Partnership for the Goals

SDG 17-Probe & Improve – Part 3

Read Part 1, Part 2

As we’ve already seen in the first two parts of this series, government sources lean toward often blistering self-criticism when examining their own areas of responsibility. That doesn’t mean, of course, that independent views are unnecessary, far from it.

Take, for instance, the Citizen’s Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI), which monitors government progress toward social and political change. It recently looked into implementation of Government Resolution 922 to empower the Arab community’s economy – an issue we’ve referred to here on a number of occasions.

Under the heading “Why can’t the government work for us?” on its Facebook page (Hebrew), the CECI notes a number of weaknesses – including: partial use of budget allocations; difficulties on the part of local authorities to implement complex and expensive measures; and delays caused by the political and economic crises of the past two years.  The organization’s bottom line: out of 63 Resolution clauses, 27 were fully implemented, 22 partially and 14 not at all; in monetary terms, 13 billion shekels of the original 15 billion shekel allocation are expected to be utilized by year’s end.

Probe & Improve - Part 3 - SDG 17 - Social Impact Israel

Independent scrutiny is definitely not relegated to government activity; the private sector is also very much a target. One monitoring body in this context that we find particularly intriguing is “Maala”, a center promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Among its various activities to move the needle, since 2003 the organization has been publishing an annual index – the new 2021 index is just out in English  – that it views as “an assessment tool benchmarking Israeli companies on their corporate social responsibility performance.”

The index surveys close to 200 major firms – including leading banks, insurance companies, manufacturers, high-tech,  infrastructure and utilities suppliers as well as medical service providers. These are evaluated on a 1-10 scale (10 being the highest) in accordance with such CSR parameters as organizational ethics and core values, diversity and inclusion, responsible procurement, community contribution, social involvement of employees, environmental sustainability, corporate governance, as well as social and environmental management and reporting.

Just to illustrate, let’s take a quick look at how the new report graded the diversity and inclusion parameter for some companies that may sound familiar: Strauss Group – 10; Osem Nestle – 10; Proctor & Gamble Israel – 10; Unilever Israel – 10; Bank Leumi – 9; Israel Electric Corporation – 9; Manpower Israel – 8; Teva – 8; Netafim – 8; Zim – 8; the RAFAEL defense company – 6; Intel Israel – 5; Microsoft Israel – 3; 3M Israel – 2.

“Maala” also sends out regular updates on new CSR reports from the private sector.

We’re glad to see Israeli watchdogs making sure that the commitment to social impact is implemented in a concrete way. Without them, even the best of intentions are liable to remain just lip service.


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