Briefing Notes (series)

How to assess CSO-business partnerships for development

Briefing Note 86

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January 2016

Byiers, B., Guadagno, F., Karaki, K. 2016. How to assess CSO-business partnerships for development. (Briefing Note 86). Maastricht: ECDPM.

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Key messages:

The growing reference to CSO-business partnerships as a ‘modality’ for development raises the importance of understanding the processes underlying these and their policy implications.

Stylised facts suggest ‘philanthropic’ partnerships are more frequent than ‘strategic’ partnerships but may be less sustainable; the private sector tends to dominate but partnerships with shared control may yield greater developmental benefits.

This paper presents a case study approach to assess these aspects based on four dimensions: relation to core business; degree of partner engagement; partnership activities; and governance structure.

In particular it proposes combining the above factors with a political economy understanding of interests and external factors to capture the complexity of such approaches in terms of drivers and challenges – this is the basis for future work.

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Photo courtesy World Bank

In addition to structural support by ECDPM’s institutional partners: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland, this publication also benefits from funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom.

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