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P-Cubed: Elevating the Power of Partnerships

Public-private partnerships are referred to as P3s. At Concordia, we believe that collaboration is the key to solving the world’s greatest challenges. P-Cubed: Elevating the Power of Partnerships is a series by Concordia providing insight into our programs and lessons learned from partnership-building activities.

by Corey Adwar and Cheryl He 

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require the collaborative efforts of governments, businesses, and nonprofits. Goal 17, “partnerships for the goals,” clearly states that urgent action is needed to enhance multi-stakeholder partnerships. It specifically calls for an increase in public-private partnerships (P3s) to disseminate knowledge, skills, technology, and funding.

An estimated $4.5 trillion annually is required to implement the SDGs by 2030 emphasizing the need for P3s, especially in developing countries and emerging markets. P3s allow national and local governments with limited expertise and financial resources to attract private investments and know-how to meet these immense cost requirements.

Yet how can potential investors, governments, or nonprofits identify partnership opportunities that would contribute to the implementation of the SDGs? A new tool Concordia developed aims to do just that: measure partnerships environments to gauge potential opportunities for impact.

The Concordia Partnership Index ranks 72 countries around the world based on their readiness and need to engage in P3s to provide a better understanding of the risks and opportunities involved in building partnerships. It assesses countries’ investment climates and political environments and presents areas for improvement and risk reduction.

The Concordia Partnership Index also takes a country’s infrastructure gaps into account. By pointing out these gaps, it identifies a large-scale need that a country must meet to ensure its sustainable development.   

How can the Concordia Partnership Index be used by different actors working towards the Global Goals?

Governments that are responsible for attracting investment and private sector partnerships should aim to minimize risks to attract investors. The Concordia Partnership Index provides governments with a framework to direct policy changes that help increase their country’s investment appeal and close infrastructure gaps. Offering in-depth analyses, it allows governments to compare their partnership environments to other countries’ environments to measure their relative progress.

The Concordia Partnership Index also serves as a practical tool for the UN SDG Fund’s Private Sector Advisory Group, which consists of business leaders who foster effective public-private partnerships. One of the key contributions of this advisory group is to provide country-specific advice to governments on how to reform their policies to more effectively partner with the private sector. Through highlighting key partnership areas for governments to pursue policy reform, the Concordia Partnership Index can assist this group in their advisory role.

Private and nonprofit sectors can also turn to the Concordia Partnership Index to identify new regions, countries, or industry sectors suitable for P3 engagement. The interactive website allows businesses and nonprofits to tailor the Concordia Partnership Index more closely to their individual risk appetites and objectives, allowing them to identify potential partnership environments they would not have otherwise considered.

According to an OECD report, “Effective partnerships must have: strong leadership; be country-led and context-specific; apply the right type of action for the challenge; and maintain a clear focus on results.” The Concordia Partnership Index facilitates effective P3s by providing a tool for countries and potential partners to identify opportunities to pool resources in a focused manner to maximize social and economic impact.

The vision of the SDGs to bring together all countries and sectors to transform our world for a brighter future. The Concordia Partnership Index helps facilitate this process by providing a tool to measure and identify partnership opportunities, direct policy reforms, and attract private resources.