NELM Engagement – Workshop – Intersectorial Partnership for Sustainability by Global Compact.

May 2014 -  “Capacity Workshop – Sustainability Intersectorial Partnership” by Global Compact.

Since 2000,the Global Compact is engaged on promoting private sector participation in Sustainability actions. Mainly because of the actual spotlight, it is seeking to contribute to a better world and in order to achieve it they are trying to develop partnerships among members.

Brazil’s Global Compact group, created in 2003, is the biggest local network with 603 members, including private and public institutions and organizations. Ten years after its creation, in 2013, It has developed a platform called “Arquitetos de um mundo melhor” with the goal to promote partnerships and, since then, studies ways to do it.

Since Brazil was chosen to be one of the countries improving partnerships, a pilot Project was developed  to unite the organizations and to help achieving this objective, integrating the members of Global Compact, observing during its development the most relevant themes in educations, health, water, environment and sustainable development areas.

To make easier partnerships the group plotted the members finding out that 20% of them are interested in partnerships  besides their current partnerships and that there is a tendency to seek international partners to improve it, due to the need of capable hands, who must be developed.

The Workshop bid was to present the pilot Project with the steps to constitute partnerships and set up the goal of increasing value on projects and its development, in addition to opening spaces for connection using Global Compact and others platforms that are already ready for it.

What is a partnership, one may ask? There is no definition per se. It can be described as a relationship among sectors that combines resources, not only financial, and share risks and rewards to reach a goal, overcoming human difficulties and other problems to make the project successful.

These partnerships demands that the organizations have common views and common aims. In other words, they may be aligned even if they belong to different métiers or sectors. Furthermore, the real intention is to improve the relation between various sectors, including public and private ones. Therefore, the mutual intentions have to be observed to verify if a possible, practical and long-lasting partnership can arise.

There is a Project to create Match Makers, who helps building partnerships by Projects and goals analysis, searching for the best partners in each situation, assuring that the lifespam of the partnership depends exclusively on the partners, who can be observed and incentivized by a broker. Three principles are mandatory:

1-      Equality/Fairness: The partners have the same powers in the partnership, regardless of the financial investments they did, the decisions must be concocted together (Power Imbalance);

2-      Transparency: The aims of each partner have to be clear for the others, from the begging, to facilitate the relation, avoid disagreements and bring benefits for all.

3-      Mutual Benefit: Each partner must feel responsible not only for their goals or benefits, but for others’ return and achievement of the major aim, to make the partnership durable.

To the Match Makers was developed a standard method of partnership building which involves the identification of what can be offered by a member and what it lacks, reaching out to start the contact with the organizations that can supply these needs and make the Project effective.

It is common to make  mistakes building the partnership, yet the partners should try to correct it prior to terminate it. In addition, to make it possible, the Brokers can help by reviewing and evaluating. Therefore, to achieve apositive partnership for all, the right partners have to be found and the mutual aims have to be established, identifying what is strategically important to weights the relation and, finally, the partners have to be engaged and the relation must be beneficial.

Two tools are already available to start the partnership: Partnership Hub (https://businesspartnershiphub.org/ (a platform to post and promote the projects and the actions with a database that shows actions in progress and allows direct connection); and a Collaboration Lab (to develop and maintain the partnership). Notwithstanding,

Global Compact can offer other tools to develop the partnership, for example, Brokers, Match Makers, connection among organizations, capacitation, incubation and acceleration of the process.