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Partnering For Development

Special Representative Kris Balderston and a delegation of representatives from public and private sectors participate in building a clean cook stove in Antigua, Guatemala as part of the Global Partnership Initiative.

Global Partnership Initiative includes input from local organizations, civil society actors and the private sector.

Early on the Administration of President Barack Obama gave notice that development aid would play a major role in the United States foreign policy, and elevated development as the third pillar of U.S. foreign policy, equal in status to diplomacy and defense.

Partnering For Development
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But with the new emphasis on development, it soon became clear that the tried and true method of delivering U.S. help to those in need whenever and wherever it was needed, should be updated to include input from local organizations, civil society actors and the private sector. The problems of the 21st century are too big and complex for any one government or entity to solve on its own, but by working together, we can find permanent solutions to recurring problems.

Thus, in April 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the creation of the Global Partnership Initiative, which focuses on collaboration between the Department of State and the private sector.

For the United States Department of State the Global Partnership Initiative fulfills three key roles. It serves as a convener, bringing together people from across regions and sectors to work together on issues of common interest.

It is a catalyst, launching new projects, actively seeking new solutions, and providing vital training and technical assistance to facilitate additional projects.

And it is a collaborator, working closely with our partners to plan and implement projects while avoiding duplication, learning from each other, and maximizing our impact by looking for best practices.

To highlight the importance -–and success-- of public-private partnerships, in mid-December we observed Global Partnership Week.

“The problems we face today will not be solved by governments alone,” said Secretary of State Clinton. “It will be in partnerships – partnerships with philanthropy, with global business, partnerships with civil society. We have to find new ways to fill that space that is unfortunately left to create vacuums in too many places around the world.”