Organizing the Government-Affairs Function for Impact
Of all the efforts devoted to improving economic and social conditions in developing countries, the most prominent has been the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which set targets for reducing poverty and improving education, gender equality, health, and sustainability by 2015. As is true with any type of development, meeting these targets depends on resources, and a large part of the resources devoted to the MDGs come from developed countries’ pledges for what is called Official Development Assistance (ODA). However, since peaking at $128.7 billion in annual net ODA in 2010, the annual total paid in ODA has declined for two years, standing at $125.6 billion for 2012.
Countries could also find powerful ways to unlock the value of their development dollars by examining particular market inefficiencies of specific sectors that can benefit from development aid. Take health, for example. One market inefficiency is that large private-sector pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to invest in research and development for developing-country health issues. To create these missing incentives, several countries created an “advance market commitment” that provided reassurances in the market for a new pneumococcal vaccine. This was a groundbreaking approach that used dollars donated for vaccine purchase to their maximum effect.
Innovation, which is largely about thoughtful trial and error, is needed to catch up on the world’s bold development aspirations. Taking a chance with new finance mechanisms may lead to some failures, but one big success can be a global game changer. Each step along the way can help enrich the global development community by pulling in new resources and helping existing stakeholders work better together.
We tackle deep-rooted challenges such as sector competitiveness and productivity, food access and availability, smallholder farmer livelihoods, and climate change and resource scarcity. We work closely with governments, donors, foundations, and businesses to design and implement holistic programs that transform the way agricultural systems operate. We apply our expertise in agribusiness, supply-chain management, infrastructure, and large-scale transformations to create models for sustainable agricultural development that attract private, public, and social investment and can be scaled and delivered effectively.
Creating a National Social Investment Strategy
We develop practices and mechanisms to enhance social innovation, including financial models, prizes, advocacy models, and tools for assessing impact.Social innovation is about applying new approaches, refining existing practices, and bringing powerful tools to bear in solving the world’s most pressing challenges. Our work has three main strands:
Social Responsibility Programs: We help leading and emerging social-sector organizations and individual philanthropists to define their strategic roadmap and create the right platform organization and operating model to achieve their vision. We also work with family businesses to develop social impact strategies for their companies and their families.
Advancing corporate social engagement: We work with companies to define and improve their social engagement strategies to secure greater impact for their businesses and for society. We help top global corporations—and many more national and regional enterprises—to reinvent their philanthropic approaches to better align with their business strategies.
Government Social Impact Bonds: Our work seeks to harness the power of collaboration between businesses, governments, and social enterprises to address social challenges more effectively, and on a wider scale. Both secular and faith-based nongovernmental organizations are paid to deliver government activity. They deliver support in areas such as health, aged care, disability, social housing, out-of-home child care, unemployment services, and education. These outsourced arrangements have been driven by economics.
We help governments and public-sector organizations design and implement large-scale strategies that promote economic development and inclusive growth.