Adding to Norine’s and Mike’s points - The 17 SDGs are all interconnected. NGOs focused on one specific sector need the perspective that business can bring of the broader picture and the scenarios that may accelerate or impede progress.
From Transactional to Transformational Social Impact Partnerships, How Can We Partner More Effectively?
Completely agree Claire. Cargill and CARE’s work together has addressed complex issues spanning smallholder agriculture, market access, women’s economic empowerment, nutrition, child labor, education, and water sanitation and hygiene. The key has been tackling multiple challenges and creating a holistic approach to working with rural agricultural communities as CARE and Cargill aspire to create long lasting, sustainable impact.
But have you gone beyond dialogue into concrete actions?
Dear Michael, I’d be especially interested in details on how you go about the inclusion part. Thanks, appreciate it!
Gaston, I will respond in a moment. Lukas here is more info on inclusion:
PRINCIPLE #7 INCLUSION – Government and business engagement to advance the nutrition goals will require processes that are transparent, open, and inclusive; where all actors operate with accountability, integrity and mutual respect. While engagement should not compromise any individual organization’s independence or reputation, governments and businesses acknowledge that their interdependence and mutual accountability in the service of the nutrition goals will frequently require joint but de-conflicted work processes. As noted above, more needs to be done to establish clear mechanisms to define and measure engagement, but transparent reporting and accountability are fundamental, as is clear compliance with established policies. Upholding these basic ingredients is a critical part of these principles, and an essential requirement to enter into a public-private engagement recognized under them.
Yes, fully agree that there are 17 inter-connected SDGs (and lets not forget those 169 targets), but in my view, SDG17 on partnerships is the hub around which all SDGs turn.
Anglo American and International Alert have a partnership which among other things has focussed on our returns under the VPs on Security and Human Rights. They’ve helped deliver a gap analysis and training on the ground - this has brought a whole new practical approach to this work.
Dear Gaston - one place to find quite a good roster of diverse examples of actions by business – including via partnerships – towards the SDGs is www.businessfor2030.org – check it out
I think one of the key differences between transactional and transformational partnerships is that transformational partnerships engage companies around their core business. Transactional partnerships are often around a company giving some funding to an NGO for the NGO to go and do what it always does. Transformational partnership involves companies and NGOs (and public sector and UN!) combining and aligning their resources to together deliver innovative approaches and real change that could not happen without that combination.
Gaston, we are focusing on concrete actions in the coming year in several ways: 1) one of our members, PepsiCo, has agreed to take the Principles and apply them retroactively to one of their nutrition-focused partnerships; 2) one of the Permanent Representatives in Rome will be taking the Principles to the Rome-based agencies for them to adopt and use in their food security partnerhsips (so broadening beyond nutrition); and 3) we are in discussions with the JFK School at Harvard on broadening the Principles beyond SDG 2 and apply them also to SDG 3, Healthy Lives.
And let’s not forget there is a longevity to these big projects. Our nearly 20-year programme of working with WHO, endemic countries and other partners on the elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis is a good example of a transformational cross-sector partnership that has already been critical in support of SD3 (Good Health & Wellbeing), and where the presence of multi-lateral donors has supported long-term sustainability and progress. The work we were a founding member of has developed over the years into a global alliance of donors, international agencies, academic institutions, other pharmaceutical companies and nongovernmental organisations. Since it began in 2000, we have donated over 8.5 billion tablets, 14 countries have announced elimination of LF and researchers estimate the number of people at risk of infection of LF has almost halved.
Here are some links to more information on this work if you’re interested.
Why? Did you change your strategy or just had a more legitimated position?. Did your partner provide any resources? How did you create something that either one of you couldnt have done on their own?
And, Richard, what did it take to build up the relationship between you and IA?
Throughout our partnership, there has been consistent and clear focus: Cargill sought to invest in communities in proximity to its operations or sourcing, while CARE sought to leverage unique resources of the private sector to realize its mission to end extreme poverty. Cargill and CARE co-created the program design and each organization had specific roles – Cargill has been responsible for funding, volunteers, expertise and technical knowledge. CARE implements programs and oversees monitoring and evaluation. Jointly the partners liaise with other partners, including government as well as media to leverage additional support and raise awareness of the initiative. Overlapping global presence, shared commitment to responsible business and a long term view, as well as common core values and culture have led to what CARE and Cargill now consider a model partnership.
What we’ve discovered on SDGs is that we’ve gone from the single-digit ones eg health water education to the more difficult to grasp ones like 16
The ability to take the long view is critical - so many projects that NGOs work on are funded on a very short cycle (1-3 years) which is often too limited a timeframe to show impact and establish the ability of the program to sustain itself.
I fully agree, Norine. Collaboration and partnership absolutely underpin all the SDGs.
On Darian’s question on what it took to make the partnership work… I think it’s been an openness to trust and a flexible structure
Bringing the unique expertise of partners together is what drives more transformational partnerships. And a willingness to co-create programs that build on shared goals and objectives as well as identify the roles of each organisation. Overlapping global presence, shared commitment to responsible business and a long term view, as well as common core values and culture have led to what CARE and Cargill now consider a model partnership.
This is really interesting, thanks Claire. Have you experienced distrust from NGOs towards the private sector / assumptions that the overriding interest in a partnership must be a commercial one? How have you gone about building trust?