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Platforms for Partnership

Emerging good practice to systematically engage business as a partner in development

With a growing appreciation of the interconnection and interdependence of the prosperity of business and the prosperity of the society, as well as an understanding of the innovation, scale and sustainability that collaboration across the sectors can bring, partnerships have never been higher up both the development and business sustainability agendas.

Intergovernmental initiatives, such as the Busan Forum on Aid Effectiveness and the resultant Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, have fully recognised business as an essential development actor – both in terms of the benefits it brings through its core business (livelihoods, tax revenues, efficient delivery of goods and services) and through the strategic social investments business must make to ensure its own long term sustainability. The UN’s post-2015 vision explicitly cites partnerships with the private sector – at global, national and local level – as a critical mechanism
towards achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals and demands a major scaling up and mainstreaming of public-private collaboration.

Multi-stakeholder platforms are an essential part of the ‘infrastructure’ necessary to achieve the scale of collaboration required for the post-2015 development agenda. These platforms for partnership provide ongoing mechanisms that can systemically bring together business, government, the
UN, NGOs and communities around issues of both business and societal importance, and catalyse direct innovative partnership action.

Creating effective, sustainable platforms, however, is a significant challenge, requiring a whole range of skills, support, structure and process to ensure they are set up well, are sustainable and are able to deliver. This report sets out emerging good practice on how to make them successful.

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