Business and the Health Millennium Development Goals in India: Closing the Gaps

Nisa PatelArticle, News

india-webA new report by GBCHealth, written in partnership with the MDG Health Alliance, presents a snapshot of health-related corporate investments in India, with a focus on business action on the MDGs. Based on survey findings from 23 leading Indian and multinational companies, the report – titled Business and the Health Millennium Development Goals: Closing the Gaps – documents the key characteristics of health CSR programs. It provides an informative look at how participating companies are currently investing their CSR rupees, their priority health focus areas, preferred partnership strategies, drivers and future investment priorities. The report also offers suggested action areas for business, in light of recent government legislation requiring companies operating in India to invest two percent of profits into CSR activities as well as in the final year of the MDGs and in the transition to the Post-2015 agenda.

The report was released and findings presented in New Delhi on February 25th at a private sector pre-meeting ahead of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health stakeholder consultation.

Key survey findings include:

  • Population health needs were reported as the number one driver of health CSR priorities. Most companies invest CSR rupees to provide health services to a target population through an intermediary like an NGO (36 percent) or directly through an entity like a company-run clinic (23 percent).
  • Surveyed companies are currently focusing investments on the health issues prioritized by the Government of India and consistent with the MDGs. Their programs most frequently address child health (65 percent), maternal health (57 percent) and newborn health (48 percent), followed by water (48 percent), nutrition (43 percent) and sanitation (39 percent). Companies expect to increase spending in all these areas in the coming year.
  • More than half of surveyed companies (52 percent) invest CSR funds in the communities where they operate, resulting in underinvestment in states and districts with a low business presence.
  • The majority of companies (82 percent) agreed that new funding generated by the Companies Act should be invested in achieving the health MDGs by 2015.
Nisa PatelBusiness and the Health Millennium Development Goals in India: Closing the Gaps