Recognizing the Power of Cross-Sector Collaboration

By Andrew O’Brien, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, US State Department

Recognizing the Power of Cross-Sector Collaboration

The world of development has changed dramatically in the last several decades. While investment and resources in developing countries used to be defined largely by public resource flows, today the official government contribution is dwarfed by private sector inflows. The growing influence of the private sector in the economic development process underscores the importance of collaboration between sectors to address global issues like global health, climate change, energy, and more.

And what does that cross-sector collaboration look like? The public-private partnership (P3) model is a fast-growing way for the government to work with private sector partners, including companies, non-profits, non-governmental organizations, and civil society. Within the U.S. Department of State, for example, the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships serves as the entry point for this type of collaboration. The office provides resources to the rest of the Department on what P3s are and how they are created and maintained, and also manages a number of partnerships—from an alliance to engage diaspora communities in the United States to a platform to incubate the tech sector in Africa.

Every March, we recognize the power of partnerships during Global Partnerships Week. GPW is a week-long celebration of the role that partnerships play in diplomacy and development around the world.

Working with USAID and Concordia, this year’s GPW (March 9-15) kicked off with a Partnership Practitioners Forum on March 9 and included more than 15 additional events and activities organized by other organizations throughout the week, ranging from small networking gatherings and webinars to large scale events and workshops. A full list of events can be found here.

We’re also releasing the second annual State of Global Partnerships Report. This year’s report features profiles of twelve exemplary partnerships from different offices in the State Department and at embassies.

The featured partnerships include:

  • 100,000 Strong in the Americas
  • Coca-Cola MENA Scholars Partnership
  • Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)
  • Fishackathon
  • Diplomatic Culinary Partnership
  • YALI Crowdfunding Campaign Initiative
  • Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Oil and Gas Methane Partnership
  • Ambassador’s Entrepreneurial Challenge
  • Alliance for Artisan Enterprise
  • Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)
  • DC Greening Embassies Forum
  • Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria
  • Veterans Innovation Partnership
  • DREAMS: Adolescent Girls and Young Women’s Initiative
  • Vietnam Road Safety Program

The 2015 report can be found here. The 2014 report can be found here.

Check out to learn more about GPW. And let us know about your partnerships and collaboration by tweeting at #GPW2015 and @GPatState.

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