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Doing Good Index 2020

Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society


Asia Myanmar Vietnam The Philippines Indonesia


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Corporate social responsibility Philanthropy

Doing Good Index 2020

Doing Good Index 2020

In the wake of COVID-19, the public, private and social sectors must come together to work towards a stronger and more equitable Asia. The Doing Good Index 2020 provides a roadmap of the policies and practices that can route private capital towards the social sector. It covers 18 economies (up from 15 in the inaugural 2018 index), namely: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Insights are based on original data gathered through surveying 2,180 social delivery organisations and interviewing 145 country experts across all 18 economies.

The Index considers factors under four sub-indexes: Regulations, Tax, Fiscal Policy, Ecosystem and Procurement. Results are tabulated and the economies are categorised into clusters, depending on improvements needed to create a conducive environment for doing good: Doing Well, Doing Better, Doing Okay and Not Doing Enough. The next edition of the Index, planned for 2022, will reveal how these economies have fared following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Insights

  • If Asians give up to 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP), USD 587 billion per year can be unleashed—this is 12 times the net foreign aid flowing to Asia. It is also around 40% of the additional USD 1.5 trillion that the Asia-Pacific region needs to spend annually to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and partnerships for social good are gaining traction in the region. Eleven of the 18 economies highlight new attention being given to CSR and public-private partnerships.
  • Allowing unfettered access to philanthropic funding and allowing donors and recipients to be nimble in their responses, will make all the difference to the speed and scale of recovery. In the six economies with restrictions on foreign funding (Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam), many social delivery organisations (SDOs) are reporting funding decreases of 20% or more, and most are responding by cutting back on much-needed social service delivery.
  • The trend of increased government consultation in 2020 may help make laws more understandable and functional at a time when regulations in Asia are shifting. Clarity on tax incentives and a revival of public procurement (which declined in 11 of the 15 economies previously covered) will not only grant legitimacy to the social sector and spur its growth, but also amplify its impact.
  • Having a board is mandatory in 15 out of 18 economies, but women are surprisingly absent from nonprofit boards. While they make up more than half (58%) of the typical nonprofit’s staff, they comprise only 22% of the average board (only slightly higher than the private sector where women hold 17% of global board seats). Increasing diversity on the board leads to higher net income growth and a positive impact on human resource performance and retention—the latter is significant considering that around 80% of SDOs struggle with staffing.
  • The right policies and incentives can help drive capital to the social sector allowing governments to accelerate development along a more inclusive pathway to prosperity. Moreover, these policies are accessible to all economies, irrespective of their socioeconomic status.

This publication has been translated into Japanese, Korean and Chinese. All versions, including the original English publication, are downloadable on the CAPS website.

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