In research we're currently doing, funded by UNICEF and the UN Foundation, we've been looking at a lot of partnerships in the water supply and sanitation space (as opposed to water stewardship which focuses a bit more on water resources management).
Whereas the core business reasons for engaging on water stewardship are fairly clear, partnerships on water supply and sanitation can be dismissed as being driven by relatively narrow reputational concerns – especially water supply, where there are good photo opportunities from, say, funding a community level hand pump.
But we're starting to see examples where there's a more direct, compelling business reason to engage. Some that jump out to me are:
- Partnership models based on workforce health and welfare like HERHealth, which works with companies and supply factories to provide health promotion (including around water, sanitation and hygiene) via NGOs - helping to increase employee productivity: http://herproject.org/herhealth
- Partnerships based on future business opportunity e.g. the Toilet Board Coalition, which brings business with a commercial interest in sanitation, NGOs, and donors together to identify promising and scalable sanitation technologies and business models.
These are especially interesting because they make clear the long-term business reason for engaging. Where those reasons are on the table it can help develop trust for joint-working
Katherine Rostkowski said:
The Global Development Alliances (GDAs) are USAID’s premiere model for public-private partnerships, helping to improve the social and economic conditions in developing countries and deepen USAID’s development impact. More than just philanthropy or corporate social responsibility, GDAs leverage market-based solutions to advance broader development objectives. When successful, the resulting alliances are both sustainable and have greater impact. GDAs are co-designed, co-funded, and co-managed by all partners involved, so that the risks, responsibilities, and rewards of partnership are shared. They work best and have the greatest development impact when private sector business interests intersect with USAID’s strategic development objectives.
The Water and Development Alliance is an example of a GDA that captures the commitment and reach of USAID and its missions and The Coca-Cola Company, its foundations, and bottling facilities with the support of the Global Environment & Technology Foundation. Now in its tenth active year, WADA is having positive impact in more than 30 countries with cash investment by partners of over $37 million. With current investments and contributions from each partner of expertise and unique global networks, the program expects to provide water supply access to more than 600,000 people, provide sanitation access to more than 250,000 people, and place more than 440,000 hectares of watersheds under sustainable management practices.
For an introductory video to USAID Partnerships and the Global Development Alliance Model, visit: http://www.usaidallnet.gov/training/ideagp/#91EEDA12-A48D-EF22-E02E...
Zahid Torres-Rahman said:
Let's start with question 1:
What are the most promising partnership models designed to tackle shared water risks, and what impacts are we starting to see on the ground?