Partnership has taken on a new meaning – and importance – as cash-strapped donors struggle to maintain momentum toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, new donors emerge in the Middle East and elsewhere, and companies and nonprofits become increasingly willing to share resources.
With the rising number of organizations involved in international development come challenges and opportunities: A social entrepreneur may have an easier time finding an investor for that cutting edge gadget which may change lives in rural Africa and beyond. A nonprofit group may relish the thought of winning funding not just from its country’s main bilateral donor agency, but co-financing it with money from foreign donors and nontraditional sources such as foundations and companies engaging in corporate social responsibility initiatives. Donors are having an easier time finding partners in the developing world as capacity is being built there.
At the same time, finding the right partner and building a sustainable partnership remains a challenge.
Ten years ago, world leaders enshrined the importance of partnership in their Millennium Declaration, which set ambitious targets to reduce poverty and hunger by 2015. Progress toward these Millennium Development Goals has been impressive, despite the many challenges posed by conflict, and financial calamities and other issues.
MDG 8 calls for a global partnership for development. More specifically, the declared goal is to leverage the private sector in making the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technologies, available to the developing world, and to work with pharmaceutical companies to provide access to affordable medications around the globe. MDG 8 also suggests advancing an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and financial system, dealing comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries, and addressing the special needs of least developed, landlocked and island countries.
Development professionals like you – whether you work in a multilateral agency, a bilateral donor, a consultancy, nonprofit or by yourself – are involved in partnerships every day. The United Nations Foundation, in collaboration with Devex, would like to hear from you about your work on partnerships that have proven successful in the field.
Take part in the last part of the UNF-Devex conversation on the MDGs. Tell us how your work is helping to achieve MDG 8 and create a global partnership for development. Your experience and knowledge is key to one of the most important initiatives of our time.
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