If the use of partnerships for the SDGs is to be scaled up much more systematically, there need to be mechanisms in place to systematically engage stakeholders around topics of relevance, innovate partnership ideas, and catalyse and support the development of partnerships. TPI has been a pioneer in building country-level platforms for partnership and in developing good practice for developing and running platforms for others to follow.
TPI created a major new programme, Business Partnership Action (BPA), to develop locally-owned and run country-level platforms or Hubs that systematically bring together government, business, donors, the UN and NGOs to demonstrate the alignment of interests, facilitate innovation and directly support ‘win-win’ multi-actor partnerships.
BPA led the creation of hubs in Zambia (Zambian Business in Development Facility), Colombia and Mozambique. TPI also supported the East Africa Business Humanitarian Forum, the Asia P3 Hub. and the Kenya SDG Partnership Platform.
In addition to its policy paper on platforms, TPI codified its and others’ experiences in building platforms in its publication: “Platforms for Partnership: Emerging Good Practice to systematically engage the private sector in the SDGs“. With the Partnership Accelerator, TPI published a research paper, Partnership platforms for the Sustainable Development Goals, to understand the platforms that governments and the UN have developed to support partnerships, drawing out what it takes for them to build effective platforms.
With GIZ, TPI undertook original research on National Councils, government-led or government-adjacent bodies that aim to engage all societal sectors into the SDGs, developing an assessment framework of the enabling factors for countries to host such platforms (completed for 10 countries) as well as assessing specific institutions’ capability to play that role. TPI is now running the secretariat for the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies to help build these initiatives’ effectiveness.
TPI directly supported five partnership platforms in: Colombia, Zambia, Singapore, Kenya and Mozambique.
As one example, the Zambia Business in Development Facility (ZBIDF) was a multi-stakeholder platform, comprising champions from business, government, donors and civil society in Zambia, designed to engage business, facilitate dialogue and innovation, and directly support public private partnership action on key business and development challenges. TPI engaged key champions and developed the initial concept for the platform, found a local partner to run it, and then built the governance and operational structures, along with developing the capacity of the local partner to deliver the platform.
ZBIDF catalysed and supported four major partnerships including the North Western Extractives Industry Local Contractors Partnership is to ‘systematically build a collective platform that advocates and lobbies for transparent business opportunities and ensures growth of the local business community’ and another in the cassava value chain. Through trainings, it built the capacity of government, business and civil society to partner more effectively. And through its facilitation, it brought the private sector into discussions with the government to collectively deliver Zambia’s industrialisation and job creation strategy.