Building partnerships with whom?
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in agriculture, food security and nutrition are on the rise. OECD countries and African governments invest more and more funds through PPPs to modernize the agricultural sector and food value chains in Africa. A new paper by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform presents a brief and non-exhaustive overview (a ‘quick scan’) of the players who are involved in the PPPs, from companies, civil society, inter-governmental organizations, farmer organizations, to knowledge institutes. The focus of the paper is on multi-stakeholder initiatives, in particular those that are established on an international level to improve food and nutrition security as well as catalyze and facilitate investments in the agricultural sector in Africa.
Examples of initiatives the paper describes are The New Vision for Agriculture, defined by the World Economic Forum partners in 2009, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, initiated by the G8 in 2012, and the African Agricultural Growth Corridor Programmes in countries such as Tanzania, Ghana and Mozambique.
Main parties involved
Although activities initiated by macro-level multi-stakeholder partnerships differ, the main parties involved are national governments particularly in Africa, OECD countries’ governments, multilateral institutions, and international corporations. Most of the corporations that are active in several multi-stakeholder partnerships are global member companies of the World Economic Forum. Governments in mainly Africa but also in Asia and their regional organizations are involved to guarantee the investments channelled through PPPs are part of national and regional agricultural development plans. While knowledge institutes are not involved in the aforementioned partnerships, to the authors’ knowledge, various international development organizations are. For example, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Oxfam, and development players such as AgDevCo and Prorustica.
The paper summarizes current discussions about the effectiveness and the inclusiveness of such partnership models. The challenge of increasing the role and potential of smaller businesses and smallholders within agricultural value chains is at the heart of this debate. Better monitoring and impact assessment of current PPPs and multi-stakeholder partnerships are necessary to generate sufficient evidence and build a proper analysis.
Knowledge agenda on PPPs
The Food & Business Knowledge Platform has produced this paper as background material for professionals interested in further knowledge sharing and learning about the role of PPPs in food security. Based on this overview, the Platform has developed some initial questions to be addressed in further research, exchange and learning. Several stakeholders mentioned in this paper, in particular the PPPLab, will facilitate such further work and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform will be a collaborative partner for some of these follow up actions. The questions are:
- How to measure and evaluate the food and nutrition security impact of PPPs or multi-stakeholder partnerships? Who should play a role in this monitoring and evaluation?
- What is the exact role and impact of knowledge institutes and civil society actors within PPP initiatives and, as their role is considered positive, how can their role be strengthened?
- How can multinational corporations and smaller private sector actors work more effectively together within PPPs?
- What are the lessons learnt of ‘bottom-up’ partnership initiatives, which some stakeholders consider as more effective and inclusive?
- How could knowledge sharing and discussions about inclusive business models be properly linked with those about effective and efficient multi-stakeholder partnerships?
Download F&BKP paper ‘Building partnerships with whom?’ (PDF):
For a Word version with interactive hyperlinked endnotes, please contact .