Systematically driving effective partnerships for development
Business Partnership Action (BPA) is a centre of excellence to develop the enabling infrastructure required to scale up public-private collaboration towards the SDGs. BPA 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 demonstrate the alignment of interests, facilitate innovation and directly support ‘win-win’ partnerships between companies, international agencies, government and NGO to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The platforms advance implementation of the commitments on ‘focus on results’ and ‘inclusive development’, and are an essential mechanism to engage business as a partner in development. BPA is also developing the ‘art and science’ of platforms for partnership, testing, codifying and maturing platforms as an essential technology to achieve the SDGs.
The Hubs are designed to build on existing programmes and networks. While the exact activities and focus of each Hub is different depending on local context and need, key activities at the local level include:
- Raising awareness and building motivation around the role of business in development and the potential of partnership to achieve business and development goals
- Creating opportunities for partnership co-creation, including innovation spaces and matchmaking services
- Directly supporting the development of new partnerships – turning goodwill into action
- Providing capacity development for all sectors and direct support for new partnerships
- Facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience
- Measuring the business and development impact of partnership activities
- Building in-country capacity to broker partnerships and deliver additional partnership services
Development of in-country platforms
To date, BPA has supported the development of platforms in:
The Zambia Business in Development Facility (ZBIDF) is a platform to engage business, facilitate dialogue and innovation, and directly support public private partnership action on key business and development challenges. Results include building a conducive partnering culture through partnership trainings and through roundtables on the concepts of shared value and inclusive business with several hundred CEOs; a partnership innovation series for job creation with the Ministry of Finance; and the catalyzing of a range of partnerships including around vocational skills development, ‘cassava to starch’ and solar powered mini-milling plants. The two-year pilot programme was completed in June 2016.
The LINK facility supported the development of inclusive business and partnerships, including the development of the Construction Industry Skills Training and Certification Partnership and the Beira Plastics Recycling Partnership.
The Colombia Business in Development Hub creates and accelerates cross sector partnerships through inclusive business models and value chains. Key results include taking ten partnerships (focused in agriculture, textiles and services) to the feasibility stage. The Facility has also been chosen by the government of Colombia as a key mechanism for engaging the private sector on post-conflict treaty and reconciliation.
BPA supported the creation of the Humanitarian Private Sector Partnership Platform (HPPP). Led by World Vision and UNOCHA, and launched in March 2016, the platform engages the private sector and support the development of partnerships to improve the reach, quality and timeliness of the humanitarian system and in helping to strengthen disaster management across the region.
BPA is supporting World Vision in the development of the Asia P3 Hub, a cross-sector incubator for new solutions to development and humanitarian problems, with an initial focus on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the Asia Pacific region. Centered in Singapore, the incubator will bring together business, NGOs and government to develop and scale up innovative approaches.
BPA will continue to work with governments, donors, INGOs and Global Partnerships to support the development of new and existing partnership catalysing platforms or hubs in-country that can engage business as a partner for the SDGs – an essential element required to deliver Agenda 2030.
Building on the platforms it has created to date, over the next two years BPD aims to support, interconnect and learn from 4-6 new and existing platforms. In so doing, it will drive action on the ground, while prototyping, improving, codifying and in essence maturing what aims to become a critical, scalable approach towards mainstreaming country-level public-private collaboration.
Merging Global Partnership Initiatives
TPI’s two major Global Partnership Initiatives (GPIs), Business Partnership Action and the Business Roadmap: Unleashing the power of Business for the SDGs are now merging into a single GPI: Business Partnership Action: Unleashing the power of Business for the SDGs.
An important next step will be capacity building, through the development of the Partnering Academy, a new initiative aiming to make quality, affordable, partnering accessible globally, at country level.