Pooling Public-Private Partnership Best Practices

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Government leaders today have recognized the need to engage the private sector in development.

While in the past, federal agencies supplied the majority of funding going toward developing countries, that percentage has continued to decrease over time — it is now down to around 9 percent. With 91 percent of global development funding now provided by nongovernment sources, the private sector has become a major player in the global development effort, and it is becoming increasingly important to find common objectives that garner their investment.

The University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development has played a part in convening a variety of actors to discuss shared values in public-private partnerships and examine multifaceted solutions that work for all stakeholders. Through discussions and dialogue with leaders from nongovernmental organizations, universities and the government, including those from the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State and Millennium Challenge Corp.; and corporate representatives from companies such as Accenture, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Deloitte, Cummins, Boeing, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Xerox, SAP, Microsoft and Caterpillar.

During these roundtable discussions, business, government, NGOs and university stakeholders identified 10 important best practices for partnership with the private sector:

1. The value of “bridge” employees: Hiring employees who can serve as a bridge between organizations — between academic institutions and corporations or NGO implementers and corporations — can promote better partnerships with more shared value.

Bridge employees must possess a unique skill set to work between distinct organizations and speak credibly to both parties. For example, bridge employees have the potential to help move forward operational research so it is useful to practitioners, or align global development projects with business investment models.

The World Bank Group and the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development are two examples of organizations using this type of model. Organizations must be able to show their leadership the value proposition of having these bridge staff to build this type of infrastructure within their organization.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

impact investing, public-private partnerships