Top 5 Strategies for Impact Analysis of CSR projects

Companies nowadays receive various CSR project proposals throughout the year. They often struggle to pick the most eligible projects in terms of impact and compliance. However, the compliance evaluation is straightforward as the requirements are defined by the ministry of corporate affairs.

Here is a 5-step process to help the CSR managers or teams to choose the most suitable CSR projects in terms of the impact by synthesizing relevant information at each and every step.

Impact analysis. Image of two people analysing a graph.

Project Definition

The primary piece of information to be evaluated is the nature of the project. One should clearly identify the intervention areas of the project and should also evaluate whether those are aligned with the company’s CSR principles.

Critically one should evaluate the CSR project on the following:

  • What are the main features of the proposed course of action?
  • What are the expected results?
  • Does the project fit with the Globally  accepted CSR principles?

Strategy analysis

Next, the project’s relationship with the corporate strategy should be estimated. Moreover, the two sides of the interaction between the corporate and project strategy must be evaluated, which are the corporate know-how to manage the project and the project’s impact on the competitive advantage of the corporation.

Identifying such relationships will help the corporates to identify an opportunity for a potent source of innovation and competitive advantage.

At this point of step, one should seek an answer to the following questions:

  • Is the project related to the general corporate strategy?
  • What is its impact or effect on the corporate competitive advantage?

Evaluate Risk

It is also critical to estimate the probability of success or failure of the project. The good Intentions associated with the CSR projects do not offer a systematic guarantee of their success. Thus, the scenario of the project’s failure must also be estimated well in advance.

At the time of evaluating the project, one should always look at the risks which are associated with the corporate reputation and sustainability impact such as accidents that may damage the environment.

At the point of step, the main questions one should clearly seek clarity on:

  • How can we estimate the risk of the project success or failure from a  social and environmental impact perspective?
  • What is its estimated impact on the corporate reputational risk?

Identify Performance Metrics

Measurement framework of the project CSR performance must be developed. The performance metrics must be estimated from the points of view of the three sustainability pillars, that is social, environmental, and finance. Without such a clearly developed metric, it would sometimes be difficult for the companies to monitor and track the progress of the project.

Such clarity in metrics will help the CSR team to identify relevant challenges occurring on-ground in the project and make necessary and timely course corrections throughout the tenure of the project.

At the point of step, the main questions one should clearly seek clarity on:

  • How to measure the environmental effect of the project?
  • How to measure the social effect of the project?

Devise Communication Strategy

Revision of the marketing and communication policies associated with the project is the last step that should be considered. One should evaluate whether the reports issued by the corporation follow the rules about the communication on CSR and the rules issued by the regulators.

At the point of step, the main questions one should clearly seek clarity on:

  • How to communicate the project to the stakeholders?
  • Does the corporation follow the rules of the GRI?

This five-step framework will allow a CSR manager or the committee to make informed decisions to invest and assess the impact of the CSR projects. This framework is helpful for identifying, analysing and structuring the relevant information about the proposed CSR programs in order to add them to the companies CSR portfolio to achieve the desired impact.

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