How can business help in the building of national coalitions and collaborations to fight COVID-19?

Join us for a live written discussion with a panel of experts to examine how business can help build national coalitions and collaborations to fight COVID-19.

Live Panel

Thursday 30th April 3pm BST / 10am EDT / 5pm EAT [ADD TO CALENDAR]


The COVID-19 global pandemic is resulting in business, governments and civil society working together like never before.

In Kenya for example, the launch of the National Business Compact, a collaboration for urgent local action is driving real traction and saving lives. With over 50 businesses signed up, they have a mandate to accelerate local action and support government efforts in countering the pandemic. Through global best-practice sharing to tackle COVID-19, competing brands are working together.

This is just one example, there are others at both national and local levels. We urgently need to understand what is making these work, what lessons need learning and how replication can happen.

Join this online written discussion to examine how business can help build national coalitions and collaborations to fight COVID-19.

As Myriam Sidibe, Founder of the Kenya National Business Compact says:

“We need urgent local action to fight this global pandemic. Businesses must stand up immediately and commit to responsible marketing practices and support efforts to accelerate national handwashing campaigns and other preventative solutions”


  • Sinead Duffy, Head of NGO Engagement, Bayer
  • Zahid Torres-Rahman, Founder and CEO, Business Fights Poverty
  • Jane Nelson, Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Sam Abrahams, Chief Executive, First Aid Africa
  • Ali Kolahi, head of the Nafas Campaign Business Associations’ Liaison Committee, Nafas Platform Co-ordinators
  • Myriam Sidibe, Co-Founder Kenya National Business Compact and Founder, Brands on a Mission
  • Stephen Gelb, Principal Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute
  • Dave Prescott, Creative Director, The Partnering Initiative
  • Marcelo Linguitte, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Projects and Resource Mobilization, UN Global Compact Brazil
  • Steve Kenzie, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network UK
  • Tazin Shadid, CEO, YY Ventures

Moderator: Katie Hyson, Director, Thought Leadership, Business Fights Poverty


  1. What examples of national collaborative platforms to fight COVID-19 are there?

  2. What are the lessons we can learn from these different examples? What are the risks, opportunities and best practice?

  3. How can these coalitions and collaborations be replicated rapidly? And where are they most needed?


This is a text-based discussion. There will be no video or audio. Please post your comments below. After the live session, this discussion will remain open, so please do continue to share your insights. To receive a free summary of this discussion afterwards, register here

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Hello, Great to be hosting this discussion today.


I am here. Stephen from ODI

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Hi Katie! Great to be here. Dave from The Partnering Initiative.

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Hello folks! Glad to join the discussion.

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Hello everyone - hope you are all keeping well and heathy and looking forward to our discussion today

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Sam Abrahams here from First Aid Africa. Currently leading the Medical team at Business Covid19 Coalition Emergency Taskforce over in Zambia [] Joining from Lusaka

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Look forward to the insights and questions that will arise from this discussion today!

Please do encourage others to join us by with a like, share and/or re-tweet of the posts, by simply copy and pasting the links below into your browser:


Help others to follow the conversation using #BFP_Live #FightCOVID19

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Hello everyone - great to have the chance of sharing interesting insights and initiatives today. Olatz here from BITC.

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Welcome to this online written discussion.

Firstly could you introduce yourself?

I’ve been looking forward to this day. Some colleagues and I have just launched what we are calling the Frontfoot Campaign.

We assert that our society can do much better than crude track-and-trace apps by encouraging tailored solutions to people’s circumstances where we all recognize our accountability to the people around us for our health, while also respecting and protecting each of our private lives. That we can create solutions to this pandemic that align with quality principles as they are risk-based and built on prevention rather than cure. As a first step, we have started a petition to gather support for the introduction of a legal Health Pledge for safe return to a social life, to work and to school.

Here’s a link to our petition:


Hi there - Dan Browne, Partnerships Officer from Hand in Hand International. Supporting economic response and recovery to Covid-19 in Eastern Africa through network of some current-80,000-plus project members.


Hi everyone - Steve here from the UN Global Compact Network UK

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Hi all. I’m Stephen Gelb from Overseas Development Institute, an independent thinktank in London, where I lead on Private Sector Development. Glad to be part of this discussion.

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Hi, Sinead Duffy here from Bayer, the healthcare and agriculture company. Nice to meet everyone and looking forward to the discussion!

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Hi, I work at WorldStartup and together with Dutch universities we started A platform to co-create projects with governments, businesses and universities.

Our first question today:

Q1. What examples of national collaborative platforms to fight COVID-19 are there?

80,000 partners is huge, congratulations to you and your team Dan.

Hi everyone - Zahid Torres-Rahman here, CEO of Business Fights Poverty. Really looking forward to this conversation!

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Just now in breaking news, Astrazeneca has partnered with Oxford University to manufacture and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine.