Enrique Razon and his group of companies have donated Php 500 million (approximately US$10 million) in medical supplies. The company foundations of both Solarie and International Container Terminal Services have also contributed to other relief efforts, such as creating and retrofitting Covid-19 treatment facilities and donating food.

Senior administrators at Hong Kong’s nine main universities are donating portions of their salaries to Covid-19 relief funds. Presidents and vice-presidents at The Education University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The University of Hong Kong, Lingnan University, and The Open University of Hong Kong will give 10% of their salary for the next 12 months. The Chinese University of Hong Kong president, along with seven pro vice-chancellors and vice-presidents, will give 15% of their monthly salaries from May to December.

THE THINKERS

CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies) Senior Adviser and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics Scott Kennedy examines the response of Chinese philanthropists to Covid-19. According to data from the YISHAN China Philanthropy Data Center, donations to public charities from late January to April 22 had reached over US$5 billion. The large majority (72%) had come from companies. The article looks at the breakdown of corporate donations to Covid-19 relief efforts by industry, firm ownership, and regional distribution.

Tao Ze, Founder and President of YISHAN, shares his observations on Covid-19 and its effect on the nonprofit sector in China. This includes insights into the impact of the crisis on operations and growth of nonprofits, government support for the sector, and what other countries can learn from China’s social delivery organizations.

THE NONPROFITS
Charities are stepping up their operations and joining forces to serve communities affected by Covid-19.

In 13 states in India, NGOs fed more people than government did during lockdown. According to a reply submitted by the central government to the Supreme Court: 84,260,509 people in India were provided meals during the lockdown that started on March 25. Overall nearly 37% people were fed by NGOs, but in 13 states, NGOs outperformed state governments in providing free meals. In nine states and union territories, NGOs fed more than 75% of the people who were provided meals during the lockdown. In Kerala and Telangana, all meals were exclusively provided by NGOs. To ensure uninterrupted supply of food grains for NGOs carrying out these services, the central government directed the Food Corporation of India to provide wheat and rice to NGOs at the open market sale rates without the e-auction process, which previously was only offered to state governments and registered bulk users.

THE BUSINESSES
Companies are contributing to Covid-19 relief funds and donating needed supplies to affected communities. Companies are also expanding their efforts to aid other countries where they operate.

In Japan, Sony announced that it will manufacture and donate medical face shields to hospitals to make up any shortfall in PPE (personal protective equipment) for healthcare workers. Sony will also help mass produce ventilators designed and developed by Acoma Medical Industry. Toyota, Suntory, Mitsubishi Motors, Teijin, Toray, Kao, Fast Retailing, and Shiseido have also pivoted their production lines or launched new operations to ease the shortage of medical supplies. Daiichi Sankyo announced a US$1 million donation, through the Japan Center for International Exchange, to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund. LINE Corporation and its group companies have set forth 15 different initiatives to support its users in Japan, as well as an array of initiatives for users in Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand. These include facilitating donations, medical consultations, mental health counseling, and more. Mitsubishi Electric announced it will contribute JPY100 million (nearly US$1 million) to support frontline medical workers in Japan and children who are affected by the suspension of school. Eisai, the Japanese pharmaceutical company, is funding and donating PPE to healthcare institutions and organizations in Japan, 10 other Asian countries, the United States, and 8 European countries. 

In Korea, Oriental Brewery (OB) and L’Oreal, through their Korea arms, have contributed to relief funds, conducted volunteer activities, and donated supplies to help fight Covid-19.

In Indonesia, 13 Singaporean companies donated 100,000 masks and five tonnes of hand sanitizer to the city of Batam, where 11 of these companies operate. The effort was organized by Singapore’s Economic Development Board, and donations will go to frontline healthcare workers. Chinese iron and steel company Rockcheck Group and Indonesian conglomerate Rajawali Corpora joined forces and donated over a million surgical masks and gloves, after a previous donation of PPE, to support healthcare workers. The Rockcheck Group has donated 100 million yuan (US$14.1 million) so far to eight countries severely affected by the pandemic.

In Myanmar, telecom operator Ooredoo Myanmar donated over 13,000 pre-loaded SIM cards to regional and state governments to distribute to individuals in quarantine centers. Ooredoo is also providing toll-free call access to Consultation Call Centres for those seeking medical advice or information related to Covid-19. Korea’s SK Energy and SK Trading International have donated 4,000 Covid-19 test kits, worth around US$50,000, to Myanmar. POSCO International also donated 100 virus test kits that can run 10,000 tests to Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports.

In the Philippines, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) is aiding government relief fund distribution. RCBC was given the authority by the Monetary Board to accept government funds and assist in cash distribution under the social amelioration program for Covid-19. Downstream oil industry companies spent Php180 million (approximately US$3.6 million) through their CSR programs for Covid-19 relief efforts. They also donated PPE and gave free fuel to frontliners. The Philippines arm of Macau’s Suncity Group donated US$1 million worth of PPE to 40 public hospitals in Luzon province. LT Group has mobilized at least Php200 million (approximately US$4 million) worth of internal resources to aid frontline medical workers, healthcare institutions, and military personnel. Alliance Global Group companies have donated over Php603 million (approximately US$12 million) to support the country’s medical workers, NGOs, and impacted communities. It also waived rental charges for tenants in various Megaworld and Lifestyle Malls.

In Hong Kong, the business sector is contributing to the fight against Covid-19. A recent article in South China Morning Post highlights examples from the array of corporate relief measures—from offering financial support to providing hotel rooms and testing kits. Examples include relief efforts from HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, New World Development’s hotel arm, Pentahotel Hong Kong, and a collaboration between Prudential and Prenetics. Bank of China (Hong Kong), through its BOCHK Centenary Charity Programme, donated HK$50 million (approximately US$6.5 million) to charitable organization Po Leung Kuk to support a total of 31 programs. Bank of China (Hong Kong) also sponsored the distribution of anti-epidemic packs to Po Leung Kuk’s beneficiaries. Hong Kong-based Baring Private Equity Asi (BPEA) announced a US$5 million Covid-19 Relief Fund to support affected communities across the region. BPEA Founding Partner and CEO, along with the firm’s four other investment committee members, will forego and contribute 100% of their annual salaries.

In India, Goodera, a Series B funded startup and India’s largest platform for CSR and employee volunteering, is leading India Inc’s efforts against Covid-19. Goodera has curated a list of real-time needs of medical institutions, NGOs, and state governments to facilitate coordination with companies looking to deploy CSR funds to vetted and approved organizations. Goodera has also enabled its massive network of volunteers to virtually lend management expertise to help NGOs execute projects and scale up their operations. Through its dedicated portal for Covid-19, Goodera has seen over 1 million volunteers sign up, and nearly 250,000 users are actively participating in Covid-19 relief campaigns. With CSR funds going directly to Covid-19, NGOs in India are looking at steep reduction in corporate support. FSG, a social action nonprofit, shares perspectives on how CSR funders and nonprofits in India can navigate funding needs amidst Covid-19. Interviews with 18 CSR leaders and corporate CEOs show that companies are giving to relief efforts—directly or through the PM CARES Fund and chief ministers’ relief funds. However, much of this funding has come from CSR budgets, with the remaining being prioritized for nonprofits addressing Covid-19 issues. This has left nonprofits focusing on other issues uncertain about the funding of their projects. Yet, the question on how to prioritize CSR funding during Covid-19 sees different responses. In Pakistan, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has advised all listed companies to divert their CSR funds towards fighting Covid-19.

THE INNOVATORS

Promoting resilient social enterprise ecosystems: Cambodian ecosystem enablers are pivoting their operations during Covid-19 to support the country’s entrepreneurs. For example, SHE Investments and Technovation Girls both have moved their accelerators and coaching services for female entrepreneurs online. Impact Hub Phnom Penh has coordinated with the private sector, universities, and ministry partners to run the HacKHtheCrisis virtual hackathon, which brings together different actors who are already working on addressing Covid-19. CAPS partners in Indonesia, PLUS and Instellar, have also moved training programs online in order to keep supporting social enterprise startups during lockdown. In Korea, CAPS partner Underdogs has also introduced online training. 

Precious One, an Indonesian social enterprise, employs disabled crafters for its handicraft business. This video by The Jakarta Post shows how the enterprise has pivoted during Covid-19 to produce cloth face masks and keep their business afloat.

THE TRUSTBREAKERS 

In this section, we usually share stories about scandals that are having negative repercussions for the social sector. With the fear and anxiety surrounding Covid-19, there are some trust-breaking stories circulating from price-gouging to faulty medical supplies. Fortunately, the stories of people being constructive during these times far outnumber them. We look forward to bringing more of these positive stories to you in the coming weeks.

We’d also like to hear from you. How is your organization responding to Covid-19? Email us your stories at research@caps.org