Corporate social responsibility in the Ugandan alcohol industry: its contribution towards the prevention and mitigation of HIV and Aids.
Bakojja, Nabulya Ninah Diana
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This thesis sets out to determine the contribution made by the Alcohol Industry in Uganda towards HIV and AIDS treatment, care and prevention through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Adopting a qualitative case study approach from two multinational breweries; Diageo and AB InBev, data was collected during fieldwork in Uganda using individual interviews, participant observation, two group interviews and secondary data from breweries and partners’ annual and media reports. The main study participants were brewery managers, health workers from partner health centres and beneficiaries including farmers and people living with HIV at the health centres. It is argued that the CSR activities of companies are established as a response to the perception that the high alcohol consumption in Uganda leads to greater risk behaviours for HIV. The study adopts Corporate Social Performance Framework (Ten Pierick et al. 2004) to identify the motivation of breweries to engage in HIV related CSR and the key activities that the breweries engage in. CSR activities include awareness raising, testing and counselling for HIV and AIDS. In addition, the breweries have improved the livelihoods of farmers through the provision of regular contracts to buy grain for brewing. This is perceived by stakeholders to have both a beneficial and detrimental effect: the regular income lifts poor populations out of extreme poverty. However, improved livelihoods can also enable access to social activities which have the potential to increase the risk of HIV infection. Findings from this research highlight the stakeholders’ views that the CSR activities are perceived as strategic due to the fact they have greater benefit for the breweries themselves rather than being largely altruistic. Furthermore, the most significant contribution of the CSR activities is the improved livelihood for farmers, which results from regular and consistent contracts for purchasing grain. This study makes a significant contribution to the field by carrying out a stakeholder perspective of CSR activities in a resource poor setting in the global South. Two distinct disciplines, business studies and global health, have been brought together in order to deepen understandings and provide a rich insight into the ways in which CSR activities can contribute to global health issues with both intended and unintended consequences.