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Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics

General Description

Although not new in the developed part of the world, the concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and ethical leadership are making first steps in gaining popularity in developing countries, with Armenia being not an exception. Nowadays many Armenians can hardly explain what constitutes to be a good corporate citizen, which is quite often confused with engaging in charitable activities. It is obvious that any for-profit entity is mainly concerned with earning and accumulating wealth, but the current worldwide trend is that this is not the only determinant of their existence and long-term success. More and more businesses realize that they do not operate in a vacuum; continuous interaction with different stakeholders is critical, with serious considerations for the environment, economically vulnerable populations, and the society as a whole.

In light of the above, it is therefore paramount to raise ethical competence and integrity standards of local managers for them to succeed in today's competitive and highly demanding world. With this in mind, the given training is aimed at familiarizing the audience with the theoretical framework for corporate social responsibility and business ethics, addressing the issues of its practical application, and exploring its contributions and limitations to the society.

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Լավագույն փորձի հետքերով և ՔՀԿ-ների իրավական միջավայրի գնահատում քննարկումներին մասնակցելու հրավեր

Թրանսփարենսի Ինթերնեշնլ հակակոռուպցիոն կենտրոն ՀԿ-ն Քաղաքացիական զարգացման և համագործակցության հիմնադրամի, Ժուռնալիստների «Ասպարեզ» ակումբի, Հետաքննող լրագրողներ հասարակական կազմակերպության, Բազելի կառավարման ինստիտուտի և Ոչ առևտրային իրավունքի եվրոպական կենտրոնի հետ համատեղ ԱՄՆ ՄԶԳ-ի աջակցությամբ իրականացնում է «Թափանցիկ և հաշվետու կառավարման խթանում` քաղաքացիական հասարակության մասնակցության միջոցով» ծրագիրը:

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Counterpart hold two important activities

Two important activities were recently held by Counterpart in the framework of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index and the CSI Cross-Border Cooperation Initiative.

First Counterpart welcomed its partners from Turkey, in the 2nd step of the Cross-Border Initiative. After an initial working visit by Counterpart to Istanbul in February, representatives from Turkish civil society came to Yerevan to take part in a joint workshop with Armenian civil society groups and our National Advisory Council. This workshop provided an opportunity for Armenian and Turkish civil society representatives to engage in dialogue, compare the two countries’ Civil Society Index (CSI) findings, discuss similarities and differences and discover areas to learn from one another and to cooperate.

At the Workshop, comparative presentation of the research findings in Turkey and Armenia were first presented to Armenian AC members, civil society and international organization representatives. Some of the most interesting similarities highlighted include the low level of civic participation, financial dependency (similar problems with attracting and fully utilizing private resources).

The next day, our Turkish colleagues were invited to take part in the Civil Society Index National Workshop, the second important event held by Counterpart. During the day, the Turkish delegation had the opportunity to meet with civil society representatives from Armenian women’s right, human rights and environmental organizations. The Turkish and Armenian participants shared experiences and the greatest challenges facing them collectively. This was a solid step for more cooperation to come.

The Civil Society Index National Workshop meanwhile was constructed to bring together a broad range of civil society actors and partners in government, the business community, media, the donor community and academia to discuss the CSI findings, identify strengths and weaknesses of civil society and plan appropriate strengthening initiatives. It’s unique in that it aims to create a common understanding of the current state of civil society as well as a joint action agenda for civil society strengthening initiatives.

The Deputy Minister of Health Tatul Hakobyan and USAID Deputy Mission Director John Seong were present at the National Workshop and delivered opening remarks. Participants then broke into five working groups, organized around the five dimensions in the CSI. These working groups first reviewed and discussed the research findings and then carried out an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to civil society in Armenia. True to form, many lively debates were held throughout the five group sessions with active involvement from the participants.

The groups were then tasked with exploring the implications of the research for civil society and were asked to come up with priority action plans. The main priorities identified were the need to strengthen the institutional capacity of CSOs, solidify the legitimacy of CSOs and to create consultancy mechanisms to fund organizations and CSOs. Specific ‘task forces’ then met to design concrete action plans to address these priorities. The actions identified include promoting civic education, fostering closer cooperation with all stakeholders and networking and coalition building.

Counterpart is now excited to be taking the lead in creating a platform to turn these plans into action. Further meetings between participants will allow for the development of final actions plans and with Counterpart’s help, the task forces will then have the opportunity to put them into action.

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This web page was made possible by the support of Counterpart International’s Civic Advocacy Support Program (CASP), and the generous support of the american people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement No. 111-A-00-04-00056-00. Content, views and opinions expressed herein are those of the Civic Development and Partnership Foundation, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Counterpart International, USAID or the United States Government.