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Great Expectations: Realising social and environmental benefits from public-private partnerships in agricultural supply chains

Research reports

Research reports

This report uses four case studies of partnerships of public sector, private sector and civil society organisations, aimed at addressing social and environmental concerns relating to the production of agricultural crops. Information was gathered through desk-based research based on documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews. Input was gathered from more than 30 people, including partners involved in the case studies and people working in public sector, private sector and civil society organisations not directly involved in the case studies, to gather broader perspectives. The aim is to explore lessons learnt from these partnerships by asking:
  1. What are the roles and motivations for the partnerships?
  2. What is the role and justification of the public funding provided?
  3. To what extent might the partnerships be scaled up or replicated?
  4. What have been the key barriers and enabling factors relating to the partnerships?

Key messages from the report are:

  • Public-private partnerships (PPPs) in agricultural supply chains can help solve social and environmental problems, like deforestation, that need collaborative solutions. However, they do not offer the same value as strong policy frameworks.
  • Securing social and environment benefits from PPPs requires: balancing the different cultures and objectives of partners; strengthening the capacity of local partners to implement activities on the ground; exerting pressure on businesses to move towards better practices, realised through campaigns and brand concerns.
  • Criteria should be developed to determine under what conditions public sector funding is considered appropriate to support PPPs. These should be based on an analysis of the social, environmental and economic outcomes, and full costs and benefits, of the proposed intervention.
  • Private sector should provide funding and matches to public sector funds, both because of the business benefits and to strengthen buy-in.

Emily Brickell and Patricia Elias