With the recent introduction of amendment to the Companies Act, 2013 the CSR spend is mandatory on all the private, public and Public Sector Undertakings operating in India. It is estimated that over 8500 companies will come under the purview of CSR spending amounting to an amount of Rs. 18,000 crores annually. This amount is estimated to grow each year with the rise in the profits of the companies with the favourable industrial environment and with the expected growth of GDP by 5.88% over next 5 years.
Consultivo conducts Baseline/ Need Assessment for CSR projects of companies & helps them to identify the real need on the ground by engaging with the stakeholders and subsequently intervene with suitable & impactful Sustainable CSR Projects. The Baseline assessment is also used to measure the impact after the implementation of the project.
Baseline assessment means trying to assess the existing state of affairs of the project, people, environment, business and demographic information of the selected village, town or district covering the affected project area. The need assessment is also done as an additional feature in the baseline assessment to know where they stand at the moment and what are their requirements or needs to improve it further. Usually, such a baseline assessment should be done before starting any project, initiative, concept in the catchment area. There are several ways in which this baseline survey can be carried out. They include information gathering from Govt. records on population, employment, agriculture, business, industry etc. and various relevant websites of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry Association, published information through articles etc. which is easily available. However, this is just not adequate. We need to collect factual and need based assessment by way of personal interviews of the beneficiaries or families through a structured questionnaire.
This is a very critical component in the baseline assessment study. The sample of respondents to be covered must be representative of all types of stakeholders under the proposed CSR intervention residing or affected in the catchment area of the project.
Points to be considered during baseline assessment:
- Giving proper authority letter to the field investigators for data collection
- Clarity on the research design
- Sampling techniques and methodologies to be used
- Complete demographic information
- Data validation and back checking mechanism
- Frequent interactions with the field teams by researcher for first hand assessment of the needs and priorities of the stakeholders.
- Data analysis, interpretation and logical conclusions
- Needs and priorities in various areas like water, sanitation, education, health, transport, environment, women empowerment, child care, etc.
- Suggestions projects of short term and long term nature
There are various tools in qualitative and quantitative field methodologies. The qualitative are short and cost effective and have a quick turn out while quantitative takes a much longer time and cost implications are higher. A suitable combination is recommended while carrying out baseline assessment project. The qualitative methodologies include focus groups, in depth interviews, observations surveys, and count surveys. The quantitative include questionnaire based survey with large No. of household respondents. Wherever possible photographs, audio & video recording and case studies may be used for a clearer understanding of the issues involved and giving possible remedies to compensate damage to the people and planet.
Before starting any CSR intervention baseline assessment or need assessment must be carried out to deliver what are the needs of the society rather than implementing projects which may not be need-based. After implementing the CSR project on the basis of baseline or need assessment impact assessment becomes to track improvements in the standard of living of the affected households in the villages. Usually, baseline assessment takes 3 months to complete.The Ideal time for impact assessment should be after 12 months after implementing CSR intervention to draw meaningful conclusions and track improvements, if any. This will ensure sustainability of the CSR intervention which is critical for any CSR project.