ACSRN brings Social Return on Investment (SROI) in the Arab World
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - The Arabia CSR Network (ACSRN) conducted the first Social Return on Investment (SROI) Training Programme on 15-16 March 2011 in Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel.
"As a service-oriented organization, it is the goal of ACSRN to strengthen corporate social responsibility in the Arab World. Thus, we are always on the look for the latest programmes that will add value to the CSR initiatives of our constituencies - the local and transnational companies, government and civil society organizations. We are hoping to make significant contributions so that investments to improve quality of life and conserve the environment will deliver the desired benefits to the workplace and the market place where the organization operates." [Habiba Al Marashi, President & CEO of ACSRN]
SROI is a popular social business performance valuation methodology among Corporate giants, academic institutions, government and civil society organizations in Europe, the United States, South East Asia and Africa.
The aim of SROI is to help organisations understand and manage the economic, social and environmental benefits they create. By translating social objectives into financial measures and focusing on important stakeholders-defined sources of value, SROI moves from traditional cost-benefit analysis towards capturing the economic value of social benefits. It is a model allowing stakeholders to participate in the same way organisations make decisions on allocating resources.
The SROI ratio is a monetized measure of the social value created, instead of the investment required to achieve that impact. It takes the financial concept of return on investment a step further by capturing social, economic, and environmental value in addition to financial worth.
"We have brought to the Region Professor Peter Scholten, the 18th most influential man from the Netherlands on social & development entrepreneurship and social business performance valuation. We also hand-picked the participants for the Training Programme as we are looking forward to become the exclusive service provider of SROI in the Region in the Middle East and North Africa Region." [Habiba Al Marashi]
The SROI framework has three key features: the stakeholder approach, the impact map, and the value estimation of what would have been created even without the organisation's intervention.
Based on social and environmental accounting principles, the approach includes a process for involving stakeholders. Each stakeholder first identifies his/her own objectives for the programme, from which common objectives are identified, thus allowing an SROI analysis that is specific to each stakeholder.
What made the Training Programme more special is that the lunch for the second day was prepared by a special Team of Chefs from Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel. True to its mission of providing the finest Arabian hospitality to its guests, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel is contributing to the society by bringing out the best from individuals who would like to be the best they can be. Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel did not have second thoughts of taking a 19 year old student - Rohit - who is deaf but a gifted individual on the field of culinary arts - to further hone his skills.
"Jumeirah Emirates Towers is a major contributor to the sustainable development of our local community through our Community Investment Program that ensures we are actively involved in supporting the community and share the same values to develop and grow within a mutually caring society that ensures long term future sustainability. When the Arabia CSR Network requested us to be their logistics partner in the SROI Training, we had no hesitation of giving the best assistance to the organization that is striving to push organizations to share its resources for the good of the society and the environment." [Andy King, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel]
Geehan William Aziz from the Sayga Investment Company, Sudan said, "The SROI Workshop is a breakthrough in the arena of CSR and why responsible businesses do embed CSR in their business. It assures organizations that there should be a RO for their CSR and provides a methodology and tools to evaluate the investment made based on monetary, time or in-kind contributions which might rely on estimates and stakeholders' input. A very interesting topic, interactive workshop facilitated by a capable instructor! Thank you ACSRN for availing this opportunity."
ACSRN is coming up with innovative services for the corporate sector of the MENA Region and the SROI Training is just the beginning.