Getting Intentional: How can we encourage and support cross-sector partnerships within the post-2015 framework?

I think that the proposal should also include the need for this partnership to work that it should foster "collective actions" = meaning a mechanism to measure and attract investment in sectors that indirectly impact others!

Mike - I was at an event yesterday and the point came up that "partnerships" is quite an overused term. Can you say a bit more about what you mean - perhaps with some examples?

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your reply. Just picking up on your idea from yesterday that platforms could be places where relationship building takes place - yes, that makes sense particularly as I imagine there will be dedicated people working there and they can develop the skills needed for effective leadership and relationship building. I also think these skills are needed at the project/programme level where people often end up in partnership teams without all the skills they need to make them work. Building relationships sounds easy but can be hard, especially if cultural barriers exist. I feel this side of partnerships needs more attention at all levels.

Also just had a look at the proposed goals you sent and in 17.6 I find the word "support" a bit vague as a target. I agree with the general sense but maybe this could be turned into something more tangible and linked with some of the improvements in knowledge,expertise etc mentioned later on in the text ?


private sector is essential and they are active, but we also cannot create a system so complicated that scare the small and medium size companies away. even official donors are not yet implementing the Paris declaration so we should start with small and manageable targets and learning as we go along in order to improve

Great point. Yes - partnership needs to be defined every time we use it! For the purposes of this study, we used the following working definition (based on work by The Partnering Initiative!!): ‘A cross-sector or multi-stakeholder partnership is an ongoing working relationship between organisations combining their resources and competencies and sharing risks towards achieving agreed objectives while each achieving their own individual objectives.’

Darian may wish to update the definition!! :)

It gets even more confusing in the post-2015 discussion with its talk of a "global partnership" - which is a very vague term encompassing all sorts of actions, cooperation etc

Happy too - we're finding a real appetite amongst the 51 countries in the SUN Movement to engage with business in developing their scaling up nutrition plans - but there's a huge gap in the skills, knowledge and experience in doing this at country level... developing this expertise is going to be key to the success of the movement.

Walter - you are spot on the need for the right skills for effective leadership and relationship building. TPI is supporting the development of a network of platforms around the world that can foster partnerships. One of the most important aspects is building local capacity to be able to implement the platforms effectively.

Good point Francesca. Do you think business associations etc can help by representing SMEs on these kind of platforms?

SMEs - this is really important, they don't have the bandwidth, as multinationals do, to focus resources on partnerships, making this easier for them by having more local expertise and capacity is essential

HI Walter - yes to capacity building and the The Partnering Initiative are doing great work in this areas but it is still a much overlooked competency.

And yes, we are looking at 17.6 in the lastest OWG draft and will be advocating that this is tightened up and that it includes platforms at the national level.....

Yes, Jonathan! MDG 8 was focused on partnerships but too loosely defined! No effect.

This is why I think cros-sector partnerships and the role of each stakeholder need be integrated within each goal, with common objectives, but specific asks and targets for NGOs, business, governments,academia etc.

Yes, Luc, there are a number of efforts to build platforms, including by UNDP on commodities. The Partnering Initiative with the Business in Development Facility is currently building a network of such platforms around the world, starting with Colombia, Zambia and Mozambique and shortly to extend to six other countries. These platforms fit into existing structures wherever possible and also connect to existing donor and other funding sources.

Yes even more confused by terms like "transformational" partnerships that aim to have systemic change, as opposed to ones, say, focused between one NGO and a company around a value chain.

Dear Walter....would be great to share what we are doing in Colombia when it comes to building local capacity in this context of post-2015 and also...a potential post-conflict situation

Hi Mike

Great, it would be good to see some outcome-related targets which reflect impact as well as capacity building in the revised target

yes and no: quite often SME that are engaged in this work do it because of the pressure they get from the local communities so they can be active in different sectors. so they could get some sort of technical support from the business associations but in many countries these type of associations suffer the same problems of local NGOs or governments, such as lack of enough staff, technical competences and logistic resources.

so we should think about new ways of coordination and info sharing that consider also how the private sector operates. For example through conferences and congress and exhibitions, and how these could be leveraged to have technical dialogues.

for example I work with mining companies in DRC and we try to get a health session during a mining conference there, the companies are attending anyway so let's provide additional information

OK - time to move onto the next question:

Q3: Do you think it is possible, or indeed beneficial, to have one such multi-stakeholder platform at the national level and one lead platform for each of the new post-2015 goals at the global level?

Luc - this sounds interesting - can you give an example of two of what you mean by collective actions?