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Cross-sector partnerships between communities, corporations, governments, donors and civil society organisations are being promoted as means for sustainable development. They offer a new approach that challenges the traditional donor-recipient relationship. However, there is little solid research to indicate which partnership models have the greatest potential to eradicate poverty.
In South Africa, a suitable environment for cross-sectoral partnerships developed in apartheid’s final years as the business sector supported change and became involved in mediation and peace-building initiatives. This led to the development of alternative ‘public-private’ and ‘public-community’ forms of service delivery as key elements in the new democratic government’s priorities.
In Zambia, a deterioration in education and health services following economic liberalisation led the government to realise it needed partners. Donors and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) initiative have encouraged cross-sector collaboration in which the role of the state is reduced to that of providing a framework for development. Zambian companies have come under pressure to show how they benefit society and are moving from philanthropy to long-term and sustainable involvement with communities.
A report from the University of Cambridge, UK, analyses six current cross-sector partnerships in South Africa and Zambia. These partnerships cover the sectors of health, education and agriculture, and include the Zambia Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, the South African Sugar Association’s work with government agencies and corporations working with Zambian universities.
Key findings include:
Study of cross-sector partnerships is urgently required. In particular it is vital to understand the context and incentives for partnerships, as this will help respond to potential problems that may occur. It is also important to:
‘Working together: a critical analysis of cross-sector partnerships in Southern Africa’, University of Cambridge Programme for Industry, An EC-PREP Report, by Melanie Rein, Leda Stott, Kavwanga Yambayamba, Stan Hardman and Stuart Reid, 2005 (PDF) Full document.
Further details about this research project 'A critical analysis of cross sector partnerships in Southern Africa - Do they work and are there identifiable patterns of good practice?' Full document.
Funded by: UK Department for International Development, European Community-Poverty Reduction Effectiveness Programme (EC-PREP)
id21 Research Highlight: 7 February 2006
Melanie Rein and Stuart Reid
The University of Cambridge Programme for Industry
1 Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1QA
+44 (0) 1223 342100
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 301122
Contact the contributor: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Kavwanga E.S. Yambayamba
The Partnership Forum
Department of Agriculture
University of Zambia
+260 1 295422
Fax: +260 1 295213
Contact the contributor: Eyambayamba@agric.unza.zm
The Leadership Centre
University of KwaZulu-Natal
+27 31 2601383
Fax: +27 31 2601610
Contact the contributor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other related links:
'New management model for water and sanitation in Peru'
'A public-private partnership: fighting tuberculosis in South Asia'
'Can partnerships deliver electricity to boost livelihoods?'
'Outsourcing of government services: could the UK model be reproduced globally?'
'Can the local business community bring peace to Colombia?'
GRC Exchange's resources on service delivery
Eldis Health Systems Resource Guide on Global Initiatives and Public Private Partnerships