NGOS and Private Sector Partnerships As bridging partners



NGOS and Private Sector Partnerships As bridging partners
NGOS and Private Sector Partnerships
As bridging partners rebuilding disaster hit educational communities in Chile.
A Case in the Maule Region
MSc Dissertation
Submitted by
Candidate Number: 18465
In partial fulfilment of
MSc in Non governmental Organisations and Development
Centre for Civil Society
Department of Social Policy
London School of Economics and Political Science
London, 01 September 2010
In light of the 8.8 Richter scale earthquake and tsunami that hit southcentral Chile on February 27th 2010, this dissertation analyses the role of privateNGO partnerships to reconstruct schools in the Maule Region, where the disaster
had its epicentre.
I analyse in particular “Desafio Levantemos Chile (DLCH)”, a non-profit
initiative began by an entrepreneur, as a bridge to mobilise private contributions
into the construction of modular schools within weeks of the earthquake, at the
beginning of the Chilean school-year. This underlines the importance of informal
relations between in non-profit and private individuals in Chile to create
partnerships, the lack of an empowered civil society for sustainable recovery, and
the need of a permanent non-profit institution to address disaster relief and
recovery in Chile.
Table of Contents
Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 2
Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ 3
Abbreviations and Accronyms ....................................................................................................... 5
Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 6
Global Framework of NGO- private sector partnerships and disaster relief ............ 10
The Emergence of NGO- private sector partnerships in Chile ................................... 15
Private-NGO partnerships in post Disaster Relief ...................................................... 19
Working definitions and Conceptual Frameworks ..................................................... 25
Background: Private-NGO partnerships in educational earthquake relief in Chile............ 27
The Teletón Foundation’s Schools programme.......................................................... 27
Corporations as partnership catalysers ...................................................................... 28
Business Organisations pooling debates and sharing expertise................................ 29
Main Criticisms ............................................................................................................ 30
Case Study: Desafio Levantemos Chile ........................................................................... 34
Background .................................................................................................................. 34
Results.......................................................................................................................... 36
Projections ................................................................................................................... 36
Values and questions behind DLCH ............................................................................ 38
Conclusions ........................................................................................................................... 43
General Implications ................................................................................................... 43
Hypotheses .................................................................................................................. 43
Strengths ...................................................................................................................... 45
Weaknesses ................................................................................................................. 45
Opportunities .............................................................................................................. 46
Threats ......................................................................................................................... 47
Policy Recommendations ............................................................................................ 47
Suggestions for Further Research ............................................................................... 49
Annexes ......................................................................................................................................... 62
Abbreviations and Accronyms
Corporate Network for Disaster Response
Colombian NGO Confederation
Municipal Educational Corporation of Melipilla
Civil Society
Civil Society Organisation
Corporate Social Responsibility
Desafío Levantemos Chile
Non-Governmental Organisation
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Community Development Association
Public Relations
Sustainable Reconstruction Masterplan
1. Introduction
1.1. The social effects of the 2010 Chile Earthquake
At 03.34 AM, Saturday, February 27th, 2010, the south-central region of Chile
was hit by an 8.8 Richter scale earthquake, whose epicentre was located 434 km. south of
Santiago, hitting the regions of Valparaiso, O’Higgins, Maule, Biobío and Araucanía, as
well as the metropolitan region of Santiago. This was followed by a tsunami hitting the
already devastated coastal communities, into the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, over 670
km. west of the continent, becoming the 5th largest earthquake in known records1 and
the worst natural tragedy in Chile since 1960, when a 9.5 earthquake hit its south region.
According to the Chilean Emergency Committee, 521 people died, whilst 11% of the
buildings were destroyed, in over 900 towns and rural communities in the area, with
damages of over US$30 billion, equivalent to 17% of the country’s GDP (Lira, 2010).
1.2. Tri-sector relief and reconstruction
The government, non-profit organisations, civil society groups and private actors
arrived to the disaster scene and helped mount a quick relief effort in order to put back
the country in motion, clearing the rubble and constructing emergency homes. Private
and non-profit actors put their logistical and technical expertise into the service of the
devastated communities, by providing relief and quick aid into reconstructing schools and
livelihoods in the most damaged communities of the country.
These external contributions proved crucial at a time where there was a vacuum of
effective power in the country –the earthquake took place during the transition between
Michelle Bachelet´s centre-left government and Sebastián Piñera’s centre-right
administration, contributing to a “lack of reaction capacity (…) and an increase of
political instability” (Carreras and Navarrete, 2010). The government later acknowledged
contributions from other actors, as it recently amended its disaster donations law, to
further encourage the help of external donors into the reconstruction effort.
Nonetheless, there wasn’t a widespread overseas relief appeal beyond the help of
individual International Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and donations from
the United Nations. For instance, the UN’s Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP), unlike
other disasters, did not launch a humanitarian appeal for Chile2, and the UK Disasters
Emergency Committee (DEC), whilst encouraging individual fundraising efforts from
members such as the British Red Cross and Christian Aid, did not launch a specific
appeal for Chile (DEC, 2010a). Its regulations call these appeals “reserved for major
disasters and emergencies that cannot be dealt by the usual in-country coping
mechanisms, and where DEC member agencies are in a position to respond quickly and
effectively” (DEC, 2010b).
1.3. Economic and social inequalities in the spotlight
Despite being ranked as the 44th most developed country in the world in UN’s Human
Development Index 3 , the UN also reports that Chile has one of the highest levels of
inequality in Latin America (Beckman et al, 2009: 192). Moreover, the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which Chile joined in 2009, pointed
out that, despite its strong macroeconomic figures, its biggest challenge was to improve
the quality of its basic education, as it lags behind OECD standards (OECD, 2010).
Considering this background, the earthquake hit Chile not only in its infrastructure and
economy, but also in social terms.
1.4. Education sector, a reconstruction priority
The education sector was one of the most hit. According to the Chilean government,
the sector lost an estimate of US$2.500 Million, destroying or damaging 3.049 schools,
equivalent to 1.25 million students. To the entropy generated by the lack of information
and figures, in order to proceed to clear the debris and relieve those in need, there was the
addition of the school year coming along to the country in March.
The Ministry of Education concluded that 100 % students were back in school by 26th
April 2010 (Rojas, 2010), enhancing the chance to return to class -in many cases with
emergency solutions- while projects to reconstruct the definitive schools were under way
in many cities. This wasn’t done by the government alone, but with the help of privateNGO partnerships. These mobilised into fundraising and creating awareness, quickly
mobilising aid and reconstruction efforts, within just a few weeks of the disaster.
1.5. Research question and hypotheses
With these issues as a background, these partnerships under way deserve an in-depth
analysis. Thus, my research question evolved into: “In what way private-NGO
partnerships better address school reconstruction efforts after the Chile earthquake?”
looking at the projects that have arisen from this experience.
This study concentrates in the Maule Region (257 km south of Santiago), where the
epicentre of the earthquake took place, and focused many contributions and concerns
regarding civil society participation and its involvement with the private sector. In
particular, I analyse the “Desafío: Levantemos Chile” programme (“Challenge: Let’s
Rebuild Chile”, hence DLCH), mobilising its founders’ informal acquaintances with the
private sector, into adopting communities and reconstructing modular schools within
weeks of the earthquake, mobilising a relief effort in a very particular way.
1.6. Methodology
To do this analysis, I put in context the conceptual framework of cross-sector
partnerships within general literature and its application in Chile. As there is a lack of
research on partnerships in disaster relief in Chile, I draw upon past experiences from
other countries, into the context of private-NGO relations in Chile, to take these lessons
and framework to analyse its strengths, weaknesses and future prospects, before
analysing the Chilean education relief cases in detail.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Global Framework of NGO- private sector partnerships and disaster relief
2.1.1. NGOs, CS and social capital
Despite a long debate on defining NGOs, Lewis and Kanji (2009) summarise them as
“an independent organisation that is neither run by government nor driven by the profit
motive like private sector businesses (:2)”, while Johns Hopkins (Salamon and Anheier,
1992 in Lewis and Kanji, 2009: 10) bounds them as formal, private, non-profit
distributing, self-governing; and voluntary institutions.
Their relationship within Civil Society (CS) or “the third sector” – as opposed to the
public and private sectors- as “the population of groups formed for collective purposes,
primarily outside of the state and the marketplace” (Van Roy, 1998: 30) is complex.
While De Tocqueville’s (2003) and Putnam’s (1993) approaches see it a provider of
balance between the state and the market, Gramsci (1991) puts it as framework for
conflict between powers, where capitalism imposes an order.
These institutions help reinforce what the World Bank calls “the missing link” in
development: social capital (SC) (Harris, 2002: 2), conceptualised by Putnam as “trust,
norms and networks, that can improve the efficiency of society by facilitating
coordinated actions” (:163). NGOs require these interpersonal skills to work, and help
inculcate and reinforce these skills in society as “organised collaboration”. Putnam’s
concepts of bonding- binding members of a group together-, bridging- connecting people
from different social groups-, and linking –tying the weak and powerful people within
formal organisations are crucial in the relationship between NGOs and other sectors of
In that regard, since the 1990s, there has been an increase in partnerships between
NGOs and the private sector. As opposed to outsider NGOs -stirring up public
awareness, insider NGOs began to partner with governments and corporations, using this
very awareness to promote community development and raise industry, labour and
environmental standards (Oliviero and Simmons, 2002). Moreover, the private sector has
become an important contributor to the third sector, as philanthropists or in the
framework of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
2.1.2. CSR or Strategic Philanthropy
There has been a long debate on whether or not private contributions to NGOs are
a marketing scheme, a public relations (PR) tool, part of the business strategy or just
good intentions. While L’Etang and Piecza (1996), differentiate philanthropy as a
benevolent action where “the recipient of such acts has no right to expect or demand that
such acts will take place” (:85), CSR has underlying implications and reciprocal
relationships between donors and beneficiaries.
There is no single definition of CSR. Zadek (2001) defines it as “business taking
greater account of its social and environmental –as well as financial- blueprints” (:36).
How business is done is essential to sustain, be competitive and profitable in the long
term, as corporations must build shared values with their stakeholders – customers,
suppliers, owners, employees and local communities (Evan and Freeman, 1988). These
partnerships are then an essential vehicle to address community concerns and social
Porter and Kramer (2002) further to address social and economic goals
simultaneously, encouraging companies into the “competitive advantage” of CSR or
“strategic philanthropy”, in areas where both business and society benefit on the firm’s
assets and expertise. Supporting the right causes in the right ways, corporations create a
virtuous cycle benefiting both parties in a win-win scenario.
For that, they encourage to signal other funders, institutionalising these practices
beyond individual companies. Collective social investment can both improve
competitiveness and reduce costs for companies, ensuring the long-term sustainability of
their programmes, whilst enabling them to be one of, but not the only, development
agents in the region (Warner and Sullivan, 2004).
2.1.1. Main Criticisms
Other authors are reluctant about private philanthropy. Friedman (1971) emphasized
that philanthropy should come from executives’ personal money, but not the companies’,
as the only social responsibility of corporations is to increase its profits. Porter and
Kramer (2002, 2006) agree that, the way CSR is today, he would be right. Most
programmes are untied to social or business objectives, while corporations lack a more
formal institutionalisation of these partnerships. In practice, they only favour business
(Seitanidi and Crane, 2008).
On the other hand, “cause related marketing”, where companies invest in social
causes that complement their brands, is perceived just as a tool to enhance reputation
(L’Etang and Piecza, 2006), manipulating the concept of CSR to remedy negative
portrayals of companies’ social negligence (Werbel and Wortman, 2000). Thus, when
commercial and social interests collide, profit would come first, challenging the creation
of coherent initiatives, beyond specific tax-friendly donations. (The Economist, 2005;
Fougere and Solitander, 2009), whereas Lewis and Kanji (2009) see successful CSR
programmes are isolated cases, rather than the norm.
2.1.2. NGOs as Bridging Partnerships
Beyond being recipients of donations, NGOs have risen as a corporate partner to
address these issues. Yaziji (2004) summarises four main advantages brought by NGOs
to companies:
1. Awareness of social forces: as the issues that drive public concern,
2. Distinct networks: such as other NGOs and donors,
3. Specialized technical expertise,
4. Legitimacy: as credibility from the public.
The latter is the most important asset NGOs bring, as a bridge of trust between
stakeholders and corporations. Many authors underline this (Zadek, 2001; Yaziji, 2004;
Austin et al, 2004; Seitanidi and Ryan, 2007; Roloff, 2007; Westhues and Einwiller, 2006
Jamali, 2008; Dahan et al, 2009) as crucial for partnership success, the improvement of
social capital and sustainability of their efforts. NGOs are brokers in cross-sectoral
partnerships, as bridging organizations involving previously unknown or unaware
stakeholders in the decision-making process (Brown, 1991; Selsky and Parker, 2005).
2.1.3. Developing more effective partnerships
Authors call for improvements, as businesses are still more attracted to directimpact partnerships, like education, than those with indirect impact, such as social
mobilisation. These deeper partnerships are more likely encouraged by supranational
umbrellas, such as UNICEF, as these organisations allow to develop issues single
companies cannot or are not interested in solving themselves. Sharing these
responsibilities across sectors is more manageable for companies and effective for
communities, as they synergise collaboration and reduce long-term dependence on
donors. (Enderle and Peters, 1998; Davy 2004; Warner and Sullivan, 2004).
Nevertheless, partnerships must move from “one-size-fits-all” approaches, into
collaborative assessments, investing in community liaison capacities, to create a
sustainable programme that fits the needs of the community. (Brown, 1991; Davy, 2004;
Prieto-Carrión et al, 2006). For that, partnerships can learn from each other: while
corporations help improve the performance of NGOs, these must speak the language of
business in order to encourage contributions worth for business beyond philanthropy.
(Warner and Sullivan, 2004; Seitanidi and Ryan, 2007; Seitanidi and Crane, 2009;
Peinado-Vara, 2006, Valencia, 2010):
The private sector: NGOs should identify existing corporate resources and
capabilities relevant to community development, such as project management
or logistical support. Thus, programmes are more likely to be affordable for
companies. (Wadell, 2002; Warner and Sullivan, 2004)
CSOs: provide local knowledge, capacity to mobilise community participation,
and methods to ensure contributions are relevant to local needs, allowing
community groups to move from being ‘victims’ to participants in
development. (Davy, 2004: 245)
2.2. The Emergence of NGO- private sector partnerships in Chile
2.2.1. Situation of NGOs and CS in Chile
Whilst the private sector is an important contributor to Chile’s economy, the nonprofit sector is the largest in Latin America, employing over three times the workforce of
the mining sector, its most prominent industry (Johns Hopkins, 2006). This comparative
NGO revision in Chile defined the status of the sector in the country. Whilst agreeing
with most of Johns Hopkins general categories of NGOs, including community-based
organisations, it fails to recognise public universities or trade unions, included as NGOs
in the original analysis4.
In practice, while the term NGO is used interdependently with CSOs, the country
lacks an empowered CS in terms of grassroots organisations, with influence over the
conceptualisation of development programmes executors, at the expense of a realistic
bottom-up profile of CS including grassroots community organisations. (De La Maza,
2000, 2005).
Cf. Salamon and Anheier, 1999 in Lewis and Kanji, 2009: 10
2.2.2. NGO Donor Relations in Chile and the emergence of CSR
In this scenario, since the 2000s, partnerships within the CSR framework have
grown, although there are still a small number of firms fully engaged in it (Beckman et al,
2009). These are mainly encouraged with tax incentives such as the 19.885 Social
Donations Law, which credits donors 50% of donations to NGOs, in money or in-kind
contributions, whilst the remainder of donations can be deducted from taxes as expenses.
Organisations promoting these practices among the private sector emerged, like
AccionRSE, using the same concepts as northern counterparts such as the UK’s Business
in the Community (BITC). For instance, in education, they partner corporations to
improve their educational CSR programmes, for instance addressing schools in capacity
building. Companies network and benchmark with other organisations, to learn
experiences and share good practices, creating synergies and providing direct access to
government and specialist foundations (Martínez, 2010). However, these common tables
lack more binding work with community organisations, despite they are internally
engaged in the specific companies’ programmes, as Martinez claims that there aren’t
many representative CSOs to incorporate.
A survey shows that 15% of Chileans considered working with an NGO as one of
the best indicators of social responsibility. (UNDP-Proumana, 2002 :18). However,
regardless of being one of the most advanced countries in cross-sector partnering in Latin
America (Vives and Peinado-Vara 2006 in Visser and Tolhurst, 2010), a survey revealed
that less than half of Chilean citizens recognised the term “CSR” (Beckman et al, 2009).
2.2.3. Informal networks of trust as catalyser of cross partnering in Chile
Despite having widespread NGOs, Chile has an unequally distributed social capital,
as the country lacks social trust. Whilst many social groups lack confidence and
cooperation, undermining relationships with strangers, at the same time they have intense
trust on family members, friends and acquaintances. This mistrust transcends individuals
into CSOs, making it harder for grassroots organisations to develop independently, as
they are very reliant on the state for its subsistence (Diamond, 1999; Koljatic and Silva,
Thus, researchers underline the importance of informal social networks and family
relations among leaders as trust-building bridges to partner across sectors, as well as the
importance of prospective partners’ reputations and history of previous collaborations to
reduce insecurity and uncertainty in creating partnerships. These have played a
significant part creating cross-sector collaborations between companies and emerging
NGOs who have no tangible outcomes to show their counterparts (Austin and Renfico,
2004: Koljatic and Silva, 2004 and 2008).
This is seen in partnerships such as the poultry company Ariztía with the
Municipal Educational Corporation of Melipilla (CORMUMEL), which administers this
town’s municipal schools. Ariztía has upgraded them, developed agricultural careers and
improved students’ future labour skills (Barrett et al, 2002). This integration was
facilitated by pre-existent acquaintances between the head of Ariztía and the director of
CORMUMEL, through the intervention of a so called “trust intermediary”, developing a
relationship between previously unacquainted groups, through an informal common link
(Barrett et al, 2002, Koljatic and Silva, 2004).
However, experts assert it is still hard for CSR to transcend beyond the interests
of CEOs into lower and middle management positions, instead of addressing it as a
corporate strategy. (Valencia, 2010). This can be dangerous for corporations and NGOs,
as the close relationship between CEO’s interests in charity decreases when they leave. It
is thus important to transcend personal leaderships, so they must work in creating the
space for second liners to develop.
Thus, for these alliances to develop and institutionalise, parties must engage
interact beyond top executives of both organisations and into the collaborative
participation of other members, enhanced by NGOs showing accomplishments, to
support the confidence put by businesses, if the resources invested have translated in
measurable outcomes. (Werbel and Carter, 2002; Siddiqi, 2001).
Aguila, Koljatic and Silva (2003), also acknowledge this concern within the
CORMUMEL and Ariztía. The future of the partnership was uncertain –and the
community was worried- with the succession of the town major and the retiring head of
the company, Manuel Ariztía, despite Ariztía’s sons being part of the company and
actively involved in the educational projects.
2.2.4. Education as a driver of cross-sector partnerships
This case illustrates that education has become one of the most sensitive issues in
cross-sector partnerships in Chile (Beckman et al, 2009) as, in many cases, companies
benefit from its effects on labour preparation and productivity. Despite its high economic
outputs, the education levels are behind OECD standards, as there is a low quality of
public teachers and a great performance gap between the higher and lower income
institutions (OECD, 2010). For instance, 62% of 8th grade students don’t attain the
expected learning outcomes for 6th grade (Rojas, 2010).
However, think-tanks and CSR organisations emphasize the need of both long term
commitment from the corporation, and integration within already existent educational
initiatives in private-NGO partnerships (AccionRSE- Casa de la Paz, 2006:13). This is
challenging, as corporations call for short-term outcomes, whilst educational outcomes
are visible only in the long-term.
This can be a challenge in the long term redevelopment of education in Chile after the
earthquake. Thus, as there is not much work on the private-NGO partnerships on disaster
relief in Chile, I look at what has been written in the field in other countries for some
lessons, as the synergies presented can prove valuable for the analysis of the country’s
private-NGO partnerships for education redevelopment.
2.3. Private-NGO partnerships in post Disaster Relief
2.3.1. Conceptual debates
While the UN’s International Strategy for Disaster Reduction encourages
partnerships and networking to ensure cooperation synergies (ISDR, 2001), this is not
more developed in practice. Despite contributions from business associations in crosssector collaborations, private initiatives usually favour one-off interventions over more
strategic plans, as they address immediate causes of disaster vulnerabilities, but do not go
deeper into redevelopment (Twigg, 2001).
These authors call for an NGO with business members, to concentrate
strategically in disaster relief and reduction, as a platform for collective work. This would
allow corporations to support NGO programmes as members or donors, without being
directly involved. Thus, it can be effective “in terms of resources, continuity, credibility
across sectors, expertise and ability to give leadership” (Twigg, 2001:54), linking disaster
relief agencies with actors such as businesses and grassroots organisations. That way,
these organisations have credibility both with business– showing awareness of private
interests - and with CS, as they are relied as a set of NGOs.
In that regard, I shall address some examples of these partnerships around the
world, in order to address their successes and failures regarding post disaster
reconstruction, for instance, in education.
2.3.2. Previous cases of disaster cross-sector collaboration
Phillipines, 1990
In the aftermath of the Luzon earthquake, Philippine Business for Social Progress
created the Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR), to distribute private
contributions to the communities affected. They established an information, monitoring
and reporting system for the delivery of goods, with local NGOs handing out relief.
Afterwards, it focused on cross-sector disaster mitigation and preparedness, to
“strengthen local disaster co-ordination mechanisms by creating multi-sectoral networks
of government organisations, NGOs, private companies and academic institutions”
(Twigg, 2001:68). This collective action of networks, corporations and NGOs increased
impact and proved more sustainable than individual initiatives while at the same time,
strengthening the link with the government and NGOs.
Colombia, 1999
After the earthquake in its coffee region, the government, CS and corporations
created a Fund for the Economic and Social Reconstruction of the Coffee Sector
(FOREC), with a public-private directive council.
As the priority was not only physical reconstruction, but reconstituting the social
fabric, their first step was to make proper arrangements with local organisations, as this
reconstruction was regarded as sustainable and legitimate only if these were identified,
strengthened and articulated, as communities expected to be co-responsible. Thus, they
integrated the coordinating role of the state with an organised CS, through the Colombian
NGO Confederation (CONG) taking as a basis the capacity of local NGOs, as local zone
managers, in charge of community relations, identifying the most vulnerable groups and
monitoring the reconstruction work. (Cuervo, 2002; Toro, 2010)
However, Cuervo also underlines the criticism that these NGOs were just
accountable to the state rather than to the citizens and, instead of strengthening the state’s
action, it privatised public life.
Thailand Tsunami, 2004
Whilst the Thai Government did not prioritise external assistance, it permitted the
development of cross-sector partnerships.
Merck Thailand and the Raks Foundation (RTF) formed the Merck Relief and
Rehabilitation Program for Tsunami Victims providing, for instance, a multi-purpose
community centre and a revolving fund to purchase boats and fishing equipment (Gordon
and Daniels, 2009). Meanwhile, the Population and Community Development
Association (PDA) channelled corporate contributions to conduct a participatory
empowerment programme, before helping design and implement relief instruments like
scholarships for children, and setting up community bank (PDA, 2007).
Despite these actions, a workshop conducted by the UN a year after the tsunami,
while praising the logistics of these programmes, recommended communication
improvements between the government and potential contributors, to decline or redirect
unneeded donations, and focus on the involvement of beneficiaries in the design and
implementation of these programmes (UN, 2005).
The Maldives, 2005
After the 2005 tsunami, the UN put 22 of the archipelago’s islands up for a
symbolic adoption, to fund the purchase and transport of construction materials, whilst
generating awareness about the island’s recovery. UNDP Maldives claims that “its
uniqueness lies in the fact that donor support is matched directly to a specific project,
such as rebuilding homes and harbours”. By mid-2006, Adopt-an-Island raised US$18
million out of US$41 million in total. From this, the private sector, foundations and CSOs
contributed with US$3 million, whereas governments raised US$15 million. (UNDP,
2005; Schein, 2006).
United States, 1996 and after Katrina, 2005
Associations around disaster relief have had mixed results in the United States. In
1996, the UN, the government and IBM, created the Leadership Coalition for Global
Business Protection (LCGBP), to raise awareness and work together in disaster
preparedness, response and cross-sector recovery. It failed, perceivably as its objectives
weren’t clear enough, and aimed more into PR objectives than into an integrated CSR
approach. (Twigg :28)
During Hurricane Katrina (2005), private initiatives proved more effective than
the state effort, showing that decentralized, private decision-making was more efficient,
as businesses and NGOs are encouraged by nature to be effective and quick to identify
the needs, use funds and provide relief, to further encourage more potential contributors
or donors (Sobel and Neeson, 2007). Thus, for these authors, natural disaster
management is not different from managing businesses: “Relief demanders” know what
and when relief is needed, but don’t know who or how to get supplies, whereas “relief
suppliers” know what they have and how they can help, but are unaware of what is
needed or by whom. Therefore, effective disaster management requires efficient
information generation, both recognising the magnitude of the disaster, assessing and
allocating relief, and evaluating its final outcomes.
The 2005 Earthquake in Northern Chile
The previous earthquake in Chile was on the desert town of Tarapacá (7.9 Richter
scale). Since damages were not massive, public opinion turned away beyond a month of
the disaster and, as there was a lack of corporate or state help, not much was recovered.
The failure of an integrated response to reconstruct the area draws Bordas (2008) to call
for an inter-institutional system to coordinate multi-sectoral efforts, to avoid the
duplication or omission of aid because of fragmented and unarticulated visions of the
situation (Alençon et al, 2006).
2.4. Working definitions and Conceptual Frameworks
From these cases we see that most impediments to recovery are mainly due to
problems of multi-sector coordination, such as in the United States or Chile, when agents
operate at different hierarchical levels and neglect some of the most hit communities
because there is no record of them. (Rigg et al, 2005). On the other hand, an effective
multi-sector coordination such as in of Colombia and Thailand can be the key for success.
Considering these concepts and experiences, I address “In what way private-NGO
partnerships better address school reconstruction efforts after the Chile earthquake?”,
analysing initiatives under way and their effectiveness on disaster recovery.
While looking at these partnerships, I focus on formal NGOs and centre on those
whose main function is the promotion of development work either as implementers,
catalysts or partners (Lewis and Kanji, 2009 :22), bridging partnerships with the private
sector in educational communities after the 2010 earthquake. I separate these NGOs from
local CSOs and grassroots community groups, as differentiated by De La Maza, who
currently lack social, human and financial capital to mobilise contributions on their own.
For this reason, I look at these hypotheses to the research question:
H1. Chile’s framework of informal acquaintances within leaders of nonprofits and
corporations proved crucial to quickly set up a donation system at a state of emergency
where timing was a constraint.
H2. Corporations used these to bridge the information gap between funding
opportunities and effective needs of schools in the disaster regions, pooling the technical
and logistical capacities of donors with in-kind donations and monetary contributions.
H3. They became part of CSR strategies for companies with interests in the area,
as their communities of interest were badly hit.
To better address the cases after the Chile earthquake, I draw upon the local
media, as well as the websites of the relief programmes under way. Furthermore, I
interview members of NGOs partnering with the private sector and those against such
partnerships, as well as experts in CSR, members of think-tanks, and representatives of
NGOs undertaking school reconstruction efforts.
Last, I outline the range of private-NGO partnerships undertaken in Chile after the
earthquake as a context to detail the case of the DLCH programme, in terms of its
strengths, weaknesses, threats and challenges, drawing upon the lessons from in this
literature and in the context of other experiences from the Chile earthquake, to address
recommendations for the medium and long term development of these initiatives.
3. Background: Private-NGO partnerships in educational earthquake relief in
A relief priority after the earthquake was the Maule Region (908,097, 2002 census),
where its epicentre was located. A state of emergency was called, and a recently
approved National Reconstruction Fund (20.444 law) gave the chance to donate money
directly to this common fund for specific programmes, rather than directly through an
The government, foundations and corporations set out to the reconstruction of schools
in the area, as the school-year was about to begin in March (Rojas, 2010). Thus, many
projects adopted the installation of modular schools, prefabricated buildings with
multiple sections, used mainly in temporary facilities such as mining stations, because of
its cost-effectiveness, speed of delivery and installation. They are halfway preconstructed at the factories, and set up in the ground within a short amount of time.
(Roman, M. et. al., 2003). Although in practice several schools had ordinary containers as
add-ons to their buildings, before the earthquake the use in Chile of more enhanced
modules was not widespread.
With this in consideration, I outline some of the partnership initiatives undertaken
after the earthquake, to contextualise the emergence of the DLCH programme.
3.1. The Teletón Foundation’s Schools programme
In March 5th 2010, a week after the earthquake, the Teletón Foundation –disabled
children NGO whose proceeds come from a yearly TV marathon- mounted a fundraising
programme for the relief effort, to raise 15 billion Chilean pesos (CLP)- around US$40
million- to fund emergency housing, goods, and help to be channelled through different
NGOs. This was exceeded: the final amount raised was over 27 billion CLP (almost
US$90 million), partly from individual donations and halfway from corporate
contributions (Chile Ayuda a Chile, 2010).
According to the organisers, they received support because their confidence from
public opinion since 1978- where the first telethon was broadcast, was crucial to organise
a fundraiser within a week of the earthquake. Eugenio Silva (2010), director of the
schools programme, quotes a former president of Hogar de Cristo, that “the best way to
solve social problems is privatising them, creating institutions which are specialists in
these causes.” Therefore, he calls the best way issues like poverty can be dealt, is to
outsource them to a specialist.
With the remaining money, they developed a school reconstruction programme in the
most damaged areas, in partnership with experts and the government. They set for
immediate repairs in school buildings, replace damaged schools with modular solutions,
as well as supporting other initiatives with a public tender for schools’ and foundations’
Nonetheless, once these schools are reconstructed, Teletón will return to its original
Corporations as partnership catalysers
Arauco, a forestry corporation, helped set up a Sustainable Reconstruction Masterplan (hence PRES) in Constitución, where they have many of its operations and whose
town centre was destroyed in over 70%. They partnered with the government, the
municipality, the University of Talca, architectural consultants from Chile and the UK, as
well as Fundación Chile, dedicated to innovation in technologies and education.
This masterplan incorporated a binding citizens consultation, to evaluate their
priorities and the way this reconstruction should take place (Aravena, 2010,
Presconstitución, 2010), included building plans for the reconstruction of some of their
public schools, as well as furthering psychological support through the Arauco
educational foundation.
Business Organisations pooling debates and sharing expertise
In the framework of the reconstruction, Acción RSE began consultations to inform
and coordinate their partner corporations contributing to the reconstruction of the
educational sector, assessing the needs of schools and ongoing support in order to meet
their partners and “decide what actions to undertake and which are the spaces to
complement between the members of the project” (Basconi, 2010).
Their 2010 annual seminar was dedicated to the earthquake and reconstruction,
inviting members of each sector to share their partnership experiences both overseas and
within Chile. However, despite considering a reconstruction project to channel private
contributions, this was later discarded. Alejandro Diaz, chief of Research and
Development, clarifies that their role is to mobilise and create awareness of CSR within
corporations, but it is not an executing organisation nor within its mission to create crosssector bridges, other than organising venues and creating spaces for actors to share their
experiences. Thus, the corporations’ contributions were undertaken by companies
3.4. Main Criticisms
3.4.1. Whitewashing
Fundación Terram, a sustainable development NGO, criticises private partnering in
Chile, regarding bridging foundations as a scheme to get tax incentives. They only
reallocate public money towards private sponsored projects, clearing the way for projects
beyond their environmental impact, whilst using donations to inhibit citizens from
addressing issues like toxic waste. “If the people got their livelihoods back from the
companies, they won’t raise against them” (Basconi, 2010).
To them, it would be better to create a common fund, so each community raises
their projects without direct corporate investment. “We don’t believe in direct donations;
it inhibits strong, empowered citizens and their participation”, she says. They fear that
Arauco’s involvement on the reconstruction masterplan, could inhibit the community in
denouncing cellulose plants.
Ximena Abogabir (2010), head of Casa De la Paz - an NGO promoting education
and environmental awareness- acknowledges Terram’s concerns. Despite pointing out
that in such an emergency, direct aid was legitimate; she doesn’t advice corporations to
directly make donations, as they can establish non-transparent relationships.
Nonetheless, she points out that this is “different from taking charge of their impacts, sit
as a neighbour, understand their development needs and be a positive actor”, as she
regards this community approach more sustainable. Thus, she considers corporate
contributions as legitimate: “if they have a project and want to enter the community as a
good neighbour, making an in-kind contribution, I don’t believe they’re buying the will
of the people. In our experience, regardless of how many donations a corporation gives to
a community, if the project has a negative impact they will reject it.”
Cristián Goldberg from DLCH (2010) asserts: “when you look at your countrymen
affected by this drama, there is no whitewashing. The benefits of donation laws are
marginal. Companies only deduct the 19% income tax from their in-kind contributions. If
I donate 10 bags of cement, the state only credits me for 2. It is not an incentive to engage
in these issues”.
Esquivel (2010), from AngloAmerican –a mining company directly reconstructing
schools in the area, with a donation from its London headquarters-
claims these
criticisms underestimates communities, presuming that they are “willing to sell
themselves”, and don’t have the capacity to express their concerns. Subsequently, the
company’s CSR strategy has moved away for some time from direct philanthropy, into
developing projects together with their neighbouring communities.
3.4.2. Social Marketing vs. CSR
There are critics on calling these relief initiatives “CSR”. Cristián Leporati, strategic
communications expert, regards CSR as “maintaining a commitment to a social project
marketing”(Universia [email protected], 2010).
Flavia Liberona (2010), head of Terram, acknowledges every sector plays a role in
reconstruction, but criticises that during the first few weeks after the earthquake, the
private sector took over the media promoting their donations. She then calls to carefully
analyse this “advertised corporate philanthropy”, as tax incentives are just a reassignment
of public income upon the criteria of corporations.
Esquivel, despite considering the Teletón necessary given the circumstances, agrees
that “in practice, they recollect money in exchange for advertisement. The value of
working as an enterprise is to be involved and understand the community, work with
them to see what the best way to intervene is”. Silva (2010) agrees that within the CSR
framework, the Teletón is more related to social marketing. However, it also opens up the
way for corporate collaborations in other ways, such as volunteering.
3.4.3. Lack of Community Participation
Worried about the lack of consultation with local citizen’s movements, CSOs in
Talca, capital of the Maule Region, set up an assembly to channel proposals and
criticisms on reconstruction policies, to put citizens as a counterpart for private and
public institutions linked to reconstructing of the town, claiming they hadn’t been heard
by the authorities in their reconstruction proposals. (Palabra Ciudadana, 2010)
Terram adds that this proposal was discarded by the government. “What is priming
here is not the interest of the people affected, nor the local participation of the citizens”.
Thus, the earthquake underlined the lack of social networks and organisation in Chile, as
citizens are not being considered in decisions. This concurs with Ashman´s (2001) view
that businesses can dominate collaborative decision making, with negative results for
sustainability, calling for more empowered civil society collaboration with business.
Eugenio Marcos (2010), CSR expert, claims Chile’s existing SC is overlooked.
He challenges some private initiatives, as “many of them are marked with business logics
and don’t have many participation methods. These are important, because it gives
legitimacy. The corporate sector must learn from CS and vice-versa, and participation is a
space to get to know each other.”
Koljatic (2010) furthers on these criticisms, arguing that “it is hard to accept the
involvement of the community when the people who are in charge are executives, more
used to giving orders or finding efficiency, than look for a consensus.”
3.4.4. Concluding remarks
Whilst experts contest the underlying intentions of partnerships within reconstruction,
I consider these development solutions were key at a time where the country needed
quick responses. However, the framework in which these companies are executing these
contributions can have consequences in the future sustainability of these efforts.
Contributions within the CSR approach can have more sustainability than mainstream
philanthropy, as the donors have incentives to remain contributing to the long term
development of their target communities – such as the case of Arauco-. Mainstream
philanthropy or cause-related marketing, whilst rapidly aiding schools at a time of
emergency, are more unlikely to remain beyond initial contributions of donors.
In that regard, interviewees and publications (Casa de la Paz, 2010), address the need
to strengthen the social fabric in these towns, as citizens involvement is essential in
schools reconstruction. This needs more long-term assessments from private-nonprofit
partnerships, as solutions can be different in each school, so the reconstruction must be
thought in different ways. Thus, with these ongoing programmes and criticisms as a
background I analyse in particular the case of DLCH.
4. Case Study: Desafio Levantemos Chile
4.1. Background
Three days after the earthquake, the businessman, entrepreneur and sailor Felipe
Cubillos travelled to seaside towns hit by the tsunami in the Maule Region. Some days
later, he e-mailed nearly a thousand people, among friends, colleagues and partners from
his sailing trip round the world in 2009, asking them for help to gather contributions and
looking for people willing to aid on the reconstruction effort.
One of them was Cristián Goldberg, manager of TecnoFast Atco -a mining modules
company-, who donated the capital, materials and expertise for a first school in Iloca, a
seaside town 198 km. south of Santiago. Once they assigned specialists in the field, they
surveyed some affected areas along the coastline, in order to assess the particular needs
of coastal communities, concurring with the local mayors and school principals.
With that information, the modular company designed and valued the school project,
their team turned to personal and corporate contacts in order to begin gathering
contributions for other institutions. Then, a team of 25 people, among friends, employees
and business partners, was set up to develop, construct and inaugurate by March 22nd,
2010 –within 20 days of the earthquake and 15 days of the beginning of construction- the
first modular school in Iloca, for 150 children.
The project acted as an intermediate between the municipality, the schools and
corporations or individual donors, and subsequently gained public and donors interest,
growing to a more formal NGO to rebuild schools in the Maule Region –as a particular
request from the Ministry of Education to focus there. Moreover, they have helped
fishermen to reconstruct boats, setting up a larger volunteer team coordinating mainly
over the phone and the Internet.
Goldberg (2010) says that the project emerged from the “conviction that we could be
far more efficient than the government returning the communities to normal. It began as a
helping initiative, and moved towards a management model.”
Despite this, the schools have been rebuilt on a first-come, first-served basis,
matching costs of particular projects with potential sponsors, and have no further criteria
to work with one community in particular as opposed to another.
Moreover, the uttermost support has been from outside the region, as some of the
most prominent donors have been mining companies, whose corporate interests don’t lie
in the disaster hit region but in northern Chile, where they have their operations.
This issue has been questioned from environmental NGOs like Terram, as whether or
not there were underlying interests in donations. However, to Goldberg, the value for the
donor corporation is the fact that they help communities to go back to normal, as children
go back to school and the parents back to work. “If the enterprise is capable to
communicate this internally and externally, it has a great value”, both for the image of the
company and the relations with their employees.
4.2. Results
In their school programme, to August 2010, they partnered with other modular
companies and reconstructed 19 schools -in an average timing of 2 weeks each-, put back
in class nearly 14.000 children, as well as pooling other contributions such as library
materials from bookstores and stationeries, gathering donations of over US$6 million.
Goldberg is convinced that “private enterprises are far more efficient than the
government in doing the job, because they don’t ask for no one’s permission. (…) Five
months after the earthquake, neither the government nor any other institution has
inaugurated any new schools5. The people concerned cannot wait”. He recalls Minera
Escondida (BHP Billiton), struggling with demolition permits to rebuild a school.
Meanwhile, Cubillos says in interviews that the state can no longer solve these
issues on its own (Olivares, 2010: 40), and claims they “unknowingly became a hinge
between the private donor and the solution of public problems. We made the schools the
government asked for and as long as we have donors we will continue building.” (Aliaga,
4.3. Projections
As of August, they plan to complete 45 schools, kindergartens and children’s homes,
worth another US$6 Million (Capital, 2010). As for post-reconstruction work, they began
contacting donor companies’ educational foundations, to further work with headmasters
As of August, 2010. Teletón’s “Escuelas para Chile” began construction of schools in several communities
around Chile.
and teachers. For instance, Minera Collahuasi, considers work on learning outcomes,
psychological assistance and school administration in Juan Fernandez and other towns
(Revista Espiritu, 2010: 5).
In that regard, DLCH intends to continue “as long as there is need and money”, and
further up with technical education. From then on, they consider evolving into a
permanent institution after the earthquake relief efforts are complete.
From these projections and results, I will analyse in detail the main strengths and
constraints this programme has in practice, both with its fundraising work, their approach
to schools their projections, looking in detail at the assets of the programme and what it
currently lacks, from the lessons of previous disaster scenarios and the opinion of experts
in cross-sector partnerships.
4.4. Values and questions behind DLCH
4.4.1. Effective Informal Bridge of Trust
One of the main problems behind the disaster aid was where to effectively
contribute, quickly establishing the needs in a particular community, with the fragmented
data and information available at the moment (Alençon et al, 2006). So far, DLCH
bridged this information gap within days of the earthquake, linking the help of
corporations and organisations with previously unknown schools. Thus, the adoption of
schools by donors proved effective, delivering a fast solution to put schools back in
motion, just as the UN Maldives Island adoption scheme gathered additional private
Most interviewees (Zulueta, 2010; Díaz, 2010; Marcos, 2010; Abogabir, 2010)
value Cubillos’ skills to network aid within this short amount of time, proving the value
of Koljatic’s framework on the informal way partnerships are established in Chile within
friends. It was DLCH’s informal acquaintances which helped build the Iloca School,
encouraging other actors to later cooperate. “If it weren’t for the private sector, the
communities would still wait for somebody to reconstruct schools. They did something
extremely agile, not only giving a cheque but management capacity”- Abogabir says.
Chile has rich social capital in higher income levels of society, despite the serious
gap in more grassroots levels, where social networks were ineffective at the time of the
disaster. In that regard, with these inequalities, they still lack a strategic approach towards
grassroots local organisations and the educational community.
An effective response, however quick, requires not only a consultation from the
recipients of disaster aid, but also empowerment in terms of capacity building,
strengthening local CSOs and the education community, such as parents and teachers
groups (Warner and Sullivan, 2004).
4.4.2. Competitive Advantage
This added value, quickened up and cheapened reconstruction, whilst becoming
opportunity for to position modular buildings, as an alternative previously undeveloped in
Chile beyond mining. This proves Porter and Kramer’s competitive advantage and
clusters framework, adding mutual value for beneficiaries and corporations: coordinators,
donors and in-kind contributors benefited experience, expertise and capacity –such as
project management- for quick relief. Thus, they positioned as effective emergency
solutions, creating a competitive advantage for these cluster of companies, with the help
of DLCH as a bridge between Sobel and Neeson’s (2007) “relief demanders” and “relief
Insofar, both the government and other donors adopted these technologies beyond
the use of DLCH, acknowledging these groups as partners within the overall
reconstruction agenda (Lira, 2010). Nonetheless, this issue must be treated carefully, as
many organisations are critical on what they regard as the state outsourcing and
privatising reconstruction (Basconi, 2010).
4.4.3. CSR or Corporate Philanthropy?
However, here it is hard to draw the line between CSR, philanthropy and social
marketing among the programme’s large group of donors. Despite contributions from
business associations, foundations and other individuals, some donations from the mining
sector, whose interests don’t lie in the area -regardless of benefiting from tax breaks- do
not generate them strategic value, beyond sensitising their stakeholders and public
opinion about their contributions. Therefore, there are components of mainstream
philanthropy from some of these sponsors, (Annex 2) and cause related marketing, such
as school materials (Annex 3, 4 and 5).
4.4.4. Long Term Sustainability?
Moreover, Zulueta and Abogabir question what will happen when the
rehabilitation of schools is no longer perceived as an immediate necessity, so they doubt
the sustainability of this project the way it is presented. “The adrenaline moment he
generated is hard to maintain over time. Many people were touched by the earthquake
and will still relate to it, but not in the same intensity as before”- Abogabir says.
An example of that is Anglo American’s reconstruction. Beyond schools funding,
strategic community interests don’t lie on the disaster area and, despite working on other
nationwide educational improvement programmes where they could address these
schools, they don’t yet consider continuing to work with these communities in particular.
Thus, the failure of the LCGBP in the United States (Twigg, 2001) shows the
importance of clear mid and long-term strategic objectives, in order to work in crosssector partnerships, as “partnerships need entropy. If they don’t add energy, these won’t
last long. Upon the next economic crisis, corporations will cut contributions if NGOs
don’t show partnerships are worth it for both of them. CEOs are obliged to show
measurable results”- Valencia says. To him, DLCH is not an institution, but a person.
“Unless he can work beyond his personal figure, creating an organisation that supports
these communities beyond the emergency, it will disappear. The earthquake gave these
partnerships legitimacy, but in the middle and long term we have to see how this
maintains, and it will depend whether or not they can tell successful stories.”
Zulueta agrees. He doubts this work is done with the communities rather than for
them, as “the sin of the private sector in Chile and entrepreneurs is assistencialism”. He
wonders how Cubillos’ will maintain his networks’ social commitment active beyond the
short-term and his personal leadership. “These organisations depend on their founder and
his spirit. Donors are harder to sensitise, and it is necessary many more leaderships to
work this lack of social capital in grassroots organisations”.
4.4.5. Improvements and lessons from other experiences
The concerns of NGOs such as Terram, and the expression of communities such
as Talca, reflect a lack of effective mutual communication with communities. In that
regard, institutions such what AccionRSE has become within the corporate sector in
Chile, can be a more trustworthy counterpart that a single company.
The Merck Thailand -Raks Foundation partnerships, with revolving funds, and
PDA’s participatory empowerment programme, addressed long term plans of
communities before designing scholarships for children (PDA, 2007), showing that these
organisations can be effective beyond the short term recovery.
Moreover, the Philippines’ CNDR (Twigg 2001) facilitated distribution of
corporate contributions, while strengthening CSOs as their relief agents. The same
applied to Colombia’s Coffee region (Cuervo, 2002), where local CSOs monitored and
assigned funds for reconstruction.
These shows local CS and community empowerment is imperative to transcend
short term aid into sustainable development. The private sector creates value whilst
setting realistic exit strategies in improving local resilience -the capacity to recover from
stresses and shocks (Rakodi, 2002).
In that regard DLCH, whilst effectively pooling expertise, is still a lack of more
through incorporation of the community in these issues and a more strategic definition on
which communities to prioritise constructions. The cases of Teletón and Arauco show
that this can be considered in the schools recovery with feedback from the schools
5. Conclusions
5.1. General Implications
It has only been 6 months since the Chile earthquake. Therefore, there is a
considerable lack of analysis regarding the outcomes of social programmes and
reconstruction. Some are still under way and the key people involved are currently
undertaking the development of schools.
More thorough information in that regard is incomplete, as official figures are still
difficult to access and the field corporate donations in disaster relief are currently underresearched. For instance, initial evaluations of partnerships after the East Asian Tsunami
of 2004 were first published over a year after these events. Therefore, more time will
have to pass if we want to look at more definitive conclusions about Chile.
5.2. Hypotheses
Nonetheless, we can draw upon answers to the hypotheses originally stated:
H1. Chile’s framework of informal acquaintances within leaders of nonprofits and
corporations proved crucial to quickly set up a donation system at a state of
emergency where timing was a constraint.
True: Cubillos’ network of friends, relatives and acquaintances proved crucial to
organise the first relief efforts in Iloca and subsequently continuing their work in other
H2. Corporations used these to bridge the information gap between funding
opportunities and the effective needs of schools in the disaster hit regions, pooling
the technical and logistical capacities of donors with in-kind donations and
monetary contributions.
True: The information brought by the team on the area surveyed, as well as the
technical capacity of the construction companies, proved crucial for the quick
reconstruction of the first schools. This was recognised by the Chilean Government,
within a group of “a clear counterpart, with opportune information, as each party brings
differentiating elements” (Rojas, 2010).
H3. They became part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies for
companies with interests in the area, as their communities of interest were badly hit.
False: While looking at the Cubillos case, the donations were given from outside
the region, especially by particulars or companies with no strategic interest in the area,
more into a model of corporate philanthropy -as mining companies adopting schools-, or
strategic marketing, such as corporations donating school supplies (Annex 5 and 6).
Despite contributing as civil corporations, they do not deepen into Porter and Kramer’s
framework of strategic philanthropy.
However, companies in the modular field, such as TecnoFast Atco and Builder
Pack, positioned themselves as suppliers of modular school solutions, to quickly put back
children to school. Despite this, there is a lack of a more strategic relationship between
the companies at stake and the communities addressed, which can translate into a more
mid and long term win-win scenario.
5.3. Strengths
With DLCH, these informal networks of trust were crucial to bridge resources and
needs, in a country where more grassroots counterparts are underdeveloped, and a
political vacuum in the country was an impediment to a speedy decision making. These
partnerships pooled quickly contributions and provided a synergy on fundraising efforts.
It also shows the value not only of monetary, but in-kind donations, as well as
managerial, logistical and technical expertise, essential to reconstruct schools within a
short period of time.
5.4. Weaknesses
DLCH works on a first-come, first-served basis, matching schools with funding
available. However, this partnership must institutionalise its trust capital beyond its
founding members, if it is to become a permanent organisation.
Despite Goldberg’s priority was to set up schools on time, for children not to miss the
school year, criticising the lack of effectiveness of thorough consultations with the public
sector or schoolteachers during a state of emergency, these must be addressed deeply if
they intend to continue, in order to thoroughly identify the areas where their need could
be more effective, beyond matching donors with schools.
Moreover, the concerns of these schools beyond reconstruction have not been
addressed carefully, apart from discussions with educational foundations. These
institutions should remain engaged for some time, creating capacities for local
maintenance, as experts assert that “much expensive disaster prevention infrastructure
fails for lack of maintenance (…) beneficiaries lack human resources available for proper
maintenance, as well as a sense of ownership and accountability for these projects”.
(Parker, 2006: 62).
The main weakness in this partnership has been the failure to engage local
corporations and local grassroots organisations. Thus, DLCH cannot expand, unless they
can serve both as a bonding incentive for local corporations – including tax breaks for
donations and in-kind contributions-, as well as a bridge with local CSOs, who fear
privatising disaster relief.
5.5. Opportunities
Felipe Cubillos gained trust as an asset. Terram, despite criticising private
contributors, don’t have particular concerns about him. Therefore, his foundation has
credibility, should it mutate from a volunteer group to a permanent NGO.
However, more sustainable solutions in these communities need empowerment and
grassroots feedback. The work of Teletón in schools took time to develop, but it now
began a reconstruction plan with participation from the beneficiary schools, prioritising
the number of establishments addressed and in the way they work with them –as partial
reconstruction, modular buildings or more in-depth plans.
Rodrigo Jordán, from Fundación de la Superación de la Pobreza (PSP), agrees that, in
order to face mid and long-term necessities, companies must adapt to the new reality after
the earthquake (Jordán, 2010:2). Thus, to further develop, Cubillos must work with local
companies and organisations, allowing more manageable costs and risks for donors, and
synergies between funders and beneficiaries.
A longer corporate commitment can only be accomplished through alliances
benefiting both parties, such as the ones undertaken with bridging organisations in other
countries or the Arauco case. These strategies work beyond relief into redevelopment,
institutionalising trust between local communities and the private sector. (Hamann et al,
5.6. Threats
Chile is a seismic country, so the long term efforts with schools as the centre of
community work are imperative for the resilience of towns. However, there is still a
confidence gap between advocacy NGOs, grassroots organisations, the private sector and
their corporate-based foundations, as shown with Terram and the citizens of Talca.
Community organisations need to engage their concerns to a credible corporate
counterpart. A bridging NGO would have great more success in that regard than a
corporate foundation. In my experience as coordinator at an NGO, we partnered with
corporate foundations to address their stakeholders’ education. Teachers regarded us
more credible as a counterpart than the corporate foundation itself.
5.7. Policy Recommendations
Despite that the international arena has partnerships in post- earthquake and tsunami
recovery, such as the DEC’s Corporate Disaster’s Emergency Committee (CDEC),
middle-income countries like Chile are not seen as a priority within.
The government has an Emergency Response Office and the Ministry of Planning
established a Reconstruction Committee. However, from the example of other disasters,
and the failure in Chile articulating successful public coordination- as the short-lived aid
after the Tarapacá 2005 earthquake (Bordas, 2005)-, the challenge is to establish a
permanent NGO bridging a multi-sectored network, enhancing the job other institutions
such as AccionRSE already does within the corporate, government, and academic sectors.
In my opinion, this organisation can bond local companies, pool resources and
experiences, set common goals, and bridge stakeholders otherwise unaware of each other.
NGOs play a vital role facilitating this integration of corporations with local institutions
(Millar, Choi and Chen, 2004) and as CSR projects are expensive, “given the chance of a
long-term partnership, the costs are greatly reduced over time, usually 3 or more
years”(Kotler and Lee, 2005 in Gordon and Daniels, 2009: 26).
I agree with Esquivel that “the state doesn’t have all the capacity to intervene at
all fronts. As corporations we can intervene, making the product better, than centralising
everything in the state to do everything”. Thus, the work of a post-disaster development
foundation will be valuable, as NGO-corporate partnerships can be synergic catalysts in
an economy where macroeconomic levels are good but social inequalities are still strong.
These can help address in a quicker, more sustainable basis the reconstruction of the
country's educational system.
In that way, we can use the competitive in-kind, managing and logistical
advantages of companies – which were essential in the Chile 2010 relief- as well as
empowering local organisations as liaisons and executors of development mechanisms in
schools. “Despite the social fabric being low, we have to use it, otherwise you find
legitimacy issues later”, Marcos says.
5.8. Suggestions for Further Research
This dissertation opens up an important under-researched topic, raising questions
for further research, which should be addressed once the urgent effects for disaster relief
are over in Chile, in order to have a more in depth analysis of the role of corporate-nonprofit partnerships in post-disaster redevelopment:
1. How private investment in NGOs evolved in 2010, after the earthquake,
compared to previous years.
2. A the end of Teletón’s school construction effort, or DLCH’s incoming
projects, how are the schools benefited being further addressed.
3. A more in-depth analysis can be put on the Arauco partnership in
Constitución, as it positions a long term relationship regarding
reconstruction, between the company and the local community.
4. The state of CS-private relationships once the state of emergency has
ended and their cooperation agenda returns to normal, if it does.
5. References
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2. Media coverage
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Available at [Accessed July
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Fernández a caleta Tumbes”. La Segunda, April 9, 2010. Available at [Accessed July
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escuelas en 60 días”. La Segunda, March 23 2010. Pg 18.
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Collahuasi SCM. Pg. 5. Available at [Accessed July 2010}.
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de pobreza”. La Segunda, August 2, 2010. Pg. 18.
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Zambra, D. “Con ganas de echar la red”. La Nacion Domingo, 28 March- 3 April 2010. Available at [Accessed
June 2010)
3. Recurrently consulted websites
Accion RSE-
Business for Social Responsibility-
Business in the community-
Desafío: Levantemos Chile-
Escuelas para Chile-
Fundación Casa de la Paz-
Fundación Terram-
PRES Constitución-
4. Interviews and E-mail correspondence
Ximena Abogabir, President, Fundación Casa de la Paz. August 16, 2010.
Paula Basconi, Coordinator . Fundación Terram. August 6, 2010.
Alejandro Díaz, Head of Research and Development. Acción RSE. August 14, 2010.
Marcelo Esquivel, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Anglo American. August 18, 2010.
Cristián Goldberg, Head of schools development. Desafío Levantemos Chile. August 8, 2010.
Mladen Koljatic, Professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica. July 20, 2010.
Eugenio Marcos, Sociologist at Tironi Asociados. August 17, 2010.
Valentina Martínez, Programme Coordinator. Acción RSE. August 14, 2010.
Eugenio Silva, Head of Escuelas para Chile. 18 August, 2010.
Sergio Valencia, CSR Consultant at TOP Consultures. August 6, 2010
Javier Zulueta, Manager of Gestión Social. 25 August, 2010
5. Presentations and Seminars
Presentations from 10th International Seminar of Corporate Social Responsibility: “Reconstruction,
Synergy, Entrepeneurship: Transforming the Emergency in Sustainable Development” (X Encuentro
Internacional de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial: “Reconstrucción, Sinergia, Emprendimiento:
Transformando la emergencia en desarrollo empresarial sustentable”). Acción RSE. Santiago, Chile. 3- 4
August 2010. Available at: [Accessed August
Aravena, A. (2010) “PRES Constitución. Sustainable Reconstruction Masterplan” (“PRES Constitución. Plan
de Reconstrucción Sustentable”.)
Lira, C. (2010) Ministry of Interior. “Emergency Committee” (“Comité de Emergencia”)
Rojas, F. (2010) Undersecretay of Education. “Sustainable partnerships in Education” (“Alianzas
sostenibles en Educación”)
Toro, B. (2010). Advisor at Fundación AVINA “To know to take care and understand the risk. The
paradigms of reconstruction and some lessons from public-private experiences.” (“Saber cuidar y
comprender el riesgo. Los paradigmas de la reconstrucción. Algunos aprendizajes derivados de la
experiencia publico-privada”)
Weinstein, J. (2010) (Fundación Chile) “CSR in Education, lessons from experience” ( “RSE en Educación.
Lecciones desde la Experiencia”).
Desafío Levantemos Chile (2010). “Completed projects from Desafio: Levantemos Chile. “Proyectos
Concretados, Desafío: Levantemos Chile” (Unpublished).
Annex 1:
Images of the partnerships at work
Figure 1: Constitución before and after the earthquake (above and middle pictures), and the plans to
reconstruct its river border (below) (Courtesy: Acción RSE)
Figure 2: Citizen's consultation (above) and the Escuela Enrique Donn before and after the masterplan
(middle and below) (Courtesy: Acción RSE)
Figure 3: the Desafío Levantemos Chile team (above), and a reconstructed school in Talca (below)
(courtesy: Cristián Goldberg)
Figure 4: The first school reconstructed in Iloca after the earthquake (courtesy: Cristián Goldberg)
Annex 7: Thinking about the effects of the earthquake and the measures that were taken,
How do you evaluate the following people or Institutions?*
UDD/La Segunda Survey, May-June 2010 at

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