Thistle Praxis releases report on Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming more intricately linked with business strategy in Nigeria.

Although levels of implementation vary across the board, there is a growing understanding that a business can be a force for good and bring about positive social change. Compared to a decade ago, Nigerian companies are more directly involved in community development projects and frequently support non-governmental organizations to execute programmes that align with corporate strategy.

In an effort to understand these trends and gather data on CSR practices and engagement levels in Nigeria, Thistle Praxis Consulting recently surveyed 700 businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and multinationals and released a report called the “State of CSR in Nigeria.” The report offers critical data points that are helpful in understanding the corporate social responsibility landscape in Nigeria.

Here are 3 interesting findings from the report:

CSR is increasingly important to corporate strategy, but has not been institutionalized by many organizations

Nigerian companies believe that there is a lot to be gained in engaging in social responsibility – some experience greater brand acceptance, increased product innovation, and in a few cases, higher profit margins. According to the report, 68% of those surveyed accept that CSR is important to corporate strategy. ‘Giving Back’ and being a part of ‘Business Strategy’ were listed as the top motivations for engaging in CSR activities. However, as a practice, corporate social responsibility is not highly institutionalized as only 38% have documented policies and 35% have a CSR department within the organization.

Most organizations implement or support programmes focused on education, youth development and health

The top three thematic areas for organizations are education (53%), youth development (35%), and health (33%). In choosing these focus areas, organizations say the CEO’s interest (39%) is the most important factor. Community relevance (27%), and availability of funding (25%) are the next deciding factors. Less than half of the respondents (44%) reported that they align their support with national goals or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in choosing focus areas.

Approximately half of the companies engage in measurement, monitoring and evaluation of programmes

49% of the those surveyed engage in measurement, monitoring and evaluation with the most popular strategies being project monitoring (33%), impact assessments (26%) and needs assessment (23%). This is particularly striking since monitoring and evaluation is not widely adopted even within the development sector. Only 29% of the organizations measure the return on investment on interventions and 62% of the respondents experienced no increase in revenue.

For more information on the study, visit Sustainable Convo.

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