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Partnership Clinic: Building Partnerships and Collaborations

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Partnership Clinic: Building Partnerships and Collaborations

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Partnership Clinic: Building Partnerships and Collaborations

  1. 1. Partnership Clinic: Building Partnerships and Collaborations 29th and 30th April 2014, New Delhi Hosted by: Engineering Projects (India) Limited (A Government of India Enterprise)
  2. 2. Partnership Clinic 2014 2 Table of Contents I. Introduction a. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) b. Post 2015 Development Agenda c. The CEO Water Mandate d. India Collaboration Lab e. UNGC-The Partnering Initiative Partnership f. Partnership Clinic II. Partnership Clinic: Day 1: A Common Language a. Effective Co-working and Collaborative Problem-Solving b. Principles of Partnership c. Harnessing Diversity d. Partnering Cycle and Barriers to Success III. Partnership Clinic - Day 2: Sharing Challenges and Solutions a. Participant workshop objectives and partnering needs b. Challenges and Enablers c. Partnership Experiences and Best-Practices IV. Recommendations and Way Forward
  3. 3. Partnership Clinic 2014 3 I. Introduction Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Prior to the 2015 deadline on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set at the Millennium Summit in 2000, progress is noticeable, globally, on several targets, namely: poverty1 , gender equality, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, and providing access to safe drinking water.2 However, reducing hunger, child and maternal mortality rates, and providing access to sanitation, among other sub-goals are crucial to progress on human development. In India, while sustained efforts are needed to meet hunger, water, hygiene and sanitation targets, progress is noticeable in the areas of poverty3 reduction, child and maternal health, HIV/AIDS and polio, and gender equality. India has also taken a lead, among developing countries, by incorporating principles of sustainable development in country policies and programs. And private sector engagement has been critical in ensuring that the benefits of information, communications and technologies reach across communities in India. In this context, MDG 8: Develop Global Partnership for Development enables stakeholders to collaborate and accelerate efforts on human development goals by bringing large-scale solutions across communities in India. To that end, a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda set up by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, recommended that multi-stakeholder partnerships be focused around women, youth, aged, disabled and indigenous peoples who are affected by poverty and exclusion. Post-2015 Development Agenda To frame the Post-2015 Development Agenda, an open consultation process had been setup by the United Nations to seek views and feedback from all stakeholders, businesses and corporations, governments and civil society through online surveys, workshops, and one-on- one meetings. Findings of these consultations have been presented in the report, titled, “A Million Voices: The World We Want – a sustainable future with dignity for all.” The CEO Water Mandate The CEO Water Mandate was launched by the UN Secretary-General in July 2007 as a unique public-private initiative to achieve the following objectives:  Assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices  Engage the private sector to work with CSOs and government on providing resources and technical expertise At the India level, the 11th working Conference on Corporate Water Stewardship and Post- 2015 Development Agenda was convened, in partnership with the UN Global Compact 1 According to the End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign, poverty rates have dropped from 47% to 22%, as of 2010, despite population growth. However, 850 million people still continue to live in poverty across the globe. http://www.endpoverty2015.org/mdg-success-stories/mdg-1-end-hunger/ 2 Source: End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign. . http://www.endpoverty2015.org/mdg-success- stories/mdg-1-end-hunger/ 3 Source: Business Standard, October 30th , 2013 “India may not fully achieve MDGs by 2015: Report”
  4. 4. Partnership Clinic 2014 4 (UNGC) and Global Compact Network India (GCNI), in March 2013 to seek formal inputs and explore the role of businesses and corporations in advancing policy objectives around:  Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services  Improved water resources management and governance and efficient water use; and  Reducing pollution In addition to sharing ideas to advance the Post-2015 Development agenda, these consultations gave rise to the India Collaboration Lab—a platform where stakeholders can commit and act on WASH issues4 . India Collaboration Lab (ICL) The inaugural India Collaboration Lab aimed to convene social entrepreneurs, NGOs, corporations, investors and policy-makers in an action-oriented two day session from 22-23 October 2013 to identify and design initiatives to scale innovations that increase the access to quality water and sanitation services in India. This platform enables public and private institutions to commit to Post-2015 Development Agenda, specifically on WASH issues; and turn these commitments into actions. Following the ICL, a special monthly meeting was organised on 19th December 2013 to gain perspectives on strategic engagement and collaborations from stakeholders. This meeting enabled GCNI and TPI to design workshop on partnerships and collaborations, based on discussions, feedback and recommendations provided by members. UNGC-The Partnering Initiative (TPI) Partnership In light of MDG 8, and in recognition of the challenges of 'walking the partnering talk', the UN Global Compact Head office in New York has been working for one and half years with The Partnering Initiative to improve and scale up partnerships as vehicles for delivering effective change. Within this context, Global Compact Network India is collaborating with TPI Associate Joanna Pyres (based in India) to better understand the Indian national partnering landscape and identify enablers and barriers to mobilising effective and transformational development partnerships Partnership Clinic Partnership Clinic Design: GCNI conducted a number of discussions with members and TPI between October and December 2013 to determine best approaches to reach out to GCNI members with the partnering tools, information and support provided by TPI. A specialised two--part workshop titled “Partnership Clinic” was designed to bring people together to exchange and learn more about how to build partnerships and collaborations. 4 India struggles hard to overcome its water, hygiene and sanitation issues. Although it has shown positive results, the progress is painfully slow. 41% of world’s poor still live below USD 2 a day, only 25% of Indian households have access to quality drinking water at home (through pipelines) with 128 million lack access to safe water, 21% of communicable diseases are due to unsafe water. Diarrhea alone causes 1600 deaths daily. 839 million have no sanitation services.
  5. 5. Partnership Clinic 2014 5 The objectives of the workshop were to: (1) bring together multiple stakeholders to share and deepen their understanding of and challenges around cross-sector partnerships; (2) to identify supportive interventions and next steps for effective implementation of partnerships to advance development outcomes in the Indian context and (3) to initiate a process of co- operative support between partnership practitioners from all sectors. The first part was 3 hours post-lunch interactive lecture for a wide audience on what has been learned about partnering from international experiences. The following day participants met for a more intimate 4.5 hour interactive workshop where they problem-solved each others’ actual partnering challenges in India, specifically focussed on partnership set-up. Dr. Uddesh Kohli, Senior Adviser at United Nations Global Compact, Mr. Rajib Debnath, Executive Director at Grant Thorton LLP, and Mr. Anand Singh Bawa, Senior Advisor— External Affairs, Mercedes Benz India, were among the 65 members who attended the interactive workshop. Some of the major organisations represented include ACC Limited, Accenture, Tata Teleservices, Vedanta, Aid-et-Action, Plan India, FICCI, TARA, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Transparency International, United Nations Volunteers and World Food Program. This report builds on both the content and materials provided by The Partnering Initiative for the workshop as well as contributions from participants, to build an emerging understanding of the multi-stakeholder partnering landscape in India. Those interested in participating in this ongoing enquiry may contact GCNI to register interest. II. DAY 1: Awareness Seminar: 29th April 2014, 2.30pm-5.30pm On the first day, the discussions were geared towards understanding challenges in the Indian development sector and the approaches adopted by stakeholders to address those challenges—and whether those approaches deliver sustainable impact. Members companies debated about the impact Companies Act 2013 will have on the development sector and how partnerships create measureable impacts, both in terms of quantitative and qualitative factors. From a substantive perspective, the workshop covered the following areas: The need for effective co-working and collaborative problem-solving As we collectively share a pool of resources, talents, assets, technologies and networks, our collective efforts can help solve some of the basic human development challenges. This session focused on partnership as a tool to arrive at viable sustainable development solutions. Realizing that the way we currently do business is destroying the planet, using resources inefficiently, and embedding inequalities within societies. As individuals and institutions in partnerships, therefore, the need is to develop solutions that create a fair and sustainable world, based on shared interests.5 5 Some of those shared interests include: (1) Building a sound economy (2) Healthy and educated workforce (3) Healthy environment (4) political stability (5) accountability in government (6) active civil society
  6. 6. Partnership Clinic 2014 6 Shared Benefits An emerging thought out of this session is that needs-based partnerships may be formed where all parties win. However, it is a step-by-step approach where all parties have to build on effective communication, mutual understanding and dependencies and being accountable to each other. It is important to note, however, that a systematic and measured approach can yield long-term benefits. Members noted that partnership with the government is more transactional whereas at the community level, it is more of relationship building proposition. It was also noted that partnerships in the last 20 years have worked on vendor-vendee based where the relationship is purely transactional. However, in the context of the current Companies Act 2013, some members feel, that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is going to perpetuate the transactional approach because it is compliance oriented where institutions are mandated to spend 2% of the Profit After Tax (PAT) to address development issues mentioned in Schedule VII of the law. Besides sharing risks and costs, partners are able to improve operational efficiency, resources and expertise. Other benefits of the partnership include:  Human capital development and learning  Ability to influence policymakers from an evidence-based point-of-view  Collective action with efficient use of resources to address a development goal  Help build legitimacy, reputation and credibility For successful partnerships to achieve impact and scale, partners may build on shared goals and diverse interests to leverage skills and resources effectively, based on their knowledge, perspectives, experiences and understanding. In the process, adopting a research and development based approach will allow partners to test drive solutions and receive critical feedback through open communication mechanism and dialogue process for efficiency. To that end, all parties involved in the process of partnering may clearly and openly agree and communicate their value-based systems, propositions, and principles for effective working. Principles of partnerships Partnership for sustainable development is about developing innovative ways of working together where relationships are not entirely transactional, but rather, are based on values, principles, shared interests and objectives—which yield long-lasting benefits. The term “partnerships” is used loosely across sectors to describe a variety of collaboration types such as, networks, joint ventures, and coalitions amongst others. Partnerships are a specific form of collaboration based on co-delivering a shared project over time. While the partnering process is a "science" where parties need objectivity, a focus on critical analysis, measurement, technical knowledge, and understanding the history is crucial. It is also an “art” where parties need to be visionary in their approach, good at maintaining relationships and sensing situations. It requires a people’s based approach to incorporate emotions and feelings and people’s skills because partnering between organisations happens through people.
  7. 7. Partnership Clinic 2014 7 From a value-based point-of-view, equity-based partnerships, for example, helps build respect and mitigate the destructive influence that power imbalances can have in partnerships. Transparency and open communication helps each stakeholder understand organisational priorities, strategic agendas, and silent issues while building trust. Within that context, it is important for partners to understand the nuanced implications of partnerships which is an evolving process. Other factors are:  Identifying partners: Stakeholders may identify needs before entering any kind of collaboration and align appropriate partners  Communication and engagement: Nurture the relationship. All parties should be engaged in the consultative and decision-making process while adding value to internal and external processes. After forming the partnership, all partners may aim for excellence in building the relationship by actively spending time, engaging and communicating opportunities and challenges  Accountability: All stakeholders are equally accountable to each other’s motivations, communications and actions  Enabling a learning environment: Partners may create an enabling environment to learn from each other while co-creating. This also includes building a mechanism to monitor and evaluate progress and outcomes Harnessing Diversity This session focused on harnessing diversity and explored perspectives and approaches each stakeholder employs in the partnering process, based on different drivers, resource constraints and experiences. Towards this, it is important to leverage value from each and all stakeholders. Furthermore, the session looked in to the benefits and challenges of various sectors like the donor community, public sector and the private sector, in addition to, what will work in favour of the partnership and what will work against the partnership.
  8. 8. Table 1: Stakeholder Contribution Resources Public sector Private sector and businesses Bilateral and donor agencies Civil society and NGOs Academic institutions Human and financial resources Access to human resources and mobilizing communities at the local level, contributing financial resources Access to financial and human resources (e.g. IT, innovation, knowledge, customer base) Access to political networks and connections, technical experts Access to local communities and specialized knowledge around culture, language, history, traditions, inter- community relations, and mobilizing communities at the local level Access to trained experts and infrastructure facilities like research labs Strategic and technical resources Providing strategic guidance, policy and regulatory framework, technical advice and certifications Provide framework, guidelines, and specialized networks. Brand value. Provide brand value, mandates, and experience Expertise to advise private sector organizations to effectively implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals Provide access to research and technical knowledge Policy support and enabling environment Creating an enabling environment and playing the role of a facilitator to forge partnerships Provide in-kind contributions (E.g. business management, project management) policy recommendations, and economic viability Knowledge and experience to shape policy recommendations Ability to feed-in inputs from the grassroots level and advocate for better policies on development issues Creating knowledge to formulate policies, regulations and recommendations to create an enabling environment Enabling strong governance frameworks Providing democratic legitimacy and in- kind support in the form of lands, buildings, office space Enhance marketing, brand value, and accountability Bring legitimacy, credibility, trust and ground level presence Provide accountability, legitimacy, and credibility Monitor and review goals from a third party to bring in accountability, legitimacy, and credibility
  9. 9. Partnering cycle and barriers to success The session on partnering cycle and barriers to success studied partnership cycle, frameworks and models for stakeholders to form partnerships. The process includes: scoping, identifying, building, planning, structuring, mobilizing, delivering, measuring, reviewing, and revising.  Scoping and building: Phase I entails exploring and mapping issues and stakeholders. In the identification phase, partners may work towards building a common vision and establishing ground rules, mutual understanding and trust; and brainstorming activities to facilitate a process whereby an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) can be agreed to.  Managing and maintaining (Implementation): Phase II involves partners structuring the partnership, mobilizing resources to manage and maintain the partnership and deliver impact. As a direct outcome of this hands-on approach, partners are helping build knowledge, skills, and abilities of their staff.  Reviewing and revising: In the implementation phase, partners may work together to measure and review impact and revise strategies and plans for effective implementation. In this phase, partners may develop both qualitative and quantitative impact parameters and criteria, to measure and assess their performance. It may also include conversations around value-additions, converting challenges into opportunities, re-defining and understanding values, structure, interests and benefits.  Sustaining outcomes: To sustain long-term outcomes, all partners may build on their communications and engagement by sharing knowledge and information for further scale. Members further explored barriers and challenges to implementation and the decision-making process. Group discussions revealed that the right partnerships work and deliver results if there is adequate engagement and buy-in from all stakeholders, particularly the local community, and that the partnership is strategically important. Specifically, in an interactive fashion, members shared views on the various approaches on corporate-NGO partnerships, access to funding, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, budgeting and managing large-scale partnerships on a country level. Group members identified factors behind failing partnerships like incompatible cultures, working styles and personalities, undelivered promises and commitments, communication breakdown, weak governance, and undelivered promises among others. III. Day 2 (half-day) Interactive Workshop Troubleshooting Phase 1 (early stage) partnership challenges: 30th April 2014, 9.30am-2.00pm The second day was conceived to draw on participant's experience to direct learning. After a refresher on the Partnering cycle framework, participants identified objectives for attending the Clinic as:  Engagement and Communication: o Examine how partnerships between businesses and corporations, academic institutions, governments, NGOs and the local communities can be formed for sustainable human development in a holistic manner where all parties benefit, from a long-term perspective
  10. 10. Partnership Clinic 2014 10 o Linking networks and stakeholders around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) o Understanding the role of social media in building partnerships  Knowledge Management: o Learn and share knowledge, best practices and tri-sector partnerships around CSR and sustainable human development o Study successful partnership frameworks and models that are currently operating outside of and can be replicated in India o Learn and apply knowledge gained for resource mobilization purposes Challenges to partnering A significant focus was placed on group discussions among participants to identify challenges on the four aspects of the partnership cycles. Members identified the following challenges related to the four aspects of the partnership cycle: Scoping and Researching issues and partners  Difficulties in obtaining access to partnerships  Geographical restrictions  Needs-based issues and baseline tools  Over presentation of NGOs  Understanding the realities and stakeholders perspectives Identifying and selecting partners  Common approach to identify and achieve objectives  Getting loaded with expectations  Lack of preparation leads to inappropriate/irrelevant questioning  Funding is dependent on NGOs networking capacities Building  Fulfilling time deadlines and strict or rigid rules  Issue in building trust among stakeholders due to financial, budgetary or other issues which impacts quality human capital  Financial and budget constraints, utilisation, administrative expenses  Corruption  Placing emphasis on quantity vs. Quality  Lack of appreciation for ideas  Wastage of time and resources  No support for building core competencies Planning  Evaluation capacity  Sustainability of the partnership and the project  Lack of innovative planning  High expectations from funding partners  Importance of family—take a family centric approach Partnership experiences and best practices from the group
  11. 11. Partnership Clinic 2014 11 In this session, the group identified best practices around engagement, communication, and knowledge management to mitigate risks and address short and long term challenges.  Establish trust, honesty and understanding: A level of trust is established – and other partnering principles (e.g., equity, transparency and mutual benefit) are evident  Communicate Clearly: o Engage and communicate: Engage in a dialogue or communicate regularly and openly about your needs, interests, goals and challenges in the partnership o Conduct informal meetings: Conduct informal meetings and lunches or coffees with your partners to build on trust o Feedback: Provide valuable and constructive feedback about the partnership, its objectives and goals, opportunities and challenges, and performance and results. Learn from mistakes  Coordinate locally: o Coordinate locally: Coordination always has to happen at the local level. To that end, information may be communicated throughout the chain at the local level so that coordination at the local levels can take place. One of the feedback received is that corporates need to build relations at the local level to ensure sustainability, rather than, remain focused on marketing  Adopt a collaborative approach to partnership: Understand partnership goals and help each partner meet those goals in a collaborative fashion. Focus on solutions: Think of problems and challenges as opportunities in the partnership. And find innovative solutions or alternatives to those opportunities  Consistently demonstrate results: Further to this, members and Joanna Pyres, facilitator of the workshop, highlighted the need to build communication and coordination mechanisms across various levels in the organisation. For example, strategic partnerships and development projects are agreed to at the strategic level, but those projects often face implementation challenges and fail due to trust deficit and information asymmetry IV. Recommendations and Moving Forward While the workshop was designed to assist members to think about partnership related issues, member feedback and recommendations were centered on understanding, building and strengthening partnerships. Some of the specifics include:  Understand stakeholders: Better understanding needs, expectations and interests of stakeholders will help bring long-term solutions to challenges. To that end, it would be important to understand how each stakeholder understands CSR  Intra-organisation partnerships: This session helped members to think about building intra-organisation partnerships and influence, explore and incorporate partnership and collaboration aspects within the organisational culture and practice  Build partnerships: Aim to build partnerships on a non-monetary basis for sustaining a project on a long-term basis
  12. 12. Partnership Clinic 2014 12  Partnerships Forum: Leverage GCNI members from CSOs, corporates, NGOs, academia and provide a platform for each of the stakeholders to interact and continue to work on partnerships  Knowledge Sharing and Management: Share case studies, insights and best practices of the workshop within the organisation. To that end, field level experiences and stories would be helpful from the facilitator to link theory to practice.  Representation from the corporate and government representation: Corporate representation would be helpful to understand stakeholder interests and concerns in the developmental sector. Corporate-NGO relationship is more focused on generating business, rather than sharing costs. Since, discussions were focused on corporate- NGO partnerships; an additional focus on coordinating policies with the government would have been helpful.  Public Policies and CSR: Better understand CSR policies, government schemes and policies, and civil societies and other common platforms. Moving Forward Mr. Pooran Chandra Pandey, Executive Director of Global Compact Network India noted on the need to build effective networks among stakeholders, based on trust, openness, and transparency. As an outcome of the workshop, he further shared GCNI objectives and vision and a plan around forming partnerships to collectively address Post-2015 development agenda. The action items include: 1. Knowledge Sharing and Management: a. Disseminate brief on Partnership Clinic b. E-group for immediate co-support and dialogue c. Knowledge sessions with member companies and stakeholders to share best practices on partnerships and collaborations 2. Members Consultation: Consultation process with member companies and institutions on partnerships related opportunities and challenges 3. Advance India Collaboration Lab 2014 a. Outreach: Conduct outreach to multiple stakeholders in the health and WASH areas for partnership developments b. Research: Disseminate compendium of good practices on development partnerships to shape behaviours and actions at the national and global levels c. Reporting: Publish year one report on India Collaboration Lab 2013 d. Advocacy: CEO Roundtable to deliberate on upcoming India Collaboration Lab 2014 *End*

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