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close this bookPartners in Time? Business, NGOs and Sustainable Development (UNRISD, 1999, 85 p.)
close this folderPart 1: The changing nature of business-ngo relations
close this folderConclusions: The Characteristics of Collaboration
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreconditions
View the documentInteractive Processes
View the documentOutcomes and Consequences

Interactive Processes

Another aspect of understanding the business-NGO partnership phenomenon is to consider the various interactive processes that take place as part of the development and implementation of such initiatives in different contexts. These may include interactions within the organizational boundaries of the partnership concerned, as well as external influences. The following list is not a definitive checklist for the business-NGO partnership process, but rather initial perceptions based upon the case studies and other relevant material.

Interactive processes include the following:

· capacity and willingness of partners to cope with the diverse perspectives and paradoxical goals from the outset and throughout the process;

· commitment of partners to principles of shared responsibility, mutual symbiosis and joint ownership;

· articulation of honest and realistic expectations by partners;

· development of a flexible structure consistent with the purpose and functioning of the partnership;

· organizational commitment of business partner(s) to change unsustainable practices through specific policies, concrete actions and ongoing support for the partnership;

· ability of NGO partner to maintain organizational independence and integrity;

· ongoing pressure from other NGOs and activists related to the problem domain;

· capability of business and NGO partner(s) to respond appropriately to such ongoing pressure;

· capacity to broaden partnership scope and participation in some cases to include relevant UN and governmental agencies (e.g., Pakistan);

· ongoing tensions between businesses and NGOs about the potentials and limits of partnership in different geographical, political, social and cultural contexts.