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VSO and IBM: Mentoring change-makers through employee assignments

We’ve worked with IBM since 2014 to support its Corporate Service Corp (CSC) programme. This sends 500 employees a year on assignments to address health, education, social and economic development challenges.

Employees work in teams of 10-15 supporting local governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) universities, and small businesses. Initiatives range from upgrading technology for a government agency, to supporting grassroots poverty alleviation.

Accelerated employee growth

IBM corporate volunteer with children at a school in India

IBM CSC volunteer Constanza at Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled Residential School. Employee volunteers are supporting organisations working on disability in Bangalore, India.

Participants are selected for their high performance and leadership skills. The four-week assignments they take part in help accelerate growth in their personal and team performance.

Team members develop cross-cultural skills related to leadership, team-working and problem solving. These help them progress into more challenging roles in their organisation.

IBM gains a more motivated staff with a broader range of experiences, an increased understanding of new markets, and new or strengthened relationships with key stakeholders.

Benefits of short-term corporate employee assignments

94% of participants said their experience “Offered important and unique learning/development opportunities that match my career goals”

89% of participants said the CSC programme “made a real difference in the lives of other people/client organisations.”

Government and civil society organisations benefit from technical advice and mentoring, boosting their ability to deliver vital services to poor communities.

VSO has worked with IBM to bring benefits to more than 20 NGOs and government institutions in:

  • Nigeria – including conducting an analysis of Ogun State Water Corporation’s water need and developing a demand-led strategy
  • China – including helping a government department improve telephone hotline care services for the elderly
  • India – including developing a business and marketing plan to promote employment for people with disabilities in Bangalore’s tech industry

    Read an impact evaluation report on two IBM CSC programmes in India: The community impact of IBM Corporate Service Corps (PDF, 1Mb).

“It’s not just philanthropy; it’s leadership development and business development, and it helps build economic development in the emerging world.” 

Stanley Litow, vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs, IBM

Partner with us

Christopher Borthwick, Private Sector Partnerships Manager, VSO VSO

Christopher Borthwick, Private Sector Partnerships Manager

Knowledge Exchange is VSO’s corporate employee volunteering offer. Develop your talented employees, while changing lives in the world's poorest communities.

Get in touch to find out how partnering with VSO could benefit you.

Contact: Christopher Borthwick, Private Sector Partnerships Manager


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