Public-Private Partnerships That Are Changing the World

The Darden School of Business’ Institute for Business in Society partners with Concordia and the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships to present the annual P3 Impact Award, which recognizes leading public-private partnerships that improve communities around the world. This year’s award will be presented at the Concordia Annual Summit 18–19 September 2017. The five finalists will be highlighted on Darden Ideas to Action on Fridays leading up to the event.

The Partnership: CARE-Cargill Partnership: Nourishing the Future in Central America

The Partners:

  • Cargill

The Social Challenge: Economic Development

Despite increasing economic growth, Central America still experiences malnourishment and poverty among rural agricultural communities. Many farmers have inefficient infrastructure and lack access to markets, while many local communities are unaware of healthy nutritional practices. As a result, malnourishment and poverty persist even amid economic growth.

The Idea and the Action: Nourishing the Future tackles the issues of malnourishment and poverty by addressing the needs of both the rural farmers and local communities.

The partnership improves agricultural practices to increase productivity and incomes; connects microentrepreneurs and farmers to markets and supports access to financial services; and develops knowledge, skills and practices regarding food security and nutrition through training and programs in schools. Cargill and CARE collaborate, in partnership with national and municipal governments, to ensure successful implementation and engagement with the targeted communities.

The Impact: Between 2013 and 2016, Nourishing the Future fostered more prosperous and resilient farm communities across 66 of the most marginalized communities in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, improving the lives of more than 28,900 people directly and indirectly. The partnership more than doubled household incomes in Guatemala and Honduras, increased farmers’ access to credit, improved production yield despite climate challenges, fostered healthier diets, and reduced food insecurity by as much as half in Guatemala. The partners ensure the sustainability of the progress by ultimately transferring ownership of the programs to schools, extension services, national governments and municipalities.

Faculty Insight:  Trust is a critical factor in the success of impactful partnerships. Research studies show that greater trust has a positive effect on innovation, cooperation and performance within and among the various divisions of organizations. Trust cannot be formed overnight, but emerges from behavior and familiarity that develops with repeated interactions.

This suggests that there is great value to be created by enduring partnerships. Over time, each organization becomes more able to recognize and leverage their particular expertise, while defining a clear partnership structure to deliver high impact. This is evident in the CARE-Cargill partnership that is strengthened by a history of the two organizations collaborating for 50 years.

Likewise, communications activities around the topic of program improvement are much more likely to be interactive, continuous and iterative. An extended history of cooperative activity can serve as a foundation for a long-term focus, which can lead to more lasting outcomes. Eventually, these accomplishments can become integral to the identities of each partner organization, reinforcing their values and creating a type of pride, which energizes employee engagement.

About the Expert

Brian Moriarty

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Moriarty is an authority on public trust in business, communicating with stakeholders and business ethics. He teaches in the Management Communication area at Darden, where he previously served as an adjunct lecturer and director of the Institute for Business in Society. Additionally, he served as director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics, an independent business ethics center housed at Darden.

From 2011 to 2014, Moriarty was selected one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America. He is co-editor of the book Public Trust in Business, and his articles on public trust in business and government have been featured in publications such as The Washington Post and Forbes.

B.A., Boston College; M.A., Wake Forest University; Ph.D., University of Virginia