Corporate-NGO Partnerships for Sustainable Development
corporate social responsibility
Philosophy Politics & Econ
In the last 15 years, the trend of NGOs working in cooperation with business has developed considerably. The global community – including leaders of international governmental institutions and of the non-profit sector as well as some business leaders – has recognized the importance of including business in the process of international development. NGOs, on the other hand, have become instrumental in development work internationally, but they generally do not have the means and resources to carry out their projects efficiently in a sustainable manner. This is why engaging business with the public and non-profit sectors to find common solutions to problems has been an increasing trend globally. The first section of this paper analyzes the general trend of increasing interaction between the public and the private sector. It outlines some of the benefits of partnerships to both corporations and NGOs, the practical difficulties they present, and the elements necessary to establishing a healthy collaboration between both actors. The second section illustrates the potential of such partnerships by looking at their effectiveness in the fair or ethical trade movement. Partnerships in fair trade seek to address both the economic and social/environmental aspects of sustainable development, so they present benefits and challenges simultaneously. We shall use a case study from the coffee industry, to analyze how a large corporation such as Starbucks works successfully with NGOs to promote sustainable and fair coffee production practices. Finally, we shall discuss the success of partnerships, drawing conclusions from the analysis of the case study.