A year ago, with the SDGs freshly launched, we readied ourselves for a busy year at TPI working towards our vision: a world where widespread cross-sector collaboration at global and country level is mainstreamed, and where business has reached its full potential as a partner for sustainable development.
And 2016 proved to be action-packed: training individuals; supporting organisations, partnerships, and global institutions; developing new partnership catalysing platforms; leading research and developing new guidebooks and tools; and engaging business into the world of international development. We have continued to apply our energy and experience across all five of the essential building blocks required to achieve collaboration at scale.
1. Supportive international and national policies
TPI worked with NGOs, governments, UN agencies, and extensively with the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, to influence mindsets and the development agenda towards more systematically driving collaboration, particularly with the private sector, for the SDGs.
- Together with the ICC, TPI led the private sector engagement at the GPEDC’s second high level meeting in Nairobi in November, and held a full day Business Forum, bringing over 200 people together to discuss the role of the private sector as a partner in development.
- Earlier this year, TPI and World Vision launched their policy report, Delivering on The Promise: In-country multi-stakeholder platforms to catalyse collaboration and partnerships for Agenda 2030, which presents the current status of platforms for partnership at the national level and makes concrete proposals on ways to accelerate their progress.
- Following the launch, TPI and World Vision hosted a webinar with eminent guest panelists David Nabarro and Jane Nelson, to discuss critical question: ‘How do we scale up collaboration for the SDGs?’
2. Platforms for partnership that can systematically convene all actors and catalyse collaboration
TPI’s Business Partnership Action (BPA) programme – an official ‘Global Partnership Initiative‘ – continues to support the creation of locally owned and run country-level platforms to catalyse partnerships.
- TPI supported the creation and launch of the Humanitarian Private Sector Partnership Platform in East Africa, and has been working with World Vision to design and develop the Asia P3 Incubation Hub, a collaborative platform for innovation in the WASH sector.
- 2016 also marked the completion of the pilot phase of the Zambia Business in Development Facility (ZBIDF), which is catalysing a range of cross-sector partnerships in Zambia, including around vocational skills development, ‘cassava to starch’ and solar powered mini-milling plants.
- TPI supported a series of Business Call to Action (BCTA) roundtables on ‘Unleashing Inclusive Business for the SDGs’, in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Zambia.
3. Partnerships are set up to follow best practice:
- Working with the Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business, TPI developed a major new resource for partnerships for Inclusive Business including new tools, blogs and .
- TPI supported the IHP+ in developing a new governance structure for the International Health Partnership for Universal Health Coverage 2030, through research on constituency approaches to Steering Committee composition in Global Partnerships and the engagement of the private sector. Our recent blog outlines some of the key findings of this research.
- Early in the year TPI supported the development of the Toilet Board Coalition and the creation of an independent secretariat.
4. Organisations and institutions are ‘fit for partnering’
In 2016 TPI worked with a number of NGOs, businesses and UN agencies, to ensure they have the right systems, processes, leadership, and skills for partnering.
- Most recently, working with Bupa and the Union for International Cancer Control, TPI developed a programme to jointly drive partnership action against chronic disease. This included an online course on partnerships against NCDs, and a new guidebook, Better Together, which will be launched during a webinar on February 6th. Register now!
- At the beginning of the year, TPI published the second guidebook in its Navigator series, The Partnership Culture Navigator, designed as a practical guide to help users navigate the challenges of dealing with different organisational cultures when working in cross-sector partnerships.
5. Individuals have the essential partnering competencies:
- TPI has continued to develop its training offering, with open courses in Oxford and now also, in collaboration with Global CAD and the Barcelona International Peace Resource Centre, in Barcelona. TPI also delivered tailored trainings to a wide range of organisations across sectors, including World Vision, the World Bank, Morgan Sindall, Bonsucro and Christian Aid.
Looking forward, in 2017, we are stepping up another gear through our ‘global impact’ action research programmes to accelerate partnering for the SDGs. In addition to our ongoing work to build platforms that catalyse partnerships, we are continuing to develop The Partnering Academy, a major initiative to make partnering skills training accessible globally.
We are also currently developing action research programmes focussing on how Global Partnerships can much more effectively engage the private sector and maximise their impact at country level, and on how companies can become institutionally ‘fit for partnering’ to be able to partner effectively for the SDGs.
One of the best things about 2016 has been the opportunities we have had to work on exciting, innovated programmes with inspiring, like-minded organisations and individuals across the world. We look forward to working with many of you again in 2017.