Making policies work

Dossier: Partnerships between businesses and civil society


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The 2030 Agenda puts a lot of emphasis on the role of the private sector and on partnerships to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable development relies on different actors and requires collaboration. Differences in incentives and power among other things can make such collaboration challenging.

Building on a rich experience working on civil society engagement and private sector development, ECDPM works on business-CSO partnerships, specifically looking into the drivers and constraints of this form of cooperation. We use a political economy perspective. We also look at the role of the public sector – governments, development partners and donor agencies – in facilitating and engaging in such partnerships for sustainable development.

This way, through analysis and facilitation of dialogue, ECDPM seeks to support different public and private actors who engage in or are interested in CSO-business partnerships.

Here below you find our publications of the last few years in this area. Would you like to know more, or would you like to partner with us? Take a look at Shravan Gupta videos via, or contact one of the other team members listed on this page.

Blogs and publications

Sewing the pieces together: Towards an EU strategy for fair and sustainable textiles
Jeske van Seters and Nadia Ashraf, ECDPM paper, December 2019

Responsibly sourcing minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas: Lessons from the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals
Jeske van Seters and Nadia Ashraf, ECDPM brief, March 2019

A smart mix for responsible business conduct: Due diligence legislation and multi-stakeholder initiatives
Poorva Karkare and Jeske van Seters, ECDPM brief, March 2019

Civil society & business: pulling in the same direction?
Jeske Van Seters, Poorva Karkare (editors), February 2019
ECDPM Great Insights magazine

The Christmas spirit: EU competition law and sustainability coming together
Jeske Van Seters, December 2018
ECDPM blog

Artisanal gold mining in DRC: Time to get down to earth?
Karim Karaki, March 2018
Discussion Paper 223

Multi-stakeholder initiatives on garments and textiles in Germany and the Netherlands: Towards achieving collective impact?
Jeske Van Seters, March 2018
Briefing Note 100

Sectoral multi-stakeholder initiatives at EU level: quo vadis?
Jeske Van Seters, September 2017

Don’t expect perfection but progress! Multi-stakeholder initiatives to foster responsible business conduct
Karim Karaki, September 2017

Donor agencies and multi-stakeholder partnerships: Harnessing interests or herding cats?
Karim Karaki, Alfonso Medinilla, November 2016
Discussion Paper 204

CSO-business partnerships for development: Key insights
Karim Karaki, Alfonso Medinilla, November 2016
Briefing Note 94

A territorial approach to multi-stakeholder partnerships
Karim Karaki, Alfonso Medinilla, October 2016
Article from GREAT Insights Volume 5, Issue 5

Mining and community-based agribusiness for development: Multi-stakeholder partnerships in the gold sector in Ghana
Alfonso Medinilla, May 2016
Discussion Paper 191

Sustainable rural employment or corporate social responsibility? An analysis of dairy partnerships between business and civil society organisations in Tanzania and Kenya
Karim Karaki, Alfonso Medinilla, May 2016
Discussion Paper 190

Partnerships or patronage for development? Business-Civil Society Organisations (CSO) partnerships in the mining sector in Madagascar
Alfonso Medinilla, May 2016
Discussion Paper 189

GREAT Insights: Partnerships with business for development
San Bilal (Editor), March 2016
GREAT Insights Magazine – Volume 5, Issue 2.

Partnerships with business for development: Editorial
San Bilal, March 2016
Editorial from GREAT Insights Volume 5, Issue 2.

Deconstructing partnerships: An opportunity to learn
Karim Karaki, March 2016
Article from GREAT Insights Volume 5, Issue 2.

Partnerships for institutional development – Think big, start small
Karim Karaki, March 2016
ECDPM Talking Points blog

How to assess CSO-business partnerships for development
Bruce Byiers, Francesca Guadagno, Karim Karaki, January 2016
Briefing Note 86

From looking good to doing good: Mapping CSO-business partnerships
Bruce Byiers, Karim Karaki,Francesca Guadagno, December 2015
Discussion Paper 182

CSO-business partnerships – bringing mozzarella to the masses?
Karim Karaki, Bruce Byiers, November 2015
Talking Points Blog

Multi-stakeholder partnerships in the post-2015 development agenda: Time to get down to earth?
Karim Karaki, October 2015
Talking Points Blog

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