last update: 22-06-2019

 

 
 

The Closure of the 5th International Congress on Corporate Social Responsibility

MAHAK's New Step in Acting on CSR by Observing Transparency and Accountability
 
The 5 th International Congress on Corporate Social Responsibility was held on the occasion of the International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) on 25 February 2019 with the themes of "Planning Models, Implementation Models and Reporting Standards" at MAHAK. In this specialized event the following professionals were present as keynote speakers and panelists: Ahmad Pourfallah, Member of the Board of Trustees of MAHAK and the secretary of the 4 previous CSR congresses; Arasb Ahmadian, the congress secretary and the CEO of MAHAK; Martin Sedlemayer, IPMA Vice President Products and Services; Christoph Hamelmann, WHO Representative in Iran; Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director at UN Global Compact; Dr. Abbas Hoshi, Faculty Member at Management and Accounting Faculty of Shahid Beheshti University; Will Parks, Resident Representative of UNICEF in Iran; Hamed Shadkam, CEO of Kerman Khodro Industrial Group; Gholamreza Safakish, IPMA Vice President Education, Training and Young Crew; Nasrin Noorshahi, President of Institute for Research and Planning in Higher Education; Yvonne Schoper, Professor at HTW Berlin - University of Applied Sciences; Saba Kamkar, Manager of Innovation and Development Department of MAHAK; Sharif Nezam Mafi, Member of the Board of Trustees of MAHAK, Chairman of Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce; Alireza Sheikh, Faculty Member at the Faculty of Management, Science and Technology of Amir Kabir University of Technology; Farid Bidgoli, Country Manager at Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. 
 
MAHAK is a role model for other organizations
Since appreciation is one of the core principles of MAHAK, Ahmad Pourfallah, the member of the board of trustees and the secretary for the four previous CSR congresses gave a welcome message and appreciated the participation of the MAHAK family. Regarding the 5 th CSR congress Pourfallah stated: "The core idea of establishing MAHAK was supporting children with cancer and their families with an unlimited love in this path; this little family made its place in the hearts of the people with adapting accountability and transparency in a way that now it has members from different strata of the society regardless of any criteria. However what had been missing in this path is the participation of business entities that had always shown their support towards the society with charitable activities like constructing watered warehouses, caravansaries and orphanages; but now we are witnessing their companionship, in spite of their own particular concerns. This companionship has enabled us to organize the fifth International Congress on Corporate Social Responsibility, as a model for other organizations, with collaboration of chambers of commerce as one of the main representatives of  business entitieswith the aim to merely promote the noble concept of corporate social responsibility."
 
Corporate Social Responsibility should create added value for the organizations
MAHAK the Society to Support Children Suffering from Cancer in its first strategic plan, devised in 2006, has highlighted the importance of promoting the concept of social responsibility by NGOs and business entities and in its first step by holding the first two CSR congresses has focused more on this concept and introducing its literature. In addition, during the third CSR congress, it examined the status of this issue in international context, especially from the perspective of the principles of sustainability of the United Nations Global Compact and the focus of the forth congress was studying practical projects of social responsibility in the national and international contexts and exchange of experiences in this field. In the same vain, Arasb Ahmadian appreciated the presence of NGOs and international partner organizations, industry representatives, members of chambers of commerce, representatives of economic enterprises and professors and students from the field of management and economics,. Moreover, the CEO of MAHAK presented a comprehensive report on the activities of MAHAK and stated: “One of the principles of MAHAK's mission is promoting the supreme concept of supporting the fellow beings and this mission is expected to develop a new concept of corporate philanthropy."
 
Ahmadian asserted that currently more opportunities for developing which are resulted from the four previous CSR congresses and added: "Corporate social responsibility is faced with three general approaches of companies and business entities (strategy), universities (value chain), and standards (sustainable development). According to Porter, a famous economist and strategic planner, entering corporate social responsibility should add to the organization's value chain."
 
The CEO of MAHAK elaborated on the three levels of corporate social responsibility and said: "Corporate social responsibility is carried out in three levels of benevolent participation, risk management and added value creations. The first condition meets the interest of  the management system of the organizations; in risk management, companies focus on social responsibility in order to cover their risks, but in creating added value, the companies compete in a healthy business environment. The operational effects of these three levels range from low levels to sustained ones. "
 
In the end, Ahmadian concluded: "We, at MAHAK have tried to move from the first level to the third one, and we have also strived to act as a linkage from the most superficial type of partnership and collaboration to its ideal type."
 
Designing a professional framework to create indicators for assessing completed projects in line with sustainable development goals
MAHAK, in order to ensure the efficiency of its activities and choosing the best way in accomplishing its mission, exposes itself to international assessments voluntarily. In the same vain, this charity organization, after a decade of continuous effort to improve its performance, has become the top scorer in the global NGO Benchmark practice of Societe Generale de Surveillance with the score of 97.5% from among all the organizations which have valid certificates. Moreover, MAHAK has been recognized as the Gold Winner of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) Global Project Achievement Award the category of Sustainable Development Projects in 2018 for its HLA (Human Leucocyte Antigen) Bank for the second time since it had won IPMA's Project Management Achievement Award in Internationally Funded Humanitarian Aid Project in 2014. The mentioned achievements are among the successes of this organization in accomplishing its mission.
 
Martin Sedlmayer, the Vice President of Product and Services at International Project Management Association delivered an introduction of IPMA and stated that IPMA is the first and only professional association in this field in the world. He continued: “The International Project Management Association, which has 71 active members, has been established since 1965. IPMA aims to serve as an international network focused on project management not only to provide tools and management methods in this regard, but also to evaluate successful projects in the Global Award section. This Association also addresses the training of managers and organizations in the field of project management.
 
"In addition to these issues, the association seeks to work in line with its social responsibility by designing a framework entitled ‘code of ethics and professional conduct’ for measuring and evaluating projects carried out in line with the objectives of sustainable development.
In other words, it tries to maintain its credibility and commitment to the owners of each project, and to act responsibly in relation to its members and the society in the field of education and environment protection."
 
MAHAK is an organization that fulfills its social responsibility
Christoph Hamelmann, WHO Representative in Iran, pointed out the issue of health in this organization and its relation to social responsibility and added: "The thirteenth general program of work for 2019 to 2023, which was developed last year during the World Health Assembly, put its strategic priorities on Health Coverage, Health Emergency and Health Priorities. Also, with regard to the third goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which addresses the issue of health, it can be taken along with other UN agencies as well as the global financial supporter organizations in the realization and coverage of health for people in the society".
 
"Therefore adapting the activities of an organization and its performance with the social responsibility approach is essential," he added. According to his words, when considering social responsibility, organizations are faced with accountability and transparency in reporting on their performance. Using this model, MAHAK has been able to prepare a GRI Report in the three areas of economics, society, and the environment and has been recognized globally as an organization which acts on its social responsibility. "
 
Establishing and Maintaining International Relations with Standard Reporting Based on GRI
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are a set of accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and act as a common accounting language.
 
The purpose of these standards is to prepare corporate financial statements in the form of a global standard. In this regard, Abbas Hoshi, a faculty member at the Faculty of accounting and Management of Shahid Beheshti University, emphasizing the importance of presenting financial and tax standard reports, said: "GRI reporting is based on an independent global standard designed to inform economic actors, governments and other organizations in understanding and communicating the impact of their activities on issues such as human rights and the environment. Hence, applying such reporting systems to their management approach will result in establishing and maintaining international communications, developing communications with stakeholders and maintaining their trust."
"On the other hand, since the main issue is to provide a clear overview of how resources are provided and how they are spent in organizations, reporting in a standard way will, in addition to fulfilling the principles of accountability and transparency, maintain confidence and fight corruption" he added. 
 
Achieving Global Goals through Forming the Global Compact’s Local Network of Iran
MAHAK, as an NGO has become a member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2016. Membership in this institution provides a platform for access to up-to-date knowledge and information, expanding the concept of social responsibility in line with the goals of sustainable development and communication among professionals.
 
In the same vein, Liz Kingo, representative of the United Nations Global Compact, who presented her speech through the video conferencing, pointed out the importance of membership and reporting in this organization and stated: “Global Compact is the largest sustainable development organization in the world with 70 local networks and nearly 10 companies in 160 countries that have committed themselves to align their strategies with the ten principles of human rights, work, environment and anti-corruption. Considering Iranian businesses participation in sustainable development, all the enthusiasts and participants in the congress, from various fields such as the academic sector, business enterprises and charities, are invited to join Global Compact and establish closer ties with the ultimate achievement of forming the Local Network of Iran and making global goals."
 
Accurate and transparent reporting is the first step of Corporate Social Responsibility
MAHAK supports all cancer-stricken children, below sixteen, and their families. This is while each day, on average, 6 new cases of children with cancer join MAHAK. According to MAHAK's commitment, public donations are only utilized for the purpose of supporting children with cancer therefore the expenses of the congresses held at MAHAK are covered by financial sponsors. On the other hand, MAHAK's congresses are free for its participants in order to fulfill its social responsibility by exchanging knowledge and experiences. Hamed Shadkam, CEO of Kerman Khodro Industrial Group which was one of the financial sponsors of this congress, as the representatives of the congress' sponsors introduced his organizations goals in line with CSR.
 
Regarding the financial returns he stated: "The financial returns affects the stakeholders who have economic activities. As a result, the concern of companies is lining up the benefits of their stakeholders which is a difficult task and needs special tools. As a result, each economic organization is required to respond to these two issues, and by providing accurate and transparent reports, take the first step in their social responsibility, which results in long-term returns, increased participation with NGOs, and increased competitiveness among business enterprises.”
 
A Specialized Panel on Planning Models
The first panel of the 5th congress on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) started with the speech of Gholamreza Safakish, IPMA Vice President of Education, Training and Young Crew with the focus on the importance of social responsibility project management. Safakish stated: "In this panel we will focus on the nature of planning in the field of CSR and its relation to the NGOs."
Nasrin Noorshahi, President of Institute for Research and Planning in Higher Education, as a representative of the think factory of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, stated: “Paleontologists point out that human beings have always needed the help of one another since the first day of creation in all stages of their life. Therefore, the fact that human’s social need is in his or her own nature and not adventitious has been considered. However, this inherent need is sometimes forgotten, during the last two or three decades the academic organizations have strived to highlight the concept of social responsibility with the view that all human-made firms including business entities, NGOs and community-based organizations have the sense of social responsibility in their nature.”
 
From the academic perspective, the social responsibility of universities includes human rights, sustainable development, identification of distinctions and characteristics such as gender identification and minorities, ethics, organizational management and humanitarian indicators.
 
Accordingly, universities are attempting to effectively address social issues by planning their strategy of social responsibility through creating a strategic and leadership program in line with NGOs organizations based on a theoretical model in four steps of: the values, management, operations and measurement of the impacts.
In addition, Yvonne Schoper from HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences delivered her speech on Projectification in societies and asserted that: "project Management is the common way of implementing any kind of activities these days because projects are a part of our daily life; organizing a wedding ceremony or planning for holidays are projects and today all organizations in the world need to know about the knowledge of project management. In definition of professor Midler, project management is a combination of two words, organizational and project which includes all aspects of life. Therefore, the knowledge of project management can be a communication loop between the goals of NGOs and corporate social responsibilities of business entities.
Saba Kamkar, manager of MAHAK’s Innovation and Development Department, introduced MAHAK’s CSR project, HLA (Human leucocyte Antigen) Typing Bank, as the first example of CSR in action and said: “CSR is a strategic discussion at the planning level of the organization's cornerstones linked with its key performance indicators.”
 
Highlighting the fact that CSR does not only target the profitability in a short-term manner with advertising campaigns, Kamkar said: “12 years ago when we had just entered the field of CSR, by studying the proposals for social responsibility projects we found out that MAHAK is not ready to enter this topic. Then, gradually by promoting this concept in the society, defining accurate objectives, identifying indices and being innovative, MAHAK could implement a practical CSR project with the collaboration of private sector which is HLA (Human leucocyte Antigen) Typing Bank. This project has been defined considering the needs of the patient and his/her family, the treatment protocol and required services, the necessary infrastructure and needed resources in order to provide the most efficient services.”
 
A Specialized Panel on Implementation Models
Dr. Alireza Sheikh, Faculty Member of Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT) mentioned different working methods in universities and said: “Academic centers are operating in four various generations. The first generation is education-oriented and the second one is research-oriented. The third generation are the entrepreneurship scientific centers and the forth are society-oriented ones who work on eliminating the big social issues. On this basis, AmirKabir University is among the third category of entrepreneurship activities. A ten floor technology tower has been set up at the university that currently seven floors of it is in operation and innovative firms can change into embedded ones utilizing this space.”
As the second lecturer of this panel, Farid Bidgoli, the Country Manager of Roche Iran, delivered an introduction on pharmaceutical activities of Roche and said: “Roche has originated from a family in which social responsibility is a significant concept. According to the field of Roche’s activity including health, the realization of global sustainable development goals through utilizing local capacities is considerable. During more than 100 years of activity, Roche has implemented various humanitarian, art & cultural, social and researching social responsibility projects.”
 
Mentioning that a firm’s life expectancy is 18 years based on global data, he stated: “the success code of Roche during the century is considering the changes and subsequently, adapting its working practices to these circumstances and innovations. Moreover, cooperating with more than 90,000 dedicated and enthusiastic workforces creates the capacity to benefit executive ideas in social responsibility projects.”
 
He continued: “founding Roche Employee Action & Charity Trust in 2006 with the ability of converting 18 million Euros to provision of services so far is another step to pursuing its social responsibility and eliminating society issues.”
 
Will Parks, UNICEF representative in Iran, delivered his speech on the importance of social responsibility in improving the life quality of children. Introducing the philosophy of UNICEF’s existence and pointing out the impact of businesses on children’s lives, he said: “Children are the next generation and every business firm or economic entity has a great and effective role on children’s lives. Hence, one of the UNICEF activities includes assisting economic entity to have better impact on life of children by supporting them as well as maintaining their rights.
 
He added: “developing a children’s rights framework with cooperation of Save the Children and UN Global Compact with the aim of achieving a better risk management, accreditation and assisting in supplying social resources, maintaining the platform of professional activities, developing a creative next generation and contributing to the sustainable development goals is one of the actions taken to this end. Moreover, UNICEF’s office in Iran has implemented various activities with cooperation and support of economic entities by focusing on innovation and finding solutions, building safe cities for children and founding businesses that preserve children’s right with considering their future.
 
As the conclusion of the panel, Sharif Nezam Mafi, chairman of the Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce and moderator of this panel, mentioned the presence of a diverse group of representatives from  an economic entity, UNICEF and a reputable and entrepreneur university as the panel members and said: “the combination of expert people in the panel of Implementation Models is significant since all of them have addressed social responsibility in their own specialized field and what has been shared here is their own experiences and points of view accordingly.”
 
Acting on Social Responsibility by Maintaining Transparency in Performance and Transfer of Knowledge and Experiences to the Stakeholders
Saideh Ghods, the founder of MAHAK in the end of the congress stated: "Appreciation is one of the core principles of MAHAK therefore we appreciate all the participants who aimed to fulfill their social responsibility while they have the concern of supporting their fellow beings. Altruism is what Iranians have always been bestowed with and we have always supported one another in hard situations. Acting on corporate social responsibility is occurring as the same result and in line with loyalty toward stakeholders and preserving transparency in MAHAK's performance and the exchange of our knowledge and experiences. We hope to witness more success in obviating social issues by utilizing the knowledge of project management."
 
MAHAK and IPMA joint Panel Discussion at the International Project Management Conference
The 14th International Project Management Conference was held on 24 February 2019 in Razi Conference Hall in Tehran. In this conference, different speeches and presentations were delivered regarding the field of project management along with workshops and discussion panels revolving around the same topic.
 
MAHAK- the Society to Support Children Suffering from Cancer in collaboration with the International Project Management Association (IPMA) had a discussion panel in the course of this conference. In addition, the manager of Project Management Office (PMO) and Systems Development Department of MAHAK had a presentation on the available opportunities for running a project in non-project based organizations.
 
The members of the specialized panel of MAHAK and IPMA were Martin Sedlmayer, IPMA Vice President Products and Services; Gholamreza Safakish - IPMA Vice President Education, Training and Young Crew; Farid Bidgoli, Country Manager at Roche Ltd. In this specialized panel IPMA representatives asserted that projects can have different natures, not just civil projects can be called projects. One category of them can be soft projects in which humanitarian projects fall. IPMA representatives emphasized that experts who gain this knowledge can be successful in their work.
In addition, in this panel MAHAK's HLA Typing Bank Project was scrutinized from the perspective of project management knowledge and experiences of MAHAK in this regard were exchanged.
 
Moreover, Farid Bidgoli as the manager of a famous business entity asserted that in case they decide to support an NGO they will choose the one in which the society places its trust. He highlighted the fact that the NGOs which use project management will have better performances and therefore better trusted.
 
It should be mentioned that MAHAK with cooperation of International Project Management Association (IPMA) intends to utilize the knowledge of project management and its related techniques for developing a program for cancer centric organizations. Moreover, it is planned to extend this professional look to project management in Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and among its members in international level. MAHAK believes that cancer centric organizations can progress their project, utilize their resources optimally and prepare standard reports through acquiring this knowledge. Accordingly, it strives to encourage UICC and other international cancer centric organizations to utilize project management in line with their goals by institutionalization of this knowledge.
 
We hope that employing the tools and techniques of project management will help the organizations to operate based on two principles of transparency and accountability and utilize the resources in a most effective way. To achieve the ultimate goal of being in the path of excellence together, MAHAK strives to share its knowledge and experiences with other cancer centric organizations in line with its mission of supporting children suffering from cancer.
 
Cultural Development for the Optimal Use of Civil Society Assets
MAHAK – the Society to Support Children Suffering from cancer strives to create a proper field of cooperation among the community based organizations, the economic entities and government in order to operationalization of social responsibility projects and ultimately elimination of social issues.
 
This organization strives to develop the culture of optimized use of civil society capital including individual contributions with the help of educational and research centers in order to facilitate passing the process of treatment days with hope and more effectiveness for children with cancer.
 

 

 

 

The Closure of the 5th International Congress on Corporate Social Responsibility
MAHAK's New Step in Acting on CSR by Observing Transparency and Accountability