CSR and The China Women’s Network against AIDS

China Development Brief

中文 English

This article is part of CDB’s Special Focus on “Effective Communication and Cooperation between NGOs and Businesses”. It originally formed the second case study in CDB’s latest research report which we released in July 2015 (you can view the original here). Over the next few weeks we will be publishing translations of the ten case studies contained in that report. The case studies detail partnerships between Chinese NGOs, foundations, and businesses.

The formation of CSR groups

In light of the increased communications and cooperation between NGOs and businesses, information asymmetry has become a pressing issue and recent years have seen the emergence of several domestic internet networks and organizations. The US Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Shanghai, and online corporate social responsibility (CSR) groups of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong have become platforms for charities to levy big businesses. SynTao (商道纵横), Corporate Citizenship in Action (CCiA ,明善道), The Beijing Huizeren Volunteering Development Center (Huizeren, 惠泽人), and China Development Brief (中国发展简报) are all third-party organizations that act as platforms in some way. Similarly Tencent (腾讯), Sina (新浪) and other web portal public fund-raising platforms are positioned to finance public welfare projects. AmCham not only has thousands of members, but also has a comprehensive database of NGOs. This means that when member companies are looking for an orgaisation to form a partnership with, the Chamber of Commerce can recommend trusted and worthwhile organisations. Furthermore, through an annual charity donation, organizations can receive between 10,000 and 100,000 yuan of project funding1.

The emergence of communication platforms for NGOs and businesses, and the formation of circles of CSR managers have led to an increase in available fundraising channels, but they also demand NGOs to be more professional and put more emphasis on brand-building. The emergence of these platforms also signifies the gradual formation of mechanisms that observe and monitor NGOs. Although with these platforms, it becomes easier to build a reputation, it can also be tricky when an organization encounters any problems whilst working with a business, which will affect how other companies view them and could lead to the organization being blacklisted2.

Aside from providing financial support, Huizeren recently launched a “Chinese professional volunteers alliance” (中国专业志愿者联盟), to create a platform for professional volunteers whose services are targeted at NGOs, and with an aim to help NGOs to use professional forces. The Alliance asks volunteers to offer their expert advice and skill sets in related professions and through their professional support help NGOs to develop and grow.

A case study of the China Women’s Network against AIDS

The China Women’s Network Against AIDS (女性抗艾网络-中国,hereafter referred to as the China Network) is a non-profit organization that helps women with HIV integrate back into society. In 2007 some of the women’s organisations fighting AIDS joined together hoping to increase their strength, and after two years of preparation, the China Network, under the auspices of the United Nations AIDS Programme (联合国艾滋病规划署,hereafter referred to as UNAIDS) was formally established. Nationwide it united 21 AIDS organizations, and turned them from a grassroots network to an organization equal to that of a national institution.

From the outset, UNAIDS had high expectations for the China Network whose whole first-year budget – 200,000RMB in total – came from the UNAIDS. However, like many start-up NGOs, they quickly learnt that having a single source of funding is a great risk. In 2010, after completing their projects, UNAIDS terminated their support of the China Network. This brought an immediate halt to the Network’s operations and even meant the closure of their Beijing office.

At this most difficult time, a group of CSR managers in Shanghai noticed the struggling organization, and attempted to raise funds for it through businesses. However, they found that some businesses were wary of dealing with an AIDS organization and were concerned that this would cause panic amongst their employees. A turning point came in 2010, after UN Women (联合国妇女署) was established. After this happened foreign enterprises in Shanghai, from a CSR perspective, rose up to promote the rise of women in leadership, and many businesses began to devote a special budget to CSR. In this new environment, CSR managers no longer sought companies to support women affected by AIDS, but instead applied directly to businesses for funding in the name of improving female leadership. This method enabled them to quickly gain the approval of many enterprises. The CSR managers soon brought together UN Women, The Non-Profit Incubator (NPI恩派), and The Philanthropy Times (公益时报) among others, and with the financial support of the SAP China Research Institute (SAP中国研究院), the IBM Volunteers Association (IBM志愿者协会), the Shanghai United Family Hospital (和睦家上海医院), the Grand Mercure Shanghai Hongqiao (上海虹桥美爵酒店), and the CSR Pioneers (公益堂), in July 2011, they held the YouKai (UCARE) Women’s Leadership Workshop Summit. The China Network’s 23 member organizations were all invited to participate. And, with a focus on capacity-building, they also invited the Rainbow Bridge (彩虹桥), the Xingeng Workshop (欣耕工坊) and other well established social welfare organizations to talk about their largely successful experiences. Furthermore, under the guide of The Network, members visited the Shanghai Social Innovation Incubator (上海创新孵化园), the Zhangjiang Hi-tech Development Zone (张江高新开发区) and other public welfare innovators.

Over a three-day session, the Summit provided the Network members with TtT project training (Train-the-Trainer), gave them AIDS counseling sessions, introduced working methods and other specific international practice methods, helped the 23 organizations create new logos, and produced manuals. They also provided 23 computers and other office equipment. Through a variety of methods, the CSR managers also helped them to establish relationships with the Philanthropy Times, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, NPI, and other organizations, and introduced all the resources and connections they knew to the Network members. In order to establish and assist with follow-up measures, they set up a special fund under the Shanghai public welfare Foundation (上海公益事业发展基金会).

The China Network continued to gain support and from 2012 the IBM subsidiary of The East China Volunteer Association (华东志愿者协会) began to send volunteers to the Network to provide training for staff, and provided funding for them to document and publish their work on AIDS as “Life Writings” (写生). To generate support for the publication of “Life Writings” and enable the stories to reach a wider audience, the IBM Volunteers Association contacted the Shanghai “Urban Origin” (都市原点) drama club who adapted “Life Writings” into the stage performance “October 18th – Cloudy, becoming fine” (十月十八阴转晴) and sent volunteers to participate in the performance. After a string of successful performances in several Shanghai theatres the play became a regular on the Shanghai theatre scene. In order to further expand the network and help more of China’s AIDS sufferers, IBM also sponsored the China Network to take part in the JiAnDe (The Beijing Gender Health Education Institute – 纪安德) AIDS Walk and paid for their travel and accommodation.

At the start of 2013, Abbott Laboratories (雅培) also joined the ranks of China Network’s supporters with their first contribution consisting of a 10,000 USD donation to cover the Network’s 2013 operating costs, and the provision of training in Nanjing. During the training, Abbott arranged for four staff members to teach the China Network about corporate communications in arts and design, and working with the Network staff they designed the ‘Self-Care Manual for Women Living with HIV’. The manual provides a comprehensive introduction to AIDS and provides advice on how to medicate and exercise, as well as methods of self-counseling and other ideas to help women living with HIV re-integrate into mainstream society. With the support of Abbott, the network completed the manual at the end of 2013, and held a press conference to promote it. Through the Red Ribbon Forum (红丝带论坛) and mailing lists, 2000 free copies of the manual were distributed to HIV sufferers. Although the network itself did not initiate contact with IBM, Abbott and the other companies, through the Shanghai CSR platform these companies and many others are able to connect with the China Network.

This new method encouraged new ways of thinking and brought new opportunities for the China Network. In 2013, the Network began to focus on improving medical discrimination against HIV patients. When HIV patients contract other illnesses, many are refused treatment, especially if that treatment requires a surgical procedure. In 2013 the organization sought funding to change the plight of HIV infected women in need of medical treatment. However, previous initiatives in this area had mainly been phased projects, and finding support from businesses at short notice proved to be difficult. So the China Network, now with extensive experience of international cooperation, began looking for a new partner. Shortly afterwards, they came into contact with officials of an international organization, and the China Network found a new direction. This organization believed that occupational hazards should reinforce the need for the protection of doctors; but the China Network, when dealing with medical discrimination, was always inclined to think too much about the patients and blame the doctors. Through communication between the two sides, many HIV patients began to understand that their doctors and other health care workers’ refusal of surgical treatment was due to a lack of protection for hospital doctors, and that if better protective measures were implemented then the doctors would not mind performing these procedures. With this in mind, the China Network focused on promoting understanding between doctors and patients as a method of eliminating discrimination against HIV patients.

In 2013, in conjunction with several other organizations, the China Network presented their findings on ‘HIV patients and doctors occupational protection issues’ for discussion at the Red Ribbon Forum. They arranged for doctors and HIV patients to come together and talk about the rights of both patients and doctors, and gave both sides a better understanding of the problems. In 2014 the organizations further collaborated to make a short film ‘Balancing the Imbalance’(失衡的天平). The film highlighted cases of discrimination that had led to a physical disability or even death, as well as the story of a physician who through occupational exposure had become infected with HIV and faced exclusion from his hospital as well as society. Through this channel, the Network was able to reach the international community to further expand the influence of the organization.

The China Network now has 27 member organizations in 12 provinces and once or twice a year holds capacity-building events among its member organizations and provides a small grant to carry out joint initiatives. The China Network does not get too involved in the work and activities of its members, and instead focuses their work on the re-integration of female HIV patients into mainstream society. Although the China Network has not, as expected when founded, brought about tremendous societal change, the gradual development and unceasing confidence of their members all over the country has ensured the Network is making huge strides and continually driving progress.

 

 


  1. Interview with Yang Ye, a CSR expert who used to work with AmCham, 2010 

  2. Interview with Zhang Hui, a well-known CSR manager in China, 2014 

众人搭台,公益组织筹款与能力建设——CSR群助女性抗艾网络-中国-中国能力建设

随着公益组织与企业沟通、合作的增多,信息不对称成为一个迫切问题。这些年在国内出现了一些平台网络和组织。上海美商会、北京、上海、广东三地的CSR群成为公益组织向企业筹款的信息平台,商道纵横、明善道、惠泽人、中国发展简报这些第三方组织也具有了部分平台功能。还有类似腾讯、新浪等门户网站的公益筹款平台,即定位在给公益组织的项目筹资。美商会不但有数千家企业会员,还有一个公益组织数据库,当会员公司寻找合作伙伴的时候,美商会可以把值得信任的合作伙伴推荐给会员,每年会有一笔捐款给到数据库里面的公益组织,一些公益组织可以得到1~10万的项目资助(杨晔,2010)。

公益组织与企业沟通平台的出现,或者CSR经理人集群形成,对公益组织增加了资金筹措的通道,也对自己的口碑、专业化能力提出更高的要求,因为这些平台的出现也意味着对公益组织的观察机制逐渐形成了。有了平台,口碑相传变得容易;另外一方面,如果公益组织在跟某个企业合作过程中出了问题,并被其他企业认为也是问题,公益组织很有可能会被其他的企业封杀(张晖,2014)。

资金支持之外,惠泽人新近发起了一个中国专业志愿者联盟,主要是想搭建一个专业志愿者的平台,服务的对象是公益组织,用专业的力量帮助公益组织。它强调“理事做理事的工作,HR(人力资源)做HR的工作”,通过企业志愿者的专业支持,来帮助公益组织的成长。

案例  CSR群助女性抗艾网络-中国-中国能力建设

女性抗艾网络-中国(以下简称中国网络)是一家以维护女性艾滋感染者权利并帮助她们重返社会的非营利机构,2007年一些奋斗在抗艾一线的女性组织希望能联合在一起来壮大自身的力量。经过两年的筹备,女性抗艾网络-中国在联合国艾滋病规划署(以下简称UNAIDS)的资助下正式成立。它联合了全国21家女性艾滋组织,由过去非常草根化的网络,转型为有着相当的组织程度的全国性机构。

女性抗艾网络-中国一开始就被UNAIDS给予很高的期待,成立当年,女性抗艾网络-中国的20万元预算全部来自联合国艾滋病规划署。但是就如许多初创公益组织一样,单一的资助来源也给网络带来了很大风险。2010年UNAIDS在当年的项目结束后终止了对网络的支持,网络的工作立刻陷入停滞,甚至不得不关闭了在北京的办公室。

就在最艰难的时刻,一群在上海从事CSR工作的经理人注意到了这个挣扎中的组织。这群CSR经理人希望通过企业的资源来帮助女性抗艾网络-中国。但在与企业沟通后,他们发现企业对“艾滋”的话题还是有些不安,甚至担心这么做会引起公司员工的恐慌。一个新的视角为事情带来了转机。2010年,联合国妇女署成立,上海的外资企业从企业社会责任的角度纷纷兴起推动女性领导力的热潮,许多企业将其作为企业社会责任的一部分给予了专门的预算。于是在这个新形势下,CSR经理们不再要求企业支持女性艾滋患者,而是以推动女性领导力为目标向企业申请资金。以这个角度介入后,一下就得到了很多企业的认可。很快,这群CSR经理找到了联合国妇女署、恩派、公益时报等机构,在SAP中国研究院、IBM志愿者协会、和睦家上海医院、上海虹桥美爵酒店、公益堂的资助下,于2011年7月,举办了“2011优楷(UCARE)女性工作坊暨女性领导力峰会”。女性抗艾网络-中国的23家成员组织全部受邀参加了这次峰会。峰会以“授之以鱼-授之以渔-传之以道”为主题,邀请了“彩虹桥”、“欣耕工坊”等成熟公益组织向网络介绍成功经验。并带领网络成员实地参观了“上海创新孵化园”、“张江高新开发区”等公益创新场所。在三天的会期里,峰会以艾滋病为主题为网络成员提供了TTT项目培训,在艾滋病心理疏导,工作方法等具体内容上向组织成员介绍了国际上的通行做法;帮助23个组织更新了机构LOGO、制作了宣传手册;为网络提供了23台电脑以及其他办公设备。通过各种方式的交流,CSR经理们还帮助成员组织与公益时报、上海民政局、恩派等组织和机构建立了联系,将上海CSR经理人群体能提供的平台全部介绍给了女性抗艾网络-中国。这样的规模性的能力建设在上海引起了强烈反响,作为后续帮扶措施,CSR经理们还在上海公益事业发展基金会下为女性抗艾网络-中国设立了一个专项基金。

在这次集中的能力建设后,网络又陆陆续续从企业获得了许多帮助。IBM下属的华东志愿者协会从2012年开始派出志愿者给女性抗艾网络-中国的工作人员进行培训,并为网络的抗艾纪实文学作品《写生》提供了出版经费。为了借助《写生》的出版让更多的人来关注女性艾滋患者这个群体,IBM志愿者协会又主动联系了上海“都市原点”话剧社将《写生》改编成话剧《十月十八阴转晴》并派出志愿者参加演出。在上海连续演出了多场后,该剧成了剧院的保留剧目,得以长期传播。后来IBM还赞助了女性抗艾网络-中国参加“纪安德艾滋徒步活动”的路费和住宿费,进一步扩大了网络在国内艾滋患者中的影响力。2013年开始,雅培也加入了支持网络的队伍。雅培先是为网络提供了1万美金作为2013年度的活动经费,之后又在南京为网络进行了一次内部培训。这次培训,雅培专程派出四位工作人员,向网络传授企业的沟通艺术并与网络一起设计了《女性艾滋病感染者自我关怀手册》。手册以对话的形式,向艾滋感染者全面介绍了什么是艾滋病,如何服药,如何锻炼,如何进行自我心理辅导等方方面面的知识,通过一个系统的流程来帮助女性感染者回归主流社会。在雅培的支持下,网络2013年底就完成了手册印制工作,并专门召开了发布会向社会推介。2000本手册很快就通过“红丝带论坛”、邮件的形式向国内感染者免费发放了下去。其实网络本身并没有主动接触IBM和雅培等公司,但借助于上海CSR经理人的平台,让IBM、雅培和更多的企业能关注到中国网络。

运用新的角度进行思考也帮网络带来了很多机遇。2013年,中国网络把注意力放到了改善艾滋患者就医歧视的问题上。许多艾滋患者在遇到其他疾病特别是要手术时,往往会被医生拒绝治疗。2013年,机构希望申请一笔资金,来改变女性感染者的就医困境。但由于之前与企业的合作多是阶段性的项目合作,短时间内难以从企业得到新的支持。于是,中国网络借助于之前丰富的国际合作经验开始寻找新的伙伴。随后在与一家国际组织的项目官员接触时,中国网络发现了新的方向。这家组织认为从职业风险角度应该加强医生的职业防护的需要;而抗艾网络在做反对医疗歧视时,更多地站在感染者的角度,对医生方面非常不满。通过两方的沟通,艾滋患者也看到以往对医生许多不了解的一面:医护人员拒绝给艾滋患者做手术的主要原因是医院为医生提供的职业防护严重不足,如果能有更好的防护措施的话,医生也不介意给感染者做手术。在这个角度下,中国网络以增进医患双方理解为目标来改善艾滋患者的就医歧视问题。

2013年网络联合其他组织在红丝带论坛上,提出了艾滋患者的就医和医生的职业防护问题供大家讨论。并组织医生和感染者一起,交流了感染者权利和医生权益的问题,使双方对艾滋病患者的医疗歧视问题有了更多的了解。2014年机构与这家国际组织进一步合作,拍摄了《失衡的天平》微电影。描述了一些艾滋患者因为医疗歧视而造成的身体残疾甚至死亡的案例,也讲述了一个医生因为一次职业暴露被感染艾滋,之后又被医院和社会抛弃的故事。通过这家国家组织的渠道,,向国际社会进行了推广,进一步扩大了网络的影响力。

现在,女性抗艾网络-中国已经在12个省份拥有27个成员组织。网络每年会就某个主题对成员组织进行一到两次的能力建设并提供小额的资助来共同开展一个活动。除此之外,中国网络并不会过多地干涉组织成员的活动,转而将更多的精力放在了倡导女性艾滋患者回归主流社会上。虽然不像最初创立时被期待的那样带来翻天覆地的变化,但渐进式的推动还是让散落在各地的网络成员有了不断向前的信心。

Translated by Sophie Chadd

Reviewed by Wu Weiming

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