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Global Partnerships Week, Washington DC, 10.3.2017

Roundtable Discussion: How to Strengthen Partnerships for Sustainable Development? Discussing Lessons Learned and Donors’ Perspectives on Better Partnership Governance


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The 2015 UN General Assembly resolution requests debate on “the best practices and ways to improve, inter alia, transparency, accountability and the sharing of experiences of multi-stakeholder partnerships and on the review and monitoring of those partnerships” (A/RES/70/224, para. 15), and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation calls in the outcome document of its 2016 High-level Meeting for increasing efforts to ensure an “enabling environment” for partnerships. Addressing these calls, donor institutions and agencies are currently seeking to improve the governance of partnerships through better coordination, support, and the development of frameworks and rules that guide partnerships to make them fit for purpose of implementing the SDGs.

In a roundtable discussion during the Global Partnerships Week 2017, Dr. Anne Ellersiek, together with the panel including Jim Thompson, Director for Innovation at the U.S. Department of State, Clive Harris, The Public-Private Partnerships Group of the World Bank, and Maria Garcia Rincon, Outreach and Partnership Officer at the IADB identified lessons learned from previous partnership experience and presented governance initiatives. Key themes emerging from these presentations were, inter alia, the need to further align governance frameworks for social and contractual partnerships, the need to improve partnerships’ accountability to the wider public, and to strengthen local capacities to support and govern partnerships. In the subsequent discussion, Keith Schulz of the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance at USAID discussed several challenges related to, inter alia the ambition to make partnerships an inclusive means of implementation and ‘leave no one behind’, and how larger global partnerships, such as the EITI, may serve as best practice examples that inform the practice of smaller scale contractual partnership practice on the ground. Related, all speakers highlighted the need for institution building and comprehensive coordination and support framework to localize the Agenda 2030 and make partnerships fit for purpose of implementing the SDGs.