Partnerships Are Needed Now More Than Ever

The Goal 17 Partners platform exists to engage the private sector in global development. As we currently face a great global development challenge, with COVID-19, we need the private sector to step up and help both now, as we try to mitigate and slow the impact of the virus, and after, as we recover from the effects. As we work to tackle this crisis, we will do so in a way that builds partnerships, reimagines supply chains, and transforms business models to not only solve this crisis but to make us better at solving the next one because the long-term issues such as climate and fair pay are not going away.  

Historically, the private sector has played a mostly supportive role in disease epidemics. During the. Ebola outbreak of 2014 through 2016, private sector leaders donated money to non-profits to support the medical efforts in West Africa. For the 2015 Zika outbreak, companies partnered with the CDC Foundation to donate money, mosquito nets, and insect repellent. Following Hurricane Harvey,  there was a shift in the way that the private sector responded as companies such as Anheuser-Busch innovatively used their beer production facilities to produce emergency water supplies. 

The private sector has already begun to step up in an unprecedented way to tackle COVID-19. Some companies have agreed to continue paying their waged workers, even if they can’t come into work. Others have shifted their supply chains to produce hand sanitizer instead of their regular products. To support these efforts, Goal 17 Partners will be using its platform and its network of private sector leaders to help drive partnership and action. 

  • Goal 17 Partners will use its website as a repository of information regarding private sector action on the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Goal 17 Partners will work with partners such as the United Nations Office for Partnerships to provide up-to-date information on the COVID-19 crisis and to workshop ideas for action and long-term collaborations.
  • Goal 17 Partners is moving forward with its plans for virtual design labs as a way to continue progress on issues of sustainability and equality in this uncertain time. 

In this uncertain time we want to reiterate the need for partnership and private sector solutions, both in the current crisis and to drive the longer-term agenda on the SDGs. Goal 17 Partners will use its resources to help drive action and create change.