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Special Policy Dialogue for the 2012 DCF on: “Private philanthropic organizations in international development cooperation: New opportunities and specific challenges”

Private philanthropic organizations have become in a very short period of time a key source of development finance.  They complement flows from other providers and play a vital role in meeting needs in critical sectors, such as health and education.  There is need to better understand the role they can play in international development cooperation and their impact on development results. The MDG Summit in 2010 recognized that and called on foundations to enhance their role in supporting national development efforts and the achievement of the MDGs. 

This special dialogue will provide an opportunity for Member States, private philanthropic organizations and other stakeholders to discuss the comparative advantages and challenges of philanthropic aid in achieving development results.  It will examine and draw lessons from good practice examples.  It will also focus on how to further strengthen the role of private philanthropic organizations through partnerships with other stakeholders.  The event intends to encourage the active engagement of private philanthropic organizations in international policy dialogue on development cooperation.

Key messages emanating from the discussion will be reflected in the Report of the Secretary-General for the 2012 DCF and in the DCF deliberations on this topic.  

The morning panel on “Comparative advantages and good practices of private philanthropic organizations in achieving development results” will discuss the following questions:

  • What are main comparative advantages of development cooperation by philanthropic organizations (e.g. in terms of business-like practices, speed and cost of delivery, innovation and risk taking, targeted delivery etc.)?
  • What are the main development cooperation modalities used by these organizations (e.g. project support and technical cooperation through civil society, scholarships, educational support funding, etc.)?
  • What is the impact and results of this type of cooperation?
  • What are challenges private philanthropic organizations face in the way they do business?

The afternoon panel on “Maximizing development impact through partnerships” will discuss the following questions:

  • What are the most promising partnerships for private philanthropic organizations?  What lessons can be learned from good practices thus far?
  • Is there good collaboration between private philanthropic organizations and national governments in the effort to achieve agreed national and international development goals?
  • What are incentives or possible concerns for private philanthropic organizations to engage more broadly in international dialogue on development cooperation?