Building Multi-Sectoral Partnerships To Address Complex Problems: Lessons from the Partnership for Child Nutrition and the Bhavishya Alliance, India

These lessons are derived from Synergos’ direct engagement in the global Partnership for Child Nutrition (PCN) and the Indian partnership Bhavishya Alliance (BA). The global initiative and the local partnership it gave birth to represent a unique multi-sectoral approach to fostering innovation in addressing child undernutrition in India. Multi-sectoral partnerships involve corporations, government departments and civil society organizations operating in a collaborative arrangement to address a complex problem they could not solve individually. Results are still unfolding and the partnership is still at the stage of both developing new relationships and testing a range of interventions.

This document is not a “how-to” paper on creating partnerships. There are other accessible references for that. Instead, it serves as a guide, focusing on lessons that illustrate some of the constraints and enabling forces impacting this type of partnership. It also proposes a number of key building blocks critical to constructing and sustaining this type of collaborative partnership.