Photo: BITC, Katine project, Example of Excellence 2010

Does your business fight poverty? Get recognised and inspire other companies.

Profiling best practice is one of the most powerful ways to bring about change

Applying for the BITC International Award

At Business in the Community we believe that profiling best practice is one of the most powerful ways to bring about change. This is at the heart of how we support business to address global poverty.

65% of our members think that learning from case studies of initiatives of other companies help them contribute better to addressing global poverty, more than any other form of support.

The 2012 BITC International Award is now open for entries. This is one of a number of categories in our Awards for Excellence. Independently audited and now in their fifteenth year, they are widely acknowledged as one of the most respected endorsements of responsible business.

The International Award recognises programmes that can demonstrate positive impact on those in greatest need globally, through one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Past award winners have included both core business initiatives and social investment programmes, but they’ve all been able to demonstrate substantial business and social benefits.

Last year. IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd was recognised as our Example of Excellence with mPower: a mobile service empowering farmers through timely information delivery. To help improve the quality of living of poor and illiterate farmers in India the M-Powering Farmers Mobile Phone initiative was developed. The aim was to provide agricultural information via mobile phone to aid famers in developing a more productive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector in India.

The challenge in the beginning was to overcome the high levels of illiteracy and the famers’ inability to deal with technology – the solution, a voice based service in their local language and a locally based support team. Results show a significant improvement with an increase in farm productivity, in terms of crops and animals, with over 750 scientifically tracked and proven success stories documented.

In 2010 the Example of Excellence was the Katine project, a partnership between Barclays, The Guardian newspaper group and NGO AMREF (African Medical Research Foundation). Launched in 2007 it supported the 25,000-strong population of Katine, an area of north-eastern Uganda which has suffered civil war, drought and extreme poverty. The project addressed the causes of poverty and ill health in Katine, working with the local community to bring lasting positive change.

The partnership drew on key strengths from each organisation. The Guardian’s innovative media coverage and its position as one of the top two news websites in the UK provided the initiative with extensive impartial publicity, the opportunity to share learning with diverse audiences and, uniquely, a voice for the residents of Katine. AMREF had worked on development projects in Uganda for more than 13 years and has unrivalled experience and expertise in our priority areas.

For Barclays, the project was aligned to their global community investment strategy, intrinsically linked to their business capabilities and their commitment to support the communities where they operate. They’ve operated in Uganda for more than 80 years and their team worked closely with the people of Katine to develop banking services that met their needs.

If you think your business has an established initiative that could rival mPower and Katine, we’d love to hear from you. Get the recognition you deserve and help to inspire others.

Entries are due 5th March. If you want to apply you can download the application pack here.

To learn more about past award winners, case studies are available on our website.

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