How well is Malaysia doing in charitable giving?

Malaysia found herself in the second cluster based on the performance of 15 Asian economies in the Doing Good Index (DGI). Instead of outright rankings, DGI measured the performance in terms of four clusters – Doing Well Doing Better Doing Okay , and Not Doing Enough . Each cluster represents the distance left to travel toward a conducive environment for doing good.

Joining Malaysia in the Doing Better cluster were Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, all trailing behind Japan, Singapore and Taiwan who led the pack in the Doing Well cluster. In the third cluster, Doing Okay, were China, India and Pakistan while Indonesia and Myanmar were placed in the Not Doing Enough cluster. Overall, no economy has yet reached its full potential, even those in the Doing Well cluster. There is ample room for improvement across the board.

Malaysia was particularly doing well in two sub-indexes – Regulations and Ecosystem. The Regulations sub-index evaluates laws and policies pertaining to philanthropic activity, examining some of the practicalities around what makes the giving and receiving of social investments. While the Ecosystem sub-index maps the supportive environment for giving of philanthropic funds and the delivery of services through four groups of indicators: public perception, institutional recognition, talent infrastructure, and good governance.

DGI is a study based on a set of indicators that are taken together to show the regulatory and institutional infrastructure enabling or impeding philanthropic giving. Four main areas were covered – regulatory regimes, tax and fiscal policy, government procurement, and socio-cultural ecosystem. The Index revealed how Asian economies are catalyzing philanthropic giving.

In terms of numbers, DGI is impressive. The project was massive in its scope and reach:

● 15 Asian economies (countries) including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan,   Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand,     and Vietnam;
● the survey was translated into 11 languages;
● a total of 1,579 social delivery organisations (SDOs) from 15 Asian economies took part   in the survey, which was carried out from January to April 2017. SDOs included NGOs,     nonprofits, foundations, and social enterprises; and
● 122 Malaysian SDOs throughout the country took part in the survey.

Addressing complex challenges requires multi-sector and multi-stakeholder involvement. By identifying the enablers and barriers to progress, the Index can direct stakeholders’ efforts to the location. Understanding specific factors that matter and providing a clearer understanding of moving-forward plan can unleash the potential of private social investment and philanthropy in Asia. If achievable, the Doing Good Index could significantly contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Driving the initiative was the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS), an action-oriented research and advisory organisation committed to improving the quantity and quality of private social investment in Asia. CAPS is operating in Hong Kong.

In Malaysia, the study was conducted by myHarapan and co-funded by Yayasan Hasanah, a sister entity of Khazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia.

Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed, Research Director of CAPS, Hong Kong will be coming down to Malaysia for the launching of DGI2018 report at NGOHub Malaysia. While down here, there will be a focus group discussion and meeting with industry experts from the public and private sector to discuss plans for DGI2020 specifically for Malaysia. DGI is repeated every two years.



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