Plattform for Multi-Stakeholder-Partnerships
In 2015, the United Nations agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), naming Partnerships as the last of the 17 goals. This global agreement recognized that partnerships across institutional or national boundaries are the best way to master the complexity of solving sustainability challenges.
Multi-stakeholder partnerships lead to better, more effective, and transformative results. Their success depends on the quality of the partnership, as well as the quality of creation and buildup, common goal setting, appropriate structure, and joint implementation.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, must be tackled using outcome-oriented dialogues, effective collaboration processes, and future-oriented collective action.
Partnerships are a response to these complex problems, but are also complex themselves. The understanding of how to build trust, to generate common objectives, to create meaningful and functioning structures, roles, and agreements, to cooperate optimally in the implementation process and jointly evaluate results, is not natural or self-evident. In response to the need for capacities in collaboration, the field of partnering to support the implementation of multi-stakeholder partnerships is growing, especially in response to the challenge of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
In autumn 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations agreed on the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The world community recognized that a collaborative approach will be required to implement the 2030 Agenda, one that ensures the achievement of complex change by individuals, within organizations, as well as through collective leadership. All stakeholders from the private sector, science, government, and civil society should be engaged and mobilized to participate.
In November 2014, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) initiated the Zukunftscharta (Charter for the Future) to define common perspectives and objectives for necessary changes as part of the German national sustainable development strategy. Further steps resulted in a national platform, “Partnerships 2030 – Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships“, that empowers global post-2015 partnerships (so-called MAPs). The initiative is a collaboration among four partners: BMZ; the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; Engagement Global (bengo) gGmbH; and the Collective Leadership Institute (CLI).
In the process of building the “Partnerships 2030 – Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships”, BMZ initiated the development of the platform, GIZ was mandated to establish the platform and operates as the secretariat, bengo advises and supports in the context of specific project funding and application processes, and CLI advises the various stakeholders on content and concepts for the creation of multi-stakeholder partnerships. The partners have committed to building the capacity of interested parties in all sectors of society who can drive collaborative change for the implementation of the SDGs, and with a unique methodology developed over 20 years of experience in partnering support.
The “Partnerships 2030 – Platform for Multi-Stakeholder-Partnerships” in Germany contributes to strengthen the role of civil society, and other actors, in partnering, offers orientation, and provides support to initiatives to achieve success in multi-stakeholder partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships represent a significant and important opportunity to foment transformative impact through collaborative initiatives for sustainable development. They offer the unique potential to become "institutions that learn". Success in collaboration leads to a multiplication of the positive impact and can accelerate systemic change for sustainable development and touch many lives.
The first steps in creating the “Partnerships 2030 – Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships” consisted of identifying relevant actors and their potentials and challenges, understanding the contexts of the existing and potential partnering initiatives, establishing contacts and resonance in the field through workshops, meetings, and conferences, offering capacity development through trainings and coaching to understand and apply the partnership approach in the context of the platform and the 2030 Agenda, guiding and supporting the partnership planning and implementation process, and developing the relevant network in order to create synergy effects and learn from best practices.
The “Partnerships 2030 – Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships” recognized that German development workers from the civil sector working in MAPs around the world are facing several challenges and need support on various levels, both conceptually as well as with regard to resources. In response to this recognition, the platform organized several intensive workshops to provide relevant information and a space for exchange from all partners. Through trainings and coaching with CLI, civil society organizations received guidance and capacity development.
The approach and methodology of the CLI is based on the Dialogic Change Model (DCM) and the Collective Leadership Compass. Both models serve as a guideline for process support in general and help lead collaborators towards successful and sustainable multi-stakeholder partnerships.
CLI’s DCM, which was practiced during the workshops, allows for results-oriented, structured planning and implementation of Stakeholder Dialogues in four phases. The different phases of the approach have proven helpful in taking all demands and requirements of a dialogue process into account and preparing for them adequately.
The model is an appropriate tool to design and implement complex processes that require different interest groups to work together on a change initiative. No matter if it is about creating responsible value chains, adapting to climate change, or securing access to adequate nutrition, change comes from collective action at all levels of our global society. As all stakeholders are involved in co-creating practical outcomes through the DCM process, they experience a high degree of ownership.
The success of establishing and implementing effective stakeholder platforms depends on the design and structuring of the engagement, consultation and collaboration process. This requires a certain methodological knowledge consisting of a dialogical approach and change management experience that is excellently articulated in CLI’s DCM.
The Platform for Agenda 2030 Partnerships contributes to the SDGs in sharing experiences and best practices in order to strengthen existing Multi-Stakeholder-Partnerships and to offer guidance for new initiatives. Through having access to guidance and capacity development, both online and offline, the stakeholders of MAPs can engage in dialogue more easily and develop innovative partnership concepts.
The online platform was launched June 30th, 2016 and offers an opportunity to learn, exchange, and connect with all other platform members. Further information on the platform can be found on www.partnerschaften2030.de. CLI offered a webinar about organizational prerequisites for multi-stakeholder partnerships that you can watch (in German) here.