Researchers at the Social Development Centre (SDC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, yesterday hosted a workshop which explored the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and Qatarisation, a subject featured in a recently completed SDC study.
The study was led by Dina al-Kaabi, a senior researcher in the Department of Social Studies at SDC, under the guidance of Mohamed Abdel Moneim Shalaby, and supported by several participants. The results primarily suggest that Qatarisation should be a part of CSR strategies across public and private sector organisations in Qatar.
The results of the study show that a mechanism must be put in place to monitor organisations in order to observe how their plans, programmes, and training opportunities include CSR as a key ingredient.
It further suggested that a regulatory body must be established to oversee the strategies employed by companies to prioritise CSR and include it as one of the prime elements in their operational plans, as outlined in the Qatar National Vision 2030.
According to the study, it is also pertinent to raise awareness of CSR amongst the local media, whose thoughts and influence often shape corporate strategy. The study also pointed out that a deeper understanding of CSR must be created amongst the general public to differentiate it from charity, which is what CSR is often perceived as.
CSR relates to corporate self-regulation in terms of chief social issues, such as the environment, consumer protection, labour rights and for the sustainable development of society, as suggested in the study. Based on al-Kaabi's research, the two places where CSR knowledge can be easily provided and monitored are the workplace and educational institutions such as high schools and universities.
Al-Kaabi recommends that companies issue regular reports on their CSR contributions and performance to the media and general public. Awareness campaigns must also be organised to ensure that the public understands the value of integrating CSR into the workplace.
A section of the research is dedicated to recommendations to the Ministry of Labour with regard to the Qatarisation policy, suggesting the importance of implementing rules and regulations that emphasise training and professional development as a prerequisite, to offering career opportunities to individuals.