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One-stop shop to manage aid

business Updated: Apr 19, 2010 21:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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In times of natural disasters, it is natural to want to help. If you don’t know where to go, there is help on hand.

CSO Partners (Civil Society Organisation Partners), a Chennai-based non-profit organisation, has started a web-based supply chain management system called Corporate Disaster Resource Network (CDRN) to enable aid and relief reaching faster in the wake of calamities.

CDRN links NGOs, public and corporates through a combination of online and offline channels to ensure that the needy are attended at the earliest, officials of CSO said.

In calamities and disasters such as the recent cyclone in West Bengal, the maximum amount of funds come from corporates as part of their corporate social responsibility. However, it is a long while before these funds percolate to the affected parties.

The CDRN initiative would help to link up aid from different sources, such as the public, NGOs and corporates, and reach it to the affected areas.

This platform is expected to provide transparency in the entire supply chain and not just the donation part, said CSO Partners officials.

For instance, just the information that certain medicines are available in bulk with a corporate may at times not be good enough. These medicines need to be physically collected, transported to the right place and made available to the affected people promptly.

“The basic purpose is to make life easier for the disaster-hit, by cutting down on the number of channels and making available goods and services required in a way which ensure timely help,” Soumitra Ghosh, CEO, CSO Partners.

“The largest benefit of this service is for the first responders that is the governments and civil society organisations, during calamities. The flow chart of relief fund – donations can be traced at any given point in time detailing the requirements at ground level thus providing a ray of hope for those who have been suddenly struck in a calamity,” he added.

CDRN, he said, fosters visibility to the supply chain by giving a chance for all to pour in contributions in terms of donations or volunteering.