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What contextual information will you use to explore your challenge / opportunity? What stakeholder perspectives will you consult?  How will you access this information and ensure it is robust / representative?

Analysis Paper

    Maximum length   Sections     Assessed  
      2. The sustainability challenge/opportunity    
    3,000 words2 3. Analysis     Yes  
      4. Conclusions        



Proposed Analysis Paper Title:

Sustainability in Charity Investments in Hong Kong: a possible way forward

What sustainability challenge / opportunity will you be exploring and why?

·       What is your specific question?

What needs to be done to improve the uptake of sustainability investing in the charity sector in Hong Kong? (Using WWF as a case study)

· How will it contribute to positive change for sustainability, both for the organisation and society?

WWF has identified green finance and sustainability investing as the new area to advocate, but the board discovered that over its history of 35 years, sustainability issues were not actively considered in its own investments.

The wider charity and philanthropy sector in Hong Kong is slow in considering Sustainability investing in their investments. WWF would like to pioneer in Sustainability investing and become  an example of a possible way forward. Using WWF (HK) as a case study, the analysis will present a possible sustainability opportunity for other charities in Hong Kong.

· What is the business case for addressing it?  What has your organisation already done to address the challenge (what else needs to be done)?

WWF has identified sustainability and green investing as the new area to advocate but internally the staff are not equipped with any green finance knowledge, and the board of directors (governors) also shared concerns about incorporating Sustainability Investing in their Charity Investments.


· Who is the specific (organisational) leadership/decision-making audience for your recommendations?

The Board of Governors (Directors) at WWF (Hong Kong)

How will you undertake the critical analysis?

·What contextual information will you use to explore your challenge / opportunity? What stakeholder perspectives will you consult?  How will you access this information and ensure it is robust / representative?

Review WWF literature, websites, press releases, research and policy papers to understand why WWF as a charity would like to consider Sustainability in their own investments.

Interview WWF chairperson, governors and staff to understand the causes, risks, issues considered and changes in governance needed to incorporate Sustainability investing.

Interview representatives of financial institutions who are experienced in offering charity investment solutions to analyse the landscape of such product offerings to charity sector in Hong Kong.


· What academic and practitioner research will you review? Which concepts or theories will you use and why?  (Please note that you should aim to ensure that you have a broad overview and move beyond oft-quoted models and frameworks)

Kreander, N., Beattie, V. and McPhail, K. (2006). UK charity ethical investment. London: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Hellsten, S. and Mallin, C. (2006). Are ‘Ethical’ or ‘Socially Responsible’ Investments Socially Responsible?. Journal of Business Ethics, 66(4), pp.393-406.

Kreander, N., Beattie, V. and McPhail, K. (2009). Putting our money where their mouth is: Alignment of charitable aims with charity investments – Tensions in policy and practice. The British Accounting Review, 41(3), pp.154-168.

Governance.hkcss.org.hk. (2019). Survey on Financial Reserves of Social Service Agencies | NGO Governance. [online] Available at: https://governance.hkcss.org.hk/node/252 [Accessed 22 Jul. 2019]

My suggested structure:- 3000 words
Literature Review to examine whether – 40% (1,200 words)

1. Europe or US, structural reasons of why Charity sector is slow to adopt responsible investing

2. UK or Europe Charities vs. charities in Hong Kong: why charities in Hong Kong is slow to adopt responsible investing

3.  Green vs. Charities of other causes: are charities in Green is slow to adopt responsible investing
Critical Analysis and Recommendations – 60% (1800 words)

WWF (Hong Kong)
– why this organisation should take this opportunity
– why is this a good opportunity to take

a) Why WWF want to start responsible investing
b) What challenges do they face
c) Considerations?

3 Recommendations:

1. Recommend to set up investment committee, and draft investment policy
2. Recommend to board approve allocate 50% financial resources
3. Appoint the investment manager





Analysis Paper Description


Section 1: Brief background and organisation information

500 words; not optional but also not assessed


This section should include factual information about the organisation and/or wider context that is essential to the understanding of the sustainability challenge / opportunity, e.g. what factors have contributed to the development of the challenge / opportunity? You should also indicate your role and sphere of influence in relation to the organisation, to provide context for the recommendations you propose.



Section 2: The Sustainability Challenge / Opportunity



In this section you should clearly articulate the nature of the sustainability challenge or opportunity, and why you feel it should be examined from both a sustainability and business point of view. Describe briefly what your organisation has already done to address the challenge, if anything. Please refer to the ‘Identify a Sustainability Challenge / Opportunity’ section in Handbook A for further details regarding the nature of the sustainability challenge / opportunity.




Top Tips


You should make it very clear how your challenge / opportunity is material for both the organisation and key external stakeholders.


There should be a clear business case for addressing it, and it should contribute to positive change for sustainability, i.e. wider social, economic and/or environmental benefits.






Section 3: Critical Analysis



The analysis will consider all three of the following areas, drawing out those aspects that are most relevant to your organisation and the chosen challenge / opportunity:



Contextual issues of relevance to the challenge / opportunity, including:


  • data and/or commentary about the wider economic, social and environmental context (e.g. market dynamics, resource availability, environmental impact, economic trends),


  • policy frameworks or industry standards, o emerging trends in the sector/ industry,


  • key stakeholders such as competitors, suppliers, customers, potential partners, NGOs, civil society etc (stakeholder mapping and analysis will help to identify key issues, interests, pressure points and leverage points).


  • the performance of other organisations within the sector or industry for the purposes of benchmarking



A broad review of the existing knowledge relevant to the sustainability challenge / opportunity


You should identify and review a wide range of academic and practitioner literature relating to your sustainability challenge / opportunity. This will involve critically analysing relevant concepts or theories that will provide the basis for the analysis. Assessors will specifically be looking for you to explain why you choose these particular concepts and theories, and evaluate how helpful they are.


Critical analysis of the challenge / opportunity for your organisation.


This involves exploring your sustainability challenge or opportunity in more depth, and unpacking the implications for your organisation. This will involve gathering relevant information or data. Data sources might be primary (collected by you, e.g. through surveys, interviews) or secondary (collected by someone else e.g. market research, benchmarking data). The information collected might be qualitative (e.g. interview transcripts, key documentation) or quantitative (e.g. statistics, financial data).


Critical analysis will involve evaluating (not simply describing) organisational progress to date with respect to the sustainability challenge or opportunity. Barriers, risks and opportunities should be identified and critically analysed. It is not sufficient to simply describe the situation in a ‘journalistic style’. You should seek to weave together insights from existing literature with the contextual information, critical analysis and practical application of the data gathered.




Top Tips


Look at a range of existing concepts and theories, rather than simply picking one with little


justification. You can ‘tweak’ concepts, or develop your own based on practice and experience.


Properly reference all the data sources. If you have gathered data yourself through interviews/a short survey, give details of who and when, and why they were selected (safeguarding confidentiality / anonymity as required).


Take care to use as robust and rigorous data as possible. Drawing unsubstantiated conclusions from ad hoc interviews or a limited survey does not demonstrate good research practice.






Section 4: Conclusions and recommendations



Finally, you should end your assignment with clear, justifiable conclusions that flow logically from the critical analysis. In light of this, you should articulate clearly at least three suitably ambitious recommendations that cover what needs to be done to address the sustainability challenge / opportunity.


These recommendations will usually form the basis for your Strategic Action Plan as the proposed strategic direction for the organisation, which you will then develop into specific actions based on your understanding of the organisational and wider context and existing theoretical insights.





Top Tips


Your recommendations should be clear, and there should be a reasonable level of ambition and vision, whilst recognising the scope of your sphere of influence. The recommendations should be made with a specific organisation in mind as the audience.




Analysis Paper Assessment Criteria


    A “failing” paper demonstrates poor   A “passing” paper is generally   A “distinction” demonstrates a  
    structure and referencing, and   coherent, well-structured and   logical structure, compelling  
    addresses many of the following   referenced, and addresses most of the   narrative, strong referencing, and  
    criteria in an incomplete/ limited   following criteria in a reasonably   addresses all the following criteria  
      manner   comprehensive manner   comprehensively  
      Fail   Pass     High Pass   Distinction  
    Very weak     Weak   Fair   Good   Very good   Excellent     Outstanding  
    E     D   C   B   B+   A     A+  
    <50     50-59   60-64   65-69   70-74   75-79     ≥80  


Articulation of the Challenge [15%]

Articulation of the sustainability challenge/ opportunity


Description of the current situation with respect to the challenge (e.g. relevance to the organisation and business


case for responding)


Articulation of the wider relevance of the challenge/ opportunity to bring about positive change for sustainable development beyond the organisation.


Understanding of Context [20%]


Analysis reflects a coherent understanding of the wider context relevant to the identified sustainability challenge, including:


o Data and/or commentary about the wider sustainability context (e.g. market dynamics, resource availability, environmental impact, economic trends).


o Analysis of relevant policy frameworks, industry standards/emerging trends, or performance of other relevant organisations.


Stakeholder and community expectations and interests, including key pressure points and leverage points


Review of Existing Academic and Practitioner Knowledge [20%]

Identification of a wide range of academic and practitioner knowledge from the literature, relevant to the identified


sustainability challenge and representing current thinking in the field.

Justification of the selection of concepts or theories forming the basis for the analysis


Critical review and evaluation of concepts and theories, with refinements if appropriate, to provide the basis for the analysis


Critical Analysis of the Challenge for the Organisation [20%]

Gathered data / evidence collection (primary or secondary; qualitative or quantitative) considered critically in light


of existing knowledge and analysis of the wider context.

Critical analysis of organisational progress to date with respect to the sustainability challenge (e.g. barriers, risks,




Evidence of theory being applied to practice in the context of the identified sustainability challenge/opportunity, showing insight, originality and critical reflection.


Conclusions [15%]


Clear, justifiable conclusions that flow logically from the analysis At least three clearly articulated recommendations that:


  • Identify what needs to be done to address the sustainability challenge / opportunity.


  • Are suitably ambitious, whilst being appropriate to the identified challenge/ opportunity.


Presentation [10%]

The report is well presented and the material well organised.


The paper demonstrates professional quality and academic style of written English (grammar, syntax, fluency, spelling, punctuation, referencing).


Diagrams, figures, tables and appendices are used effectively within the text as appropriate.



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