Partnerships, Corporate Social Responsibility and the New Development Agenda
The world of partnerships for development is evolving. The United Nations High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda has emphasized that the private sector and different partnership arrangements are critical components of the global development agenda because they bring different perspectives and successful models to the table. Specifically, the Panel argues that sustainability and accountability need to be built into corporate strategies in order to take advantage of commercial opportunities for growth. Corporate social responsibility is one mechanism for private sector engagement with the development agenda, but other strategies, such as private finance mobilization, public-private partnerships and innovation investments have also been effective.
On April 25, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion between Anne Finucane, global strategy and marketing officer at Bank of America, and Jane Nelson, Brookings nonresident senior fellow and director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard University, on the role global companies will increasingly play in development and in addressing societal challenges at large. After the discussion, Nelson moderated a panel on the role of the private sector and different partnership strategies for development. The panel included Daniella Ballou-Aares, senior advisor for development to the U.S. secretary of state; Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres; and Vera Songwe, World Bank country director for Senegal, Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mauritania and Brookings nonresident senior fellow.
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“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.