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IMG_0563By Siham Mamand
Next Generation Global Leader at the McCain Institute & Concordia Fellow

 

Mutual benefits are the key in creating public-private partnerships (P3s). A P3 involves the sharing of public and private sectors’ perspectives and capabilities. Both sides could gain successful results by working together on their respective desires and needs.

It is difficult to achieve a solution as a single actor, which is why partnership is important for government, the private sector, and NGOs to create meaningful and actionable ideas, proposals, and projects. A university has the capacity, human resources, and tools to carry out research, opinion polls, and focus groups necessary for large projects aiming to solve pressing global issues. Though academia’s perspective and involvement is always important, effective partnerships also need to implement practitioners’ expertise. This is where the private sector and public sector can step in.

In my home country of Iraq, for example, there have been agriculture companies working to design a plan for milk production that have partnered with the Kurdistan Regional Government. Additionally, cooperation with a university’s agriculture college in the region has provided strong research support and information on the population, including its demographics, weather, and product demand. Each partner’s participation is required for effective and efficient results. A partnership allows institutions to work together and translate concepts into tangible progress. By collaborating, greater success is possible.

The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), a Concordia member organization, serves as a successful example of strong partnerships between various government agencies and an academic institution. AUAF aims to strengthen the educational standards in Afghanistan through its partners: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, Stanford University (USDSSU), and the World Bank. These U.S. institutions support less developed countries like Afghanistan, but are often far removed from the country. These partnerships allow expertise and knowledge are exchanged, and both parties implement more cost-effective methods.

Thanks to the support of organizations such as USAID, AUAF is able to build a university with feasible study and grant programs. These partnerships have resulted in an undergraduate LLB in Law Program, a Masters of Education Program, and future sustainability for the university.

 

Concordia hosted a Google Hangout in conjunction with AUAF to discuss the success of these partnerships on March 11. As AUAF has shown, building partnerships can be a great asset to multiple organizations and make a positive impact.