The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today announced the launch of a knowledge sharing platform to help companies strengthen their involvement in the global poverty eradication campaign.
At the summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in New York last week, heads of State and government exhorted private firms to become more involved in global efforts to combat poverty and boost social development.
The MDGs, which the international community has committed to try to achieve by 2015, encompasses eight internationally-agreed targets which aim to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation.
UNDP’s new knowledge management platform features evidence-based case studies, publications and contacts of related actors focused on inclusive business models that incorporate poor people into value chains as producers, employees and consumers.
The platform allows business leaders, policy-makers, development practitioners and academia to connect with successful enterprises across the globe, helping them build, replicate or scale up core business initiatives that contribute to human development.
“With five years left to 2015, it is important that the private sector play their role in speeding up progress on the MDGs,” said Henry Jackelen, Director of the UNDP Private Sector Division. “The case studies in this unique database present evidence that it is possible for companies to fight poverty while remaining commercially viable.”
Developed by UNDP’s Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) initiative, the open-access platform features two complementary databases. The knowledge database contains 120 in-depth business case studies and several publications from major institutions active in the private sector and development field.
As part of this database, the GIM initiative has commissioned 70 new case studies from over 30 developing countries, business schools and institutions, which will be released in the coming months. The database is easily searchable by various criteria such as region, business sector, theme lead organization, or MDG.
Additionally, the actor database comprises 260 supporting actors at local, regional or global level who can provide financing, share expertise, raise awareness and work towards introducing relevant policies.
“From the perspective of developing country entrepreneurs and academics, being able to easily access such inspiring cases from all regions – where challenges are often similar – is very helpful to spur the replication of successful initiatives and foster greater South-South knowledge-sharing and cooperation,” said Winifred Karugu of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, who has authored several GIM case studies in East Africa.