The Advocacy and Promotion program aims at creating an enabling and favorable legal and policy environment for CSR practices and improve CSR performance among the business community. While existence of favorable legal and policy environment is crucial for enhanced CSR practices, the baseline assessment undertaken by OSD has pointed out that there is a limitation in the Ethiopian legal environment in terms of putting in place CSR specific policies and legal frameworks as well as containing legal provisions which encourage corporate bodies to meet desired objectives. Hence, one of the objectives of this program is to address this shortcoming by encouraging adoption of legal and policy frameworks which promote CSR practices. Furthermore, through this program OSD works to ensure effective implementation of various CSR provisions found in different laws by building the knowledge and understanding of the business community and concerned government administrative bodies on the CSR related laws and directives issued by the relevant authorities. OSD also works to enhance CSR practices among the business community under this program by engaging in promotion of good practices and different other activities.
The activities to be undertaken by OSD under this program will primarily focus on three intervention areas, namely, advocacy, legal literacy and promotion.
The advocacy work will take the form promoting adoption of CSR specific policy and laws, promoting effective implementation of existing CSR related laws and, lobbying for legal and policy revisions to include provisions which encourage engagement of businesses in CSR practices. For the three years period (2011-2013) the areas to be given particular emphasis are the following:
- Adoption of national CSR policy
- Raising understanding on the labor proclamation and the directives on labor relation and practices issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
- Raising understanding on Environment Impact Assessment and Pollution Control proclamations and, lobbying for issuing of directives by the relevant authority on selected issues.
- Raising understanding and create awareness on the revised Trade practice proclamation
- Advocate for adoption of legal provisions which provide tax incentives for community development activities of corporate entities.
- Promoting adoption of consumers protection law
The advocacy activity will rely on the research program to identify further intervention areas. OSD’s engagement takes the form drafting and forwarding policy/legal recommendations, organizing policy dialogues and debates, organizing article competitions on CSR legal and policy issues and publishing the articles and, conducting an advocacy networking forum with chambers of commerce, sector associations and relevant government bodies.
To ensure effective implementation of existing CSR laws and policies OSD engages in enhancing legal knowledge and understanding on CSR related laws, directives and policies among government administrative bodies and the business community. Its legal literacy intervention focuses on designing and transmitting radio programs on CSR related laws and policies and, designing and conducting trainings on CSR legal and policy frameworks for the business community and government administrative bodies.
Furthermore, OSD engages in promoting CSR good practices and performances and, facilitate their adoption and replications, consequently, to enhance CSR performance among the business community. In this regard OSD’s promotion activities include, organizing sector specific experience sharing forums, which is planned to be held on quarterly bases in collaboration with chambers of commerce and sector associations; facilitating development of a code of conduct for the business community, which is planned chambers of commerce and sectoral association to take the lead and OSD contribute by facilitating discussions among concerned bodies and forwarding draft recommendations; yearly publication of CSR index/handbook; facilitating a yearly CSR awarding/certifying program in collaboration with concerned government offices, chambers of commerce and sector associations; designing and transmitting radio programs and publishing articles on CSR good practices and; signing up to different international and regional CSR networks/initiatives and further promote the initiatives at the national level by establishing local level networking forums with businesses, chambers of commerce, sector associations, CSOs and relevant government bodies. The promotion activity rely on the research program for identification of existing CSR practices within the business community and, studying and contextualizing the international and regional CSR initiatives to the national level.