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Strengthening Local 
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Facilitating Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate - CSO - Local Self Government (Gram Panchayat) Partnerships
Corporate Social Responsibilty (CSR) in developed countries has emphasised the need for environmental sensibilities, business ethics and social issues which infringe on business processes. In India though, the government has called on the corporate sector to "share the burden" in the wider context of rural development to address poverty alleviation.
However, given the central role that Gram Panchayats (Local Self Government) need to assume as an institution of the people, it can be argued that Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in rural development to alleviate poverty need to be done in partnership with institutions of local self governance, namely Gram Panchayats if they are to be sustainably integrated into the fabric of the local community. This requires the facilitation of NGOs who have the requisite local knowledge
Strategy of a tripartite partnership : Corporate – (Gram Panchayat) Partnerships facilitated by AHEAD Initiatives
It is proposed that an innovative attempt be made to take Corporate Social Responsibility into the sphere of strengthening local self government through partnerships so that apart from ensuring concrete deliverables which benefit the community, best practices in eliciting participation of the poorest and efficiently utilizing mainstream resources are demonstrated which can be emulated elsewhere. Such a strategy seeks to address issues of long-term sustainability and continuity, by integrating people's 'voice' & 'pro-active participation' in formulation and execution of initiatives on a continuing basis as part of local self governance.
Such partnerships will also perhaps create a meeting ground to bridge the cultural divide and help corporates to understand the worldview and cultural context from within which Local Self Government operates
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Ahead Initiatives 2009