By bringing together their respective competencies and resources for the greater good, governments, business, civil society and multilateral agencies have been seeking innovative ways to work together to respond to the myriad global challenges of our time: the impact of climate change; human security; the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other major diseases; the generation of new investment, entrepreneurship and employment; and financing for development. The appetite for such partnerships appears strong. Over 90% of corporate executives responding to a World Economic Forum survey felt that future partnerships between business, government and civil society would play either a major role or some role in addressing key development challenges. This trend will only be increased by the Western financial crisis and the retreat of the state from many areas of societal concern. In the last 15 years, many new partnerships have been formed, and many new people exposed to partnership ways of working. There have been remarkable successes, but also a range of concerns about effectiveness and accountability.
Partnerships can work, but can they work better? Many practitioners are now asking how they can achieve a greater scale of impact to match the magnitude of the social and environmental challenges we face. When considering how to equip their organization or programme with the necessary skills to engage with companies in new ways, many leaders of NGOs or UN agencies hire staff from the private sector. Although such staff exchanges are important, it is not sufficient to rely on private-sector staff to develop and implement strategic forms of engagement. Rather, engaging business for social change is a specialism in itself. This book seeks to distil some of the author's 15 years of experience and key learnings on the advanced strategic planning of partnerships for people who work within civil society or public-sector organizations and who already partner with companies.
Much of the research focus to date has been on operational issues, rather than on the strategic challenge of evolving partnerships to achieve a greater scale of impact. Rather than helping the reader with moving on from partnerships, this guidebook is intended to help with moving up to a greater scale of impact. The author identifies three generations in the evolution of cross-sector partnering and draws insights from the latest biological evolutionary theory on how complex systems can sustain themselves over time, translating this into a method for understanding and assessing partnering practice. Evolving Partnerships provides a rich and accessible mix of commentary, boxes for clarification, and 11 exercises to help the reader evolve partnering to achieve a wider level of impact – a level that responds to the scale, depth and urgency of the challenges we face today.
Written by one of the world's leading authorities on partnerships and a key architect of global partnerships, including the Marine Stewardship Council, Evolving Partnerships will be essential reading for all those involved in cross-sectoral partnerships.
Partnerships can work, but can they work better? This accessible guidebook distils the author's key learnings on the advanced strategic planning of cross-sectoral partnerships.This guide gives valuable insights on lessons learned and outlines viable approaches to achieve greater effectiveness and impact. It is especially timely ahead of Rio +20 as governments are eager to experiment with fresh approaches to bring about much-needed change. - Georg Kell, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact |
| The desire to 'give back to society' is growing among fledging and established industrial houses/corporations in India. However, most Indian companies who wish to be more responsible, lack the knowledge, trained manpower or the dedication to carry out community development programmes. In his excellent and useful guide, "Evolving Partnerships: A Guide to Working with Business for Greater Social Change", Jem Bendell says, "The appetite for partnerships appears strong. Over 90% of corporate executives responding to a World Economic Forum survey felt that future 'partnerships between business, government, and civil society would play either a major role or some role in addressing key development challenges'." Evolving Partnerships is a much needed guide to helping businesses and civil society work their way to successful partnerships. It holds the hands of the practitioners and takes them through the various stages of creating meaningful partnerships to bring about greater social change. This is a very useful guide for business houses in India and, more particularly, public sector units who need to secure NGO cooperation to implement their CSR agenda. Seeking partnerships is only part of the issue; more important is setting them up and making them effective and functional. Jem Bendell, with his vast experience in the area, has put together an excellent book which could serve as a bible for those involved in creating workable solutions through business/civil society cooperation. This is a must read publication. - 'indiacsr', 5 January 2012 - Suresh Kr Pramar, Executive Director, Centre for Training & Research in Responsible Business, Noida
Foreword Professor Malcolm McIntosh, Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, Griffith University Introduction 1. A Planet of Partnerships2. Generations of Partnership3. Transcending Limitations with a Third Generation of Partnerships4. Assessing Your Partnering5. Evolving to the Next Generation of Partnership6. The Challenges Facing Third-Generation Partners7. The Particular Opportunities and Challenges of 3rd Generation Partnerships for Development ConclusionsReferences