01 December 2016

Partnerships For Development­­­­

Every Woman Every Child (EWEC), the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and Zero Hunger Challenge (ZHC) co-hosted a discussion on “Improving the Quality of Partnerships” during the second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-Operation (GPEDC).

Set against the backdrop of broader discussions on multistakeholder collaboration, the session examined the process of partnering and explored ways to strengthen partnerships, particularly in the context of country-level implementation.

The session was moderated by Ms. Julie Gichuru, Host, Africa Leadership Dialogues, and included a keynote discussion with: The Hon. Minister of Finance, Mr. Boima Kamara, and DAC Chair, Ms. Charlotte Petri Gornitzka. A subsequent panel discussion saw the participation of:

  • Ms. Christine Guwatudde Kintu, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda
  • Mr. Roelof Assies, General Manager, Philips East Africa Ltd.
  • Mr. Ruben Vellenga, External Relations and Private Sector Partnerships Specialist, UNFPA Kenya

Speakers noted how multistakeholder partnerships can be leveraged to increase aid effectiveness and support national implementation of the SDGs in an inclusive and effective way. Participants also explored how shared principles can strengthen the quality of such partnerships by building shared value, trust and accountability. With the challenge of translating global rhetoric on partnerships to local action and impact, the speakers reminded participants that—when guided by shared principles and aligned to country-owned priorities—multistakeholder partnerships offer an inclusive platform to transform the health and well-being of entire communities.

Key takeaways from the session, which were reported into its associated plenary by Mr. Trey Watkins, Partnership Officer with the Every Woman Every Child team in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, were:

  1. In a shifting donor landscape, with evolving ODA, effective multistakeholder partnerships help to maximize the value of aid while also unlocking domestic financing, including through the private sector and innovative mechanisms like the Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman Every Child.
  2. Effective multistakeholder partnerships absolutely require shared principles that ensure alignment to national priorities and build a shared value among the stakeholders.
  3. To be truly inclusive, multistakeholder partnerships must facilitate engagement of all stakeholders in decision-making processes from the beginning. They offer incentives for engagement and help overcome barriers like perceived conflicts of interest.
  4. The brokering of effective multistakeholder partnerships at the country level requires leadership, together with mutual trust and mutual accountability so that there is transparency and partners can hold each other accountable.

The session also saw the announcement of a new Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) of the GPEDC, recognizing the joint collaboration of the co-hosts. In the spirit of an integrated set of SDGs, and in recognition that greater impact can be achieved for the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents, when working across sectors, EWEC, GPE, SWA, SUN and ZHC have joined together under a set of guiding principles outlined in the Partnership Playbook. Together, these initiatives are working to deliver on an integrated agenda for women, children and adolescents, ensuring they have opportunities to not only survive, but to also thrive and transform their communities.

One of only three new GPIs, this joint commitment joins a list of 28 initiatives that have been accepted by GPEDC as a voluntary, member-led commitment that advances development co-operation and helps turn global agreements into impact at the country-level. The group’s collaboration will continue to be guided by the shared principles outlined in the Playbook, and it encourages others to reference the GPI as a resource to also strengthen their own multistakeholder partnerships in support of the SDGs.