Gabi Zedlmayer is Vice President of Hewlett Packard’s Office of Global Social Innovation.
As part of USAID’s 50th Anniversary, the Agency is celebrating Public-Private Partnerships 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.
USAID stands out among international development agencies for its commitment and innovative approach to private sector partnership in pursuit of social, economic and environmental outcomesin the developing world. While HP and USAID have collaborated since 2002, tomorrow we’ll be announcing a strengthened alliance that will bring new life, scope and impact to our working relationship that is already driven by strongly aligned objectives.
Why does this partnership make sense? Regardless of the time and resources we devote to making a difference, we can’t do it alone. That’s why HP advocates a collaborative approach to solving tough, complex global problems, one in which corporations, government agencies and NGOs share resources and expertise. We are not looking to grab the spotlight for our own. We are looking for results. Collaboration also makes sense for USAID. USAID already brings extensive development expertise, funding, and partners and its reach throughout the developing world in considerable. But imagine: by tapping the skills of HP’s 325,000-strong employee base, our range of technological solutions, and our own customer and stakeholder partnerships, we will be that much more effective in tackling (together) root causes of global challenges such as education, infant and maternal ill-health, unemployment and poverty. And in ways that make good public policy and business sense too.
What next? We are charged up with ideas and are now moving quickly to build out concrete partnerships in shared priority counties and in the key sectors we agreed to narrow in on. The current HP programs that we might look for inspiration include: Our HP Catalyst Initiative – which is tearing down obstacles that prevent students from learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by bringing together some of the world’s best educators to devise new ways of teaching; Our HP LIFE program – which is supporting entrepreneurs and educators across the world by helping young entrepreneurs and small business owners understand how to harness the power of IT for the success of their enterprises: And, through our partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), we’re helping to reduce AIDS fatalities by bringing technology and health care together in innovative ways.
For more information on HP’s social innovation, visit us here. For regular updates, check us out onTwitter at @hpglobalcitizen.
Visit www.usaid.gov/pppweek for continuous updates and new announcements, and to view a live-stream of the October 20th Partnership Forum: The Strategic Value of Connecting Business & Development.