The March/April 2012 edition of the U.S. Agency of International Development’s (USAID) FrontLines publication highlights partnerships. Public-private partnerships are a key aspect of the Feed the Future initiative, of which USAID is the lead agency. Read more about Feed the Future’s partnerships, through USAID, in the FrontLines articles highlighted here. You’ll also find more information about public-private parternships in our Private Sector Engagement Hub.
The Power of Development Partnerships: An Interview with Jane Nelson
I see three major shifts in why the private sector is interested in development. First, and most importantly, companies see growing commercial interests and investment opportunities in developing countries. They are looking, in particular, for access to natural resources and labor markets, expansion of consumer markets to sell existing products and services, and opportunities to create new consumer markets and supplier and distributor relationships at the base of the economic pyramid.
Many companies, especially in the natural resource sector and manufacturing, also recognize that their ability to manage risk and to strengthen the resilience of their global supply chains depends on being able to gain a “social license to operate” and to meet international standards in areas such as the environment, human rights, and anti-corruption in developing countries. I see these core business drivers as a big “game-changer” for why companies are interested in development. Continue reading on the USAID website.
Partnering at the Intersection of Business and Development: An Interview with Walter Bell
We are partnering with USAID to takethe results of our prior collaboration under the Index Insurance Innovation Initiative, which examined how the poor and vulnerable can best use insurance to manage risk, to develop innovative insurance products for the poor and their families. Our hope is that these products will allow societies, especially groups like farmers, to be better able to prepare for and cope with the impacts of droughts, floods, and other severe weather events that are predicted to become increasingly common as the climate changes. This, in turn, will help vulnerable communities fight hunger, build resilience to climate change, and reduce the costs of natural disasters in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Continue reading on the USAID website.
Aligning the Goals of Development and Business
In the five decades since President John F. Kennedy asked Congress to create USAID, the development landscape has changed tremendously. One of the most powerful changes is the growing role of the private sector.
The statistics speak for themselves: official development assistance has gone from being 70 percent of resource flows to the developing world in the 1960s to less than 13 percent today. Private sources of capital—from remittances and foreign direct investment to foundation grant-making—have outpaced official development assistance. This shift is transforming not only how development is funded, but how it is being done.
To be effective, development agencies must adapt to this trend and take steps to make private-sector partnerships a key part of their work. Crafting effective public-private partnerships is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Continue reading on the USAID website.
Read more about partnerships for development (and Latin America!) in the March/April 2012 edition of FrontLines, including insights from USAID Administrator Shah on partnerships.