For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and IBM signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week on a new Alliance for International Corporate Volunteerism (ICV). The Alliance establishes a self-sustaining ICV facility that will help private sector firms interested in international corporate volunteerism to organize and direct their efforts in ways that will best contribute to sound development outcomes.
"The growing role of business in development activities illustrates how the nature of development cooperation is changing," said USAID Counselor James Michel. "Instead of just 'donor' and 'recipient' governments we increasingly see networks of public and private entities, governments, international organizations, corporations, foundations and others, often playing multiple roles. Corporations today see development as more than philanthropy. They recognize that support for growing and stable markets and populations who enjoy freedom, opportunities, and improving standards of living is good business. This Alliance responds to the interest of companies around the globe to make available the skills of professional volunteers to help achieve better development results on the ground."
The ICV facility will expand upon the model of IBM's successful Corporate Service Corps (CSC), which sends high-performing employees to emerging markets to perform community-driven economic development activities. The CSC has sent more than 700 skilled business and technical professionals from 47 countries on team-based assignments to work in 13 countries with non-profits, governmental agencies, universities, entrepreneurs and small business owners.
"Our experience with the Corporate Service Corps has demonstrated a triple benefit," said Stanley Litow, IBM Vice President for Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. "To local communities around the world, our corporate volunteers have provided invaluable pro bono consulting connected to job creation. To the individual volunteers, it has provided leadership development, skills enhancement and an exciting career development opportunity; and for IBM, it has helped us to strengthen leadership skills for our next generation of leaders and increased knowledge about important growth markets. Our partnership with USAID embodies the spirit of open innovation as we work together to build a shared services model for programs of this type, promoting increased international corporate volunteerism. Teams of top talent from all over the world have the opportunity to volunteer needed skills and resources to help improve economic development and government services."
With a goal of increasing the number of companies partnering to send highly-skilled business volunteers to developing countries, the ICV Facility is intended to provide program management, public sector coordination, logistical and evaluation support, as well as share best practices and suggest meaningful and strategic projects in which companies can engage.
Last updated: May 17, 2012