1. I.                    Background and Introduction

 

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Prior to the 2015 deadline on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set at the Millennium Summit in 2000, progress is noticeable, globally, on several targets, namely: poverty[1], gender equality, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, and providing access to safe drinking water.[2] However, reducing hunger, child and maternal mortality rates, and providing access to sanitation, among other sub-goals are crucial to progress on human development.

 

In India, while progress is noticeable in the areas of poverty[3] reduction, child and maternal health, HIV/AIDS and polio, and gender equality, sustained efforts are needed to meet hunger, water, hygiene and sanitation targets.  India has also taken a lead, among developing countries, by incorporating principles of sustainable development in country policies and programs. And private sector engagement has been critical in ensuring that the benefits of information, communications and technologies reach across communities in India.

 

In this context, MDG 8: Develop Global Partnership for Development enables stakeholders to collaborate and accelerate efforts on human development goals by bringing large-scale solutions across communities in India.  To that end, a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda set up by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, recommended that multi-stakeholder partnerships be focused around women, youth, aged, disabled and indigenous peoples who are affected by poverty and exclusion.

 

  1. II.                  Corporate Water Stewardship and Post-2015 Development Agenda

At the India level, the 11th working Conference on Corporate Water Stewardship and Post-2015 Development Agenda was convened, in partnership with the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and Global Compact Network India (GCNI), in March 2013 to seek formal inputs and explore the role of businesses and corporations in advancing policy objectives around:

  • Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services
  • Improved water resources management and governance and efficient water use; and
  • Reducing pollution

In addition to sharing ideas to advance the Post-2015 Development Agenda, these consultations gave rise to the India Collaboration Lab—a platform where stakeholders can commit and act on Post-2015 Development Agenda and specifically on WASH related issues[4].

  1. III.               India Collaboration Lab (ICL)

The India Collaboration Lab is a designed as a platform to convene public and private stakeholders to identify and design initiatives to scale innovations in WASH, health, education and agriculture sectors in India.  It also enables stakeholders to commit to Post-2015 Development Agenda and turn these commitments into actions.

The objectives of the Collaboration Lab include:

  • Focus areas:  Identifying partnership opportunities in aligned sectors like WASH, health, education and agriculture

 

  • Partnerships and Commitments:  Identifying and facilitating ongoing partnerships in the focus areas

 

  • Consultations and Knowledge Management: 
  1. a.      Better understand government policies and schemes (like Companies Act 2013) that relate to focus areas
  2. b.      Facilitate stakeholder consultations to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the focus areas
  3. c.       Facilitate peer-to-peer learning to develop case studies for knowledge management
  4. d.      Identify opportunities to scale innovations to address the challenges in the sector
  5. e.      Learn best practices and share ideas and knowledge around the focus areas

 

  • Advocacy:  Based on the research, knowledge and insights gained from the consultations, devise a strategy and plan for the follow-up on ICL 2014.  The upcoming lab may be designed to inform and shape policy to strengthen social enterprise space

 

  1. IV.               Working Group and Public and Private Stakeholders

 

  • A working group of professionals and experts on these focus area from public and private institutions would be set-up to understand partnerships, identify gaps and challenges and the types of interventions required in the mentioned focus areas
  • Public stakeholders include:  government agencies and policy makers, NGOs and foundations, multilateral and bilateral agencies (UNDP, World Bank, IMF, UNICEF, USAID, GIZ, DFID…etc), academic institutions, and press and media
  • Private stakeholders include: Global Compact LEAD companies and Indian subsidiaries, businesses and corporations, impact investors and social entrepreneurs

 



[1] According to the End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign, poverty rates have dropped from 47% to 22%, as of 2010, despite population growth.  However, 850 million people still continue to live in poverty across the globe.

[2] Source: End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign.

[3] Source: Business Standard, October 30th, 2013 “India may not fully achieve MDGs by 2015: Report”

[4] India struggles hard to overcome its water, hygiene and sanitation issues. Although it has shown positive results, the progress is painfully slow. 41% of world’s poor still live below USD 2 a day,  only 25% of Indian households have access to quality drinking water at home (through pipelines) with 128 million lack access to safe water, 21% of communicable diseases are due to unsafe water. Diarrhea alone causes 1600 deaths daily. 839 million have no sanitation services.