Partnership musings at 33,000 ft

Photo credit @saigonsays
Photo credit @saigonsays

Over the last couple of months I’ve spent time at various “partnership” themed events. Bangkok, Singapore, Hanoi, even the leafy outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, many thousands of miles away from the hustle bustle of Saigon. Different venues, but similar take-away recommendations about how, if we are truly to tackle social and environment issues and bring about change in the future, for the future, we must join forces with others.

In some cases, forming alliances which might seem oxymoronic: for example, big business in partnership with local communities; municipal governments working with large NGOs.

Previous case studies on this blog site (where CARE is partnering with companies in the region, including GSK and Diageo) are backed up by hundreds more out there, many of which are breaking new ground and offer hope for replicating models which others can adopt, adapt and improve. Continue reading “Partnership musings at 33,000 ft”

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Myanmar: bringing about change in a frontier market

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Shwedagon – one of Myanmar’s famous Pagodas

For some of the world’s “frontier” markets, such as in Myanmar (formerly Burma) the risks of accelerated growth are that many of the country’s poorest get left behind. Working alongside government and the private sector, the efforts of CARE International in Myanmar are starting to demonstrate that establishing from the outset more inclusive models of engagement with business, in an emerging economy such as Myanmar’s, can yield positive outcomes both for society and for doing good business.

Last week, I traveled to Myanmar to see for myself how CARE has been collaborating with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline), on an initiative which involves GSK investing back 20% of their consumer healthcare profits – across seven markets in Asia Pacific – into improving community healthcare services for some of the region’s most vulnerable citizens.

Whilst there, several of us visited CARE-GSK programmes in Lashio, Northern Myanmar, where we found some inspiring gains have already been made since the joint initiative was established two years ago between our organisations… Continue reading “Myanmar: bringing about change in a frontier market”