June 29, 2010

Scriptoria Blog

A cold wind for UK aid

The new UK government may have ring-fenced its international development budget in its spending cuts, but that doesn’t mean its programmes are sacrosanct. It wants value for money, and organisations receiving funds are going to have to prove that they deserve the cash.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, announced an immediate review of the UK’s annual £3 billion aid budget and warned international organisations that they could be stripped of their funding.

The Guardian said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization would come under close scrutiny, but that the World Bank, which gets the biggest share of Britain’s multilateral aid, is considered to be doing a good job.

It will be interesting to see which development programmes retain their UK funding. We at Scriptoria have always believed that organisations that communicate their achievements well are more likely to be successful. In the coming DFID review, we fear that those that fail to explain clearly what they are doing may see their funding withdrawn.

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June 25, 2010

Scriptoria Blog

Nominate your unsung heroes

Do you know anyone who deserves an award for their work in international development? If so, you can nominate them for the Guardian International Development Achievement Award. Now in its second year, the award aims to celebrate outstanding contributions to the alleviation of global poverty.There are plenty of people achieving great things in international development, and we at Scriptoria believe they should be recognised, so do get nominating. The deadline is 25 July 2010 and the winner will be announced jointly with the winners of the Guardian International Development Journalism Competition at an awards ceremony on 18 November 2010 in London.

Visit www.guardian.co.uk/achievementsaward to find out more.

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June 9, 2010

Scriptoria Blog

Responsible businesses bounce back

UK-based Business in the Community (BITC) has just published research showing that companies with robust corporate social responsibility policies have come through the recession better than others.

The research, conducted by Ipsos MORI, confirms for the second year running a statistically significant link between effective management of environmental and social issues and financial performance.

It found that companies participating in BITC’s annual Corporate Responsibility Index each year between 2002 and 2009 outperformed their FTSE350 peers on total shareholder return (TSR) by an average of 10% in seven out of the eight years. The TSR of these companies did not fall as far and recovered more quickly in 2009.

As a consultancy specialising in helping companies and organisations communicate climate and CSR issues, we at Scriptoria applaud the fact that more and more companies in the UK are recognising their social obligations. And as the research shows, businesses themselves can benefit as much as society.

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Scriptoria Blog

Make a difference with Vodafone

There’s not much time left to apply for the Vodafone Foundation World of Difference International 2010 awards, which pay eight lucky people to work overseas for a favourite charity for a year.The closing date is 17 June 2010. Applicants must be UK residents and must have a plan of action agreed with a UK-registered charity before applying for a World of Difference award.

The Vodafone Foundation manages the mobile phone company’s charitable donations in countries where it operates. It’s just the type of serious, long-term commitment we at Scriptoria like to see from businesses large and small.

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