The delivery of the Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) will require an unparalleled level of collaborative action between business, government, the UN, NGOs and civil society. For cross-sector / multi-stakeholder partnerships to fully deliver on their potential, a number of essential ‘building blocks’ must be in place to scale up their use, quality and impact.
- Supportive international and national policies are in place to encourage the use of collaboration and, in the case of government, the regulations and legislation that allow governments to enter and support partnership approaches;
- An ‘infrastructure’ is in place that can systematically convene the different societal sectors around key issues, catalyse and directly support innovative partnership action;
- Partnerships are set up to follow best practice to maximise their quality and impact;
- Organisations are ‘fit for partnering’ with the right leadership and strategy, systems and process, staff competencies and support, and culture in order to partner with excellence;
- Individuals have the essential partnership competencies (the mindset, understanding of other societal sectors, human relationship building skills and technical partnering knowledge).
In addition to its international policy work (which includes the ‘Roadmap to scale the engagement of business as a partner in development’) and its ‘fit for partnering’ support to organisations, TPI is delivering or developing major new programmes on the other three building blocks which together will have a significant impact in driving the use of effective partnerships for development worldwide.
BPA is building an essential part of the enabling infrastructure required to scale up public-private collaborative action for 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 innovative approaches and directly support the creation of partnerships which combine resources to maximize value for all and contribute to achieving sustainable development priorities.
Building on the platforms it has created to date in Zambia and Colombia, over the next two years BPA aims to support, interconnect and learn from 3-5 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.
The Partnering Alliance: Ensuring the quality and impact of partnerships for sustainable development
Convened with the Collective Leadership Institute, the Partnering Alliance will create open source best practice reference standards for multi-stakeholder collaboration to be widely adopted by all sectors and support the highest quality and continuous improvement of the majority of types of partnerships for development. The aim is to:
- Agree a common language, definitions and typology around cross-sector or public-private collaboration thereby both demystifying the area and ensuring that potential partners have the same clear understanding of the form of relationship they are planning to engage in;
- Create best practice reference standards to which new collaborations are developed. This will give partners a clear, shared understanding of the process and milestones they are heading towards and ensure that the partnerships are set up for success;
- Provide a reference against which existing partnerships can measure their current level of good practice, and so provide an opportunity for continuous partnership improvement.
The Partnering Academy: Building widespread competency for effective cross-sector collaboration
To partner effectively requires a range of skills and competencies, including an understanding of other sectors, negotiation skills, trust and relationship building and a technical knowledge of the partnering process and good practice. The initiative, being developed with World Vision, will aim to create a scalable, self-sustaining programme that will deliver high quality, online and in-person partnership competencies training to NGOs, government and business, at an affordable cost in developing countries.