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Talking across boundaries: Business and NGO perspectives on sustainable development and partnership

ABSTRACT Abstract Partnership,between ,business ,and ,Non-Governmental ,Organizations ,(NGOs)

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    ABSTRACT: Food is way too important to go the way of the banking industry." Business Advisory Group member Existing approaches to business and development have proved inadequate in the face of accelerating climate change, resource scarcity and poverty. Starting from the needs of communities in Africa, this paper explores how collaboration between business and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) can facilitate a "step change" in the way we understand and respond to these challenges. Recognising the central role of business, the Africa Progress Panel set up an Advisory Group of senior businesspeople to facilitate greater business engagement in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). International NGO Concern Universal brings logistical and research capacity to the initiative, along with a commitment to securing greater business support for sustainable development 2 . This paper illustrates how the collaboration has brought together community-based and business-led perspectives, catalysing support for communities" own business and development efforts. It concludes that the holistic understanding of business that underpins the collaboration opens up the possibility of enabling people to participate more effectively in a "virtuous" cycle of development. The paper raises the need for more empirical research into how these processes unfold in practice.

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