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Samanvay: Fostering Business-NGO Partnership for Disaster Management   -   30th Jun 2011

Entitled Samanvay: Fostering Business-NGO Partnership for Disaster Management, the symposiumwas a gathering of over 100 representatives of Businesses, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Government of India. CSO Partners’ aim of organizing this national symposium on an annual basis is to encourage concerted efforts and enable stakeholders within businesses, the government and civil society to interact, dialogue and decide on concrete strategies and approaches towards managing disasters effectively. It also endeavours to present Corporate Disaster Resource Network to enable diverse stakeholders to engage and collaborate for disaster management. Organized at the onset of the monsoon, the timely positioning of this symposium allows its outcome to be put into practice with immediate effect.

Mr. M. Shashidhar Reddy (Vice Chairman NDMA and Member of Legislative Assembly, Andhra Pradesh) presided over Samanvay as the Chief Guest of the symposium. Also present as Guests of Honour were Padma Shri B.B. Bhattacharjee (Member, NDMA), and Mr. Nandan Maluste (President, Governing Council, CSO Partners). 
Through Samanvay, CSO Partners in collaboration with the NDMA and the Aidmatrix Foundation initiated a dialogue between businesses and CSOs in order to promote continuity and stabilization of disaster management efforts in India. Given the direct impact that disasters have on the country’s economy and the business sector, which in turn has a significant impact on the country’s efforts towards inclusive growth, businesses have a definitive role to play in its management.
Through panel discussions, participants examined and reestablished the role of the business sector in disaster management, unearthed the need for transparency and accountability in the current practices of responsible business, and recognized the importance of synchronized efforts towards effective disaster preparedness and response. The symposium culminated with the participants mapping out precise strategies for collaboration and support which will be taken forward by the Corporate Disaster Resource Network in order to ensure continuity of this initiative. The participants at the symposium included representatives from noteworthy organizations like General Electric (GE), Microsoft, Reliance Infrastructure, CIPLA, Royal Bank of Scotland, CARE India, Oxfam India, Save the Children India, USAID, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO, ICICI Foundation amongst others.
Commenting on the encouraging response from the government, business and NGO sector in India in addressing the concern of disaster management at Samanvay, Soumitra Ghosh, Founder CEO of CSO Partners said that: “The frequency and impact of natural disasters in India is evidently alarming and calls for attention from all sectors and regions in India. With efforts being made towards disaster response, better preparedness and pre-positioning strategies could result in a more efficient response to disasters. The Corporate Disaster Resource Network (CDRN) in particular could be an effective platform to bring in the required synergistic approach. Samanvay has been a unique congregation of decision makers from all three sectors in developing concrete strategies and identifying specific roles in disaster preparedness and response.”
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