Could you please clarify? Did you mean that there is no established procedure / governance?
From Transactional to Transformational Social Impact Partnerships, How Can We Partner More Effectively?
Lukas, here is a link to the Executive Summary of the Rome dialogue. I will also post a summary of all seven Principles: https://www.wiltonpark.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/WP1642-Executive-summary.pdf
A2 Great partnerships need to have a clearly defined vision of what success looks like. Bringing together teams with very different perspectives and skills sets offers huge potential for developing new ideas, and applying fresh perspectives and skills to established problems. But only if there is a common view across all parties for what you are trying to achieve, and how you will work together. Leaders are hugely important in terms of setting a vision and momentum around an agenda, but the best partnerships transcend individuals, when that clarity of vision runs through all the work.
For example at GSK, our multi-faceted partnership with Save the Children has scientific, programmatic and advocacy elements. Combining our scientific, regulatory and manufacturing expertise with their insights and expertise in reaching marginalised children and families has led to the reformulation of chlorhexidine, an antiseptic used in a GSK mouthwash, into a gel to prevent umbilical cord infections that can lead to potentially life-threatening neonatal sepsis. Through insight from Save, we’ve ensured the heat stable is packaged in single-use foil sachets– a bit like ketchup packets – that have pictorial instructions to help mothers and carers in low literacy settings apply the gel correctly. Save has an ongoing seat on our research and development board focused on developing life-saving interventions for under-fives, which is a first for our R&D organisation.
Here’s some more information on the partnership if that’s useful
@norinekennedy do you think that the challenges currently posed to multilateralism could also weaken the agenda 2030 as a UN initiative?
Totally agree with Claire - building trust through personal connections is absolutely key. It takes time but allows the discussion to go beyond the potential assumptions and biases on each side to look for areas of mutual interest and partnership. The Alliance saw this firsthand through a series of roundtables we convened with private sector and NGO actors on the role of trade to promote development goals. While not all of the NGO partners were generally supportive of trade, over time everyone in the room came together around ways in which trade agreements can push governments to be more transparent and accountable.
There needs to be authentic internal communication that goes beyond delivering quarterly reports; it’s about honest feedback, mutual trust, respect, and equality. Partners need space to become friends and trusted advisers. This requires that they invest in the human relationships that underpin the partnership and take the time to explore opportunities and risks beyond the boundaries of partnership activities.
Lukas, here are all 7 Principles:
A1: PRINCIPLE #1: ALIGNMENT – Governments have the unique and singular responsibility to establish the goals and the priorities for national and global action to improve nutrition, and to do this on the basis of the best available scientific evidence. The establishment of these goals, priorities and the policies behind them is a critical task requiring public debate and engagement with all stakeholders, including businesses which shape food systems. It is incumbent on all stakeholders to act transparently and with integrity in carrying out these tasks. Equally, public policy is enhanced when all actors in the food system have the opportunity to contribute in open and accountable fora. This principle of open debate and mutual accountability in surfacing interests and evolving policy is a higher principle within which engagements should be developed. As such, dialogue should not exclude any stakeholder with the commitment and potential capacity to contribute to the achievement of one or more of the nutrition goals.
A1: PRINCIPLE #2: PRIORITIZATION – To accelerate progress in achieving the global nutrition goals, governments and businesses agree to prioritize action that advances the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and World Health Assembly (WHA) Global Nutrition Targets: reducing childhood stunting and wasting and improving the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons (SDG 2.2); reducing the diet-related risks of death from non-communicable diseases (SDG 3.4); reducing female anemia (WHA 2), low birth weight (WHA 3), and child overweight (WHA 4); and increasing exclusive breastfeeding (WHA 5).
A1: PRINCIPLE #3: IMPACT – Governments and businesses should base their investment decisions on an unbiased and transparent assessment of the peer-reviewed scientific evidence, relying on systematic reviews when available. A clear lack of evidence should not be an excuse for inaction as long the basis for action is transparent.
A1: PRINCIPLE #4 DATA – Governments and businesses will generate and share data relevant to the global nutrition goals and will cooperate on data collection relating to the daily diets and nutritional status of populations, the coverage of specific nutrition-related interventions, the attitudes and behaviors of consumers and consumer uptake of specific nutrition-related products and services. These data have to be screened for quality by the scientific community and their conclusions published in peer-reviewed journals. Combining these data and making them publicly available, will improve government nutrition information systems, better align business efforts to invest in pro-nutrition actions (e.g. labeling, packaging, marketing), and enhance efforts to hold governments and businesses accountable for progress to the nutrition goals.
A1: PRINCIPLE #5 INNOVATION – Governments and businesses will increase their efforts to invest in new technologies that can more cost-effectively reduce malnutrition by increasing the availability and affordability of nutritious safe foods. Joint efforts to build a pipeline of innovations with the power to make it easier for consumers, businesses and governments to make healthy food choices should be prioritized.
A1: PRINCIPLE #6 ACCOUNTABILITY – Governments and businesses should demonstrate their accountability to the global nutrition goals by routinely measuring the impact of their individual and collective efforts against the relevant SDG targets and making the results available to their respective stakeholders and to the general public in easily accessible formats. The use of randomized control trials conducted by independent parties and other gold standard methods to measure the impact of government-business partnerships should be increased and supported. Governments and businesses will commit to greater accountability and transparency in actions affecting the nutritional status of all of their stakeholders (e.g. citizens, consumers, employees etc.). They will cooperate with international accountability efforts such as the Global Nutrition Report, the Access to Nutrition Index, the International Network for Food and Obesity/Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS) and Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN). Greater accountability will improve the targeting of investments by demonstrating the success or failure of specific interventions, by improving the quality of the evidence-base and nutrition science, and by building a greater level of trust among stakeholders that will in turn facilitate further action and impact.
A1: 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.
Six building blocks:
- Suited to the context: partnership needs to be the right approach, with a clear unifying vision, and the potential to genuinely create value for all;
- The right partners: sufficient overlap of interest, sufficiently compatible values; senior-level champions; strong partnering competencies; willingness to take risks
- A strong partner relationship (trust, transparency, mutual benefit, co-commitment)
- Set-up effectively (good governance, operational and management structures, sufficiency of resources etc.)
- Excellent management (both project management and ongoing partnership relationship management, communication, properly resourced secretariat if a large partnership)
All underpinned by the sixth, that can build the other five:
6) Effective process throughout the lifecycle: engaging partners; co-developing the partnership; building the trust and relationship; iterating the partnership as things adjust and change; ongoing review etc.
Having a neutral facilitator can really make a difference in taking partners through an effective partnering process…
A good example of this is our work with cocoa producers in West Africa. By cultivating a close working relationship in the market, Cargill helped CARE understand the business of cocoa and the full context of the market. CARE has helped Cargill understand the role of women – historically unrecognized - and how targeted support to them is good for business. https://www.cargill.com/story/decade-of-impact-building-a-better-life-for-ghana-cocoa-farmers
Thanks for raising the point about bringing together unique expertise of partners. Root Capital has had great success partnering closely with Keurig Dr Pepper to build public private partnerships that have yielded high impact results for the agribusinesses we work with. This has not only brought together more resources, but also led to stronger market linkages and higher incomes for the smallholder farmers and small to medium sized businesses we work with. This one of several transformational partnerships we have that has not only strengthened Root Capital as a non-profit, but also built resilience among our beneficiaries – this touches on @Juliabeart’s question around trust.
For SDG partnerships, there is no robust institutional infrastructure, recognized review or reporting/acknowledgement in the UN system – the UN ECOSOC does hold an annual “Partnership Forum” but that is about it (mark your calendars for April 11 in NYC). In the case of member states, they are invited to offer voluntary national reviews of their SDG actions, which become part of the HLPF record, and that recognition does motivate good action and clear credible reporting, followed by discussion and hopefully, learning from those national experiences. It would be great if a similar exercize and process for SDG partnerships could be advanced in the UN.
Are transformational partnerships achievable under current geopolitical and geoeconomic dynamics
Transformation partnerships entail determining mutual value as an ongoing process; partners need to continuously look for ways to improve and create longer-lasting, deeper impact. And because we work in communities directly connected to our business, Cargill employees have also been critical for the success of the partnership, which has been particularly tangible in our work in Central America -
While it’s certainly true that there is not yet a well-resource institutional architecture for collaboration, there is progress in that direction. In a number of countries, there are SDG platforms for partnership and other mechanisms set up to systematically engage business as partners in the SDGs. They are run by the UN, by governments, by business organisations (including the Zambia Business in Development Facility that we helped to set up.)
Take a look at this link which sets out an institutional architecture for collaboration: https://thepartneringinitiative.org/publications/research-papers/unleashing-the-power-of-business-a-practical-roadmap-to-systematically-engage-business-as-a-partner-in-development/
I think yes - because some of the most exciting social change can come through adversity, I can remember how in the UK riots in the 1980s were the trigger for many businesses to take a more proactive role in regeneration local economies
Yes, you are right Darian, and you yourself have been a terrific champion for this trend. The more mainstreaming of partnerships, the better to address the gaps in SDG implementation that we began the discussion with.
Yes we’ve started an SDG debate in South Africa which has readily attracted support from the UN, SA Government, civil society, local global compact etc. It was quite heartening how quickly that got going
A good way to get to a transformational partnership, is to start off with a transactional one! Many partnerships start with relatively simple collaborations (e.g. the company supporting an NGO). As the relationship and trust is built, as the organisations get to know each other and how they work, as wider leadership from both organisations get engaged, so the partners can raise their ambitions and move towards much more transformational collaboration.
Hi - This is Mavis from The Power of Nutrition. As an organisation we can only operate through partnerships as we need to broker ‘development deals’ in the nutrition sector. Our key lessons:
a) It is easy for everyone to agree on the end goal but not on the how to achieve it
b) Negotiate on a common how and accept some compromises for the expected big win
c) businesses need to be wiling to take risks - it is shocking how risk adverse they can be
d) businesses need to lose the common mantra of - we struggle to trust govts, ngos, the development community etc.
e) create real partnerships where everyone is contributing and sharing the risks and clearly outline this
f) development is not linear so build in flexibility and be bold to use it during implementation
g) honesty and accountability are critical! we are partners - not donor/implenentor or govt/business etc etc
h) when things are not gong well - be open to work together to find solution and not apportion blame
I) in most social sectors scale will come from govt, treat the partnership as a long term agenda for scale with business funding reducing overtime and govt funding increasing (if necessary agree performance targets around this)
m) remember evidence does not drive policy - be prepared with a strong political economy solution
o) partners work hard and play hard
p) SEE AND APPRECIATE THE RESULTS
Great response, Mavis! I am sure some of our member companies would love to connect with you. Please find me on LinkedIn!