Corporate Social Responsibility
Meridian has advanced effective models for promoting health, gender and related social issues through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
We work with a range of businesses, international organizations, and global and local NGOs to improve the lives of workers and people in poor communities. A large focus has been on women’s health, family planning, and women’s empowerment at the workplace. Meridian has been the main contributor for innovative CSR initiatives on several USAID-funded projects including STRIDES (Uganda), RESPOND (India and Tanzania) and Mayer Hashi (Bangladesh).
Whether called CSR, corporate citizenship or shared value, companies worldwide are incorporating beneficial social, economic and environmental development activities into their core business agenda in addition to their community investments. In the early 2000s, Meridian was a leader in promoting CSR as a focus for global health. In 2003, we produced a CSR toolkit for USAID on how to work with companies.
Meridian also successfully partnered with Ethos (a Brazilian CSR business association) to develop a manual “How to Support Women’s Health” to guide its corporate members. Meridian staff has conducted CSR workshops in Bangladesh, Colombia, Guatemala, and East Africa in order to provide leadership to local businesses and NGOs on new CSR partnership approaches.
We have been a long-term partner with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), starting with the launch of its innovative workplace health education initiative, HERproject, in 2007. We produced “return on investment” studies with HERproject in factories in Egypt and Pakistan as part of the Extending Services Delivery project.
A CSR focus is integrated into all our work related to workplace programs, health policy in supply chains, and public-private partnerships. Our approach is not primarily about philanthropy. For Meridian, CSR is a means to create sustainable projects that link business interests, good corporate citizenship, and the global structures that promote CSR practices.