With a plethora of heads of state, Ministers, CEOs and Executive Directors of UN agencies, NGOs, and development banks, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) held its 2nd High Level Meeting at the beginning of this month. The Global Partnership was created at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in 2011, where business was welcomed for the first time into the aid agenda as a full actor and partner. The GPEDC brings together governments, bilateral and multilateral organisations, civil society, representatives from parliaments, and the private sector – all committed to strengthening the effectiveness of their development co-operation. Over 3,000 people participate in the biennial high level meeting.
TPI has been working with the GPEDC since it was formed at Busan in 2011. TPI was a core member of Partnership for Prosperity (P4P), which brought the private sector to the first high level meeting of the GPEDC, in Mexico City. During the HLM, TPI’s major report on the role of the private sector in sustainable development: Unleashing the power of business: A practical Roadmap to systematically engage business as a partner in development, was launched by UK Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening. In 2013, TPI’s Executive Director Darian Stibbe represented the private sector on the GPEDC Steering Committee.
This year, along with the International Chamber of Commerce, TPI led the private sector engagement in the GPEDC’s 2nd High Level Meeting in Nairobi, participating in several panels, hosting a side event, and designing the private sector plenary session, with the aim of making it as interactive and discursive as possible given the format and size of the event. Together, TPI colleagues Katie Fry Hester, Dave Prescott and Darian Stibbe moderated or spoke at 9 sessions and side events.
In collaboration with the Global Compact, KEPSA, and Business Call to Action (BCTA), TPI hosted a day-long Business Forum bringing 200 people together to discuss the role of the private sector as a partner in development. The event included speakers from organisations across sectors, from business to NGOs to UN and government, and the discussions included a range of topics such as collective action against corruption; engaging business as a partner in development; business and development cooperation principles; how governments can encourage and support inclusive business to scale and contribute to the SDGs, and how the GPEDC can become more relevant to the private sector. The event was a big success, with a packed out room and lively engagement from participants. An overview of the highlights from the forum can be found in our recent blog.
TPI also led a side event, Delivering on The Promise: In-country multi-stakeholder, platforms to catalyse collaboration and partnerships for Agenda 2030, which examined the challenges and opportunities of platforms, the ways in which they can support all development actors to achieve their objectives, and building blocks required to set them up for success. The event drew on TPI’s experience developing and running Business Partnership Action, a Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) which supports the creation of locally-owned and run country-level platforms or Hubs that systematically bring together government, business, donors, the UN and NGOs to catalyse in-country multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Along with SIP (download side events from HLM2 website) TPI also co-hosted side event on inclusive business, and, with colleagues from PRC and CLI we launched the Promoting Effective Partnering (PEP) initiative. Finally, TPI was on the steering group for the plenary session on multi-stakeholder partnerships.
The TPI team came back from the HLM feeling really energised and positive – delighted at how buzzy and interesting the event was as a whole, and at how much engagement and enthusiasm was generated around the role of business in development, and the role of multi-stakeholder platforms at country level to deliver the SDGs. It was particularly exciting and gratifying to see how far the agenda has moved on since the meeting in Mexico two years ago. The team also were thrilled to have been able to contribute to shaping parts of the event, and gratified to hear TPI directly quoted by three of the plenary speakers.
We are delighted to see the level of business engagement in GPEDC and want to see more of this, but we know this can only happen once there is real widespread country level action. TPI looks forward to continuing to work closely with GPEDC in unleashing the power of business and collaboration towards the SDGs through its Business Partnership Action programme, an official ‘Global Partnership Initiative‘. TPI will also continue to push for GPEDC engagement at country level, in particular supporting platforms.