Guide Rates NGOs and UN Agencies on Business Partnership Competence

Guide Rates NGOs and UN Agencies on Business Partnership Competence

A new report on business-NGO partnerships finds that environmental issues account for a third of all business corporate social responsibility partnerships on a global level and that education projects are the preferred corporate social responsibility partnerships at a local level. The report represents the first ever global effort to scan and rate NGOs, UN agencies and other social actors from a business partnership perspective.

The guide is published by the UN Global Compact, Financial Times, and Dalberg Global Development Advisors and will be presented to 700 senior company executives, heads of international NGOs, and government officials participating in the Global Compact's Leaders Summit this week in Geneva.

David Bonbright, Chief Executive, Keystone, and a member of the board of advisors to the publication said: "In today's globalised world, companies need to make a profit and be responsible corporate citizens, but it is difficult to know who to partner with and how. This guide will help companies match their skills and contributions to organizations looking to build successful public private partnerships"

The report surveyed 20,000 companies worldwide, identified 550 NGOs, UN agencies, foundations, and other social actors with which companies had partnered, and profiled 85 based on company ratings. The guide is targeted at business leaders and maps out and profiles possible social partners. It provides practical contact information, as well as case studies and aims to improve how business and the social sector work together.

Key findings and insights from the global scan of social actors include:

  • 73% of companies anticipate that partnerships with NGOs and other social actors will be important or extremely important for them in the next 3 years

  • The key reasons for corporations to partner with NGOs and other social actors include effectively implementing their CSR programs and to build trust with stakeholders

  • A third of partnerships at the global level relate to environmental protection, while almost 40% of those at the local level are in the education sector

  • Microfinance constitutes only 5% of the partnerships, but is rated the most successful type of partnership (average score of 4.17 out of a total of 5)

  • Of the "hidden gems" - leading local and regional organizations identified - 40% are in Latin America.

    Heinrik Skovby, Dalberg's founding partner, said that the idea of putting together a guide for business on partnering with NGOs and the UN came from hearing companies repeatedly express how difficult it is to identify appropriate social actors and successful partnership models, and how well it works when they find a good match. "It is often difficult for businesses and NGOs to understand and trust each other, and the survey clearly shows how important it is for each partner to bring something to the table that is really needed".

    The Business Guide hopes to increase development impact by promoting and facilitating more partnerships and good partnership practices over time.

    Dalberg aims to update and improve the business guide as it gets more feedback from businesses and NGOs on how the guide was most useful. To complement the business guide, Dalberg also plans in the future to survey NGOs, UN agencies, foundation, and international organizations to assess the competence of their corporate partners.

    An executive summary of the report can be downloaded here.