Conversation on Resilience at the UN Sustainable Development Transformation Forum Highlights how Prizes Can Drive Partnerships

February 26, 2021

head shots of key speakers

This week, AgResults joined public and private sector experts from around the world at the UN Sustainable Development Transformation Forum (February 22-26) to discuss how mechanisms such as financing, governance, and technology can fuel the necessary shifts to make societies more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.

Entirely virtual, the Forum was structured as a series of five two-hour webinars to engage a global audience. Day 2 (February 23) focused on the role of partnerships to provide the financing and investment needed to drive sustained market growth. AgResults approached this topic from the angle of Pay-for-Results (PfR) incentives. Moderator David O’Connor of the UN Office of Sustainable Development kicked off the session by recognizing how valuable partnerships can be.

“Investments must span multiple sectors and institutions,” Mr. O’Connor said. “Some of the needed investments will be largely public while others are largely private. PPPs may be valuable in leveraging assets of multiple actors who bring their respective strengths and resources to the partnerships.”

Here, AgResults presented its learning on how PfR incentives motivate partnerships that span entire value chains to make market systems more productive and resilient. Parasto Hamed delved into AgResults’ prize competition model that uses monetary incentives to encourage new relationships among value chain actors, citing evidence from Nigeria and Kenya. These partnerships establish innovative behaviors and new flows of technology and capital that have the potential to be scaled.

“Prize competitions allow for experimentation,” Ms. Hamed said. “They encourage new partnerships that drive scale-up and transform market systems to make them more sustainable and resilient.”

Ms. Hamed joined a dynamic group of panelists, which included David Horan of the University of Dublin, Havard Halland at the OECD Development Center, and Daniel Platz from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Each presenter highlighted a different angle of partnerships and how they exhibit flexibility, diversity, and ability to mobilize actors and resources. They illustrated how allocating financial resources to create resilient infrastructure for partnerships will be critical in the years ahead.

To wrap up the session, Colm Foy of the UN Office of Sustainable Development reiterated the importance for collective action.

“It’s only with a coalition of financing partners that the SDGs have any hope of being achieved,” Mr. Foy said. “The financing gap is stark, but this conversation shows that there is hope that with such partnerships, we can find the resources to reach the goals.”

To access materials from the UN Sustainable Development Transformation Forum, visit the conference page.

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