New report on creating successful multi-stakeholder partnerships

August 15, 2014 in News, Publications by Oscar Widerberg

We’re proud to announce that today we launch the fresh report Transnational multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development: Building blocks for success. The report dug into 15 years of research on multi-stakeholder partnerships – meaning collaborations between actors from state, markets and civil society – to find out if there are certain factors that can explain success or failure in this type of policy and governance instruments. The researchers, Philipp Pattberg and Oscar Widerberg, identified 9 building blocks for success including leadership, partners, goal setting, funding, management, monitoring, meta-governance, problem structure, and socio-political context.

Here’s the abstract:

Multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development – institutionalized transboundary interactions between public and private actors aiming at the provision of collective goods – are a central element of contemporary sustainability governance, in particularly since the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). They have been credited with closing the participation and implementation gap in sustainable development but also accused of privileging powerful interests and thereby consolidating the privatisation of governance and dominant neo-liberal modes of globalisation.

This report has surveyed recent scholarship to provide an evidence-based assessment of the performance of multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development with a view towards identifying the building blocks for successful and effective partnerships across a number of concrete implementation contexts and specific functions. While the overall aggregate performance of partnerships as a governance instrument is mixed at best, we identify and discuss nine building blocks that increase the likelihood for success: leadership, partners, goal setting, funding, management, monitoring, metagovernance, problem structure and socio-political context.

The findings contain important considerations for the many actors involved in the development and later the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important for other areas such as climate change, where implementation of international goals increasingly are expected to be complemented by innovative and cross-sectoral transnational and hybrid modes of collaboration.

The report was commissioned by the International Civil Society Center (ICSC) and will feed straight into the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ) extensive discussion on a “Zukunftscharta“ (Charter of the Future – the Charter) that will guide its strategies for sustainable development.

You can download the full report for free here.