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International Non Governmental Organizations are using a more robust set of criteria in choosing private sector partners

It takes two to tango.

That bit of whimsy now takes on very serious implications in the context of sustainable development in less developed countries.

Here’s the essence of a new report on the subject just published on the Devex website: “International NGOs are now using a more robust set of criteria, due diligence and processes in choosing private sector companies to partner with.”

The Devex report presents this NGO rationale:

“Obviously, we look at programmatic and geographic fit, but beyond that we really approach talking to and approaching partnerships with corporations as relational”, said Blakey Emmett, director of corporate engagement at Pact. “We look at these partnerships as transformational, not transactional,” she said, adding that it is about strategic investment, total stakeholder engagement and exploring synergies. 

That sounds like something companies will feel more comfortable with — as compared with earlier approaches, a more efficient, more promising framework with mission alignment for getting things done.

The fundamental litmus test is whether the community — large or small — where the partnership takes place will be better off as a result.

The report presents seminal comments on such partnerships from leading international NGOs including Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Pathfinder International and World Vision.

Of course, in many successful sustainable development partnerships there is a very important third partner: local or national government. In these cases, only when the government is corruption-free and truly dedicated to the public welfare can maximum progress be achieved.