Lawrence Hardy II is USAID’s Brazil Mission Director
As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnership Week October 17-21, 2011 to highlight the mutual benefit that development and business have in establishing public-private partnerships (PPP) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Global Development Alliance (GDA) program.
Created in 2006, the Mais Unidos Group is a partnership between the U.S. Mission in Brazil, through its USAID, and nearly 100 American companies established in Brazilian territory. The proposal of Mais Unidos is to benefit the Brazilian society through environmental and socioeconomic-related initiatives, and create shared value to its participants. The objectives of the group are: I) foster partnerships; II) share best practices and success histories and; III) promote visibility to its participants.
In July and September of this year, USAID conducted a survey with the Mais Unidos partners to identify opportunities to development public-private partnerships, to gather evidence on the impact of the US. Companies’ social investments in Brazil, and to understand how USAID and the private sector can work together to improve these outcomes. The survey demonstrated that thirty-three American companies invested capital, human resources, technology and knowledge in several initiatives in to grow education, protect the environment and advance socioeconomic development in Brazil. U.S. companies include: 3M Institute, Accenture, ADM, Alcoa, Cargill, Caterpillar, Cisco, Citibank, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Cummins, Dow, Deloitte, General Electric, General Motors, HP, IBM, Intel, International Paper, Ketchum, Kraft Foods, KPMG, Microsoft, Monsanto, MSD, Motorola, Nike, Pfizer, Qualcomm, Rigesa, Visa, Whirlpool, Walmart.
The analyzed companies collectively invested an amount of approximately 120 Million in Brazilian Reais which is around 70 Million USD in about 285 projects that were implemented in all Brazilian States, positively impacting communities, and benefiting over 10 million people. These projects demonstrated high transformational capacity and potential to be scaled and replicated. Activities were implemented in partnership with the public and private sectors and the civil society. In 2010, 50 partnerships were developed. Eight-five percent of participating companies financed projects from over 200 Brazilian NGOs. Working alongside NGOs, the majority of corporations oversaw the technical monitoring and evaluation of the programs.
The survey of these companies demonstrates that added value to corporations are the same goals that USAID has in its development priorities. For 95% of the companies, education is the priority area, followed by environment (80%), health (75%), and income generation (40%). When these areas of focus are well developed, the private sector benefits and is able to produce sustainable growth. Targeting outcomes for each of these focus areas creates strong economic opportunities which works toward achieving USAID’s primary goal: to create the conditions by which development is no longer necessary.
We asked also asked how companiesare communicating their results on social investments to their associates, clients and the public in general; 80% uses their website and social network to do that but 90% already have a system in place that they issue their own Social Investment reports.
The companies are sustaining their commitments in Brazil and are continuing to communicate their efforts. For the years 2012/2013, 80% of these companies will continue to invest more than 1 million Brazilian Reais (600,000 USD) per year, while 10% will invest between 500 and 1 million Brazilian Reais, and another 10% preferred not to disclose that information.
In communicating social investments to their associates, clients and the public in general; 80% use website and social networks and 90% already have existing systems to issue Social Investment reports.
The evaluation of these companies demonstrates that sustainability and corporate social responsibility are a core priority of the private sector partners in the Mais Unidos Group in Brazil. The Mais Unidos Group understands that the social private investments represent great progress towards integrating the Brazilian and the world economy. Likewise, the entrepreneurial activity combined with corporate social responsibility contributes significantly to reduce unemployment and poverty levels, promote greater and inclusive economic opportunities, and improve social welfare.
Visit www.usaid.gov/pppweek for updates, announcements, and highlights of the October 20th Partnership Forum: The Strategic Value of Connecting Business & Development
To view a map of USAID public-private partnerships around the globe, visit http://idea.usaid.gov/