Corporate-Ngo Partnerships for Sustainable Development

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College of Arts and Sciences

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal
University of Pennsylvania Year 2006

Corporate-NGO Partnerships for Sustainable Development
Corinne Damlamian
University of Pennsylvania, cdamlamian@gmail.com

This paper is posted at ScholarlyCommons. http://repository.upenn.edu/curej/12

CORPORATE-NGO PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
How corporations and nongovernmental organizations can work together, illustrated with examples from the Fair Trade movement.

Corinne Damlamian
“Senior Honors Thesis”

“Submitted to the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for Honors” Thesis Advisor: Professor David Ludden May 2006

~ Acknowledgements ~ I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to my thesis advisor, Professor Ludden of the History Department for his guidance and advice this semester. Thank you also to Dr. Danielle Warren of the Wharton School Legal Studies Department, for taking the time in her busy end-of-semester schedule to read my paper and give me much appreciated feedback. Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to my friends and family for their encouragement and support. Special thanks to my parents, especially to my mother for being the person who first sparked my interest in sustainable development which has driven me to write this paper.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction PART I: Corporate-NGO partnerships in general A- The emerging trend of corporate-NGO partnerships B- Benefits of corporate-NGO partnerships C- Difficulties of partnerships and requirements for successful implementation PART II: Corporate-NGO partnerships in the ethical trade movement A- Lessons drawn from the Body Shop’s Community Trade Program B- Case study of a successful partnership in Sustainable Coffee: Starbucks and Conservation International Conclusion: Bibliography Assessing the success of corporate-NGO partnerships

3 5 5 11 18 22 23 27 44 47

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INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this paper is to analyze a topic that represents a concrete illustration of how philosophy, politics, and economics are interconnected on a practical level. Partnerships between corporations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to promote sustainable development draw on themes derived from all three disciplines. They challenge how we traditionally think about the role of business in society and toward its stakeholders; they change how the for-profit and non-profit sectors conceive of each other and how they interact with one and other; and they influence how we analyze the idea of international developmental aid and the effectiveness of policy making strategies. Corporate-NGO partnerships can be formed and implemented in different ways. It is difficult to evaluate the number of partnerships currently in existence, because many are formed between small local businesses and community groups and are not publicized. Additionally, partnerships can often involve other actors beyond NGOs and corporations such as local or national governments, international development institutions, or privately funded non-profit entities (such a philanthropic foundations), which makes them more complex to analyze. In this paper we focus on partnerships that attempt to promote development in a sustainable and ethical manner, for the stakeholders in developing countries of large corporations that carry out business internationally. We propose to do this in two parts. The first section of this paper analyzes the general trend of increasing interaction between the public and the private sector. It outlines some of the benefits of partnerships to both corporations and NGOs, the practical difficulties they present, and the elements necessary to establishing a healthy collaboration between both actors. The second section illustrates the potential of such partnerships by looking at their effectiveness in the fair or...
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