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Latest insights, trends and practical examples from members and Content Partners, published every weekday.
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Practical reports, briefing papers and toolkits distilling latest thinking and good practice.
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With the advent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), new models of collaboration are transforming the way different sectors approach and tackle shared sustainable development risks and opportunities. An emerging area of collaboration between civil society and business is centred around policy advocacy and the opportunity for both sectors to work together to influence and encourage appropriate government policies in support of the SDGs. This guide explores how civil society and business are joining voices to change policy, attitudes and practices. It is aimed at practitioners working in policy, advocacy and government relations roles in civil society organisations and businesses. We also hope the guide will be a useful resource for policy makers looking to engage external stakeholders in policy development in support of the SDGs.
This guide, produced by Business Fights Poverty in partnership with Endeva, BRAC, CDC and DFID, is written primarily for potential investors in low-cost private education. Our aim is to enable investors to direct their resources and influence towards proven solutions that strengthen quality in education and address the particular challenges of inclusivity that arise from a fee-based model.
This report aims to advance learning on how to improve the economic benefits of trade for smallholder farmers and their families. It seeks to clarify the roles and levers for companies and other actors, often working together, to help increase smallholder farmers’ incomes. The report has been developed through a collaboration between Sustainable Food Lab and Business Fights Poverty with leading food and beverage companies, nongovernmental organisations and researchers.
This report explores how we unlock capital to deliver the SDGs. Collaboration between different types of organisations from the private sector, governments, multilateral organisations, social enterprises and civil society is the best chance that we have in doing this. This report showcases a selection of successful collaborations, in order to share lessons with investors, beneficiaries and the development community.
This a guide to business support for youth skills development. The guide has been developed by Business Fights Poverty as part of the Challenge on Youth Employability, supported by Anglo American, Barclays, BRAC, Citi, DFID and Pearson. The Guide captures key messages and lessons from companies and their partners in civil society, the donor community and government, about how business can best support young people as they transition into work.
A guide that provides insights into the opportunities and challenges businesses face in integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their core operations and supply chains. The guide was developed by Business Fights Poverty in partnership Ashridge Hult Centre for Business and Sustainability, as part of the Challenge on Embedding the SDGs. The Challenge was supported by Pearson, CEMEX, De Beers Group and DFID. Through company examples, the Guide illustrates the ways in which businesses are linking the SDGs to strategic priorities and bringing them to life in the business.
This business guide explains what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are, how they link to smallholder sourcing programmes and ways for a company to contribute to their achievement. The guide was developed as part of the Challenge on the SDGs and Agriculture, in partnership with Sustainable Food Labs. The Challenge was supported by AB InBev, Mars and DFID. The guide sets out some practical steps to start the process of operationalising the SDGs, building on existing practices and sustainability work that field based teams are already engaged in, often in collaboration with other stakeholders.
This discussion paper explores models of distribution and sales networks that strengthen micro-enterprises and expand economic opportunities for low-income people in developing countries. The report was developed by Business Fights Poverty as part of the Challenge on Inclusive Distribution. The Challenge was supported by Citi Foundation. It highlights the key challenges in scaling these models as well as the emerging lessons from companies and partnerships that are experimenting with new solutions and/or succeeding in reaching scale.
The Sustainable Development Goals set an ambitious agenda for us all. The priority now must be on action and delivery. This event, held on 19 September 2016 in New York, focused on innovative ways in which businesses and development partners are collaborating to help deliver the SDGs forward.
Micro-enterprises are the lifeblood of many communities and a critical source of employment and livelihoods. Larger companies rely on the effective operation and growth of micro-enterprises in their value chains, often as suppliers, distributors, retailers and customers. The report was developed as part of the Challenge on Strengthening Micro-Enterprises in Value Chains, with the Harvard Kennedy School's Corporate Responsibility Initiative and CARE International UK. The Challenge was supported by SABMiller. The Report highlights the need to move towards a more holistic form of collaboration with the aim of strengthening the broader “market system” in which their value chain and micro-enterprises operate.
This report by the CSR Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, co-authored by Business Fights Poverty's, Beth Jenkins, seeks to distill the lessons—and strategic questions—from the New Vision for Agriculture experience to date for system leaders in agriculture, food security, and beyond.
The scale and ambition of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require us to be bold and creative in how we work together to achieve them. This report with Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative, and in partnership with the SDG Fund, provides a practical framework for how to engage effectively with business in support of the SDGs. It provides a business perspective on what works, what does not and what more can be done by the UN to harness the full potential of what business can bring.
A report by Acumen and Business Fights Poverty that explores the comparative advantages of social enterprise and global corporations that, if harnessed through partnership, can unlock new worlds of impact for the businesses involved and for the societies in which they operate.
A Report by Business Fights Poverty and Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative, looking at the critical enabling conditions that must be in place to align business incentives and capabilities in favor of success at scale. This report identifies what these "building blocks" are, takes stock of the progress we are making in putting them in place, and explores what more needs to be done.
Drawing upon leadership perspectives from Diageo, IBM, Marks & Spencer, The Coca-Cola Company, and Unilever, this paper demonstrates the diverse ways in which multinational companies are striving to create business value and development impact in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.
This year's New Africa Report with the Initiative for Global Development explores the mix of strategies needed to close Africa's energy gap - an issue that is routinely cited by large and small businesses as the most significant barrier to their success, and which also impacts healthcare and education outcomes.
A report by Business Fights Poverty and Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative looking at SABMiller's 4e Camino al Progreso Program - a partnership with the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank and FUNDES to empower the many small-scale retailers that sell their products in their value chain. The report describes the model in detail for those interested in replicating aspects of it in other parts of the world.
A higher level of environmental, social, and financial performance is now expected in sugar production—and all stakeholders must work together to achieve it. The report identifies six building blocks necessary to align the incentives of growers, mills, refiners, traders, and buyers in favor of more sustainable sugar production at scale. It then summarizes the progress a range of organizations and initiatives are making to put these building blocks in place, as well as the challenges they are facing and the key questions they will need to answer to accelerate change.
A report by Business Fights Poverty and the Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative that explores in depth the approach one company, SABMiller, is taking to support entrepreneurs in its value chain and broader community by strengthening the wider environment or ‘business ecosystems’ in which they are embedded.
How can business tap into the opportunities that Nigeria presents, while also maximising its contribution to long-term growth and broad-based socio-economic impact? Read our Report with on http://www.igdleaders.org launched in Abuja in 2014.
A Report by Business Action for Africa, Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative and The Partnering Initiative, looking at how companies and their partners are working to catalyse systemic change in a wide range of ways. The report makes recommendations for all stakeholders concerned with establishing the means and mechanisms to tackle deeply entrenched systemic challenges.
A report by Business Fights Poverty and the Harvard Kennedy School’s CSR Initiative on The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative, which aims to improve the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs within the Company’s global value chain by 2020. The Report studies and shares some of the early lessons of implementing the initiative.
The world is waking up to a New Africa. The predominant theme in the emerging narrative is no longer war, famine and disease but rather strong economic performance. Investors are realising that Africa is good for business. Strong economic growth, business friendly reforms, mature financial institutions and some large economies add up to an enticing proposition. At the same time, increased investor interest is having a beneficial impact on many African countries: business is good for Africa. Business Action for Africa and Ernst & Young invited a range of business, donor and academic leaders to share their perspectives on the New Africa.
The Report brings together leading business voices from Africa to explore two themes: that Africa is good for business, and that business is good for Africa.
This report by Business Action for Africa, Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative and The Partnering Initiative looks at the role of partnering with business deliver the Post-2015 development framework and achieve sustainable prosperity in Africa.
Business Action for Africa’s 2010 Report, produced with the CSR Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, examines how business- driven partnerships are addressing Africa’s development challenges in new and innovative ways, redrawing the boundaries of what is possible, and creating new frontiers for sustainable development and growth on the continent. Drawing on detailed case studies from BAA member companies and the Harnessing the Power of Business for Development Impact event series, supported by Business Action for Africa, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the CSR Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, the report addresses four challenge areas—enterprise development, regional integration and trade, human development, and environmental sustainability— and examines the role of business and what can be achieved in collaboration with others.
The 2009 global economic and financial crisis had severe implications for the economic and social progress made across Sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time it presented an opportunity to stimulate new thinking on how to generate innovative and more sustainable ways to support the region’s growth and development. Business Action for Africa invited a wide range of leading thinkers from business, government and the NGO community both international and from Africa to share their views on how to ensure the private sector continues to act as the engine room of growth and development, and the type of policies required to help businesses to manage and innovate through the crisis.
In 2008, halfway to the deadline for meeting the internationally-agreed Millennium Development Goals, Business Action for Africa invited a wide selection of leading thinkers to share their views on the evolving discussion about the role of business. The result is an insightful and thought-provoking assessment of the private sector’s role in accelerating progress towards the MDGs in Africa and the key priorities moving forward.