Team Australia approach to International Development in the Pacific

Jul 13, 2021 03:27 · 10688 words · 51 minute read

To elders past and present from this country and all lands in which participants are joining today.

00:06 - Also, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants, in this event. Really delighted to welcome you all, NCP partners and NCP community to the fourth session of the NCP Momentum, 2021.

00:18 - We’re looking at shaping stronger future together and Co - hosted by DFAT today and XPI. The Momentum seminar series continues to provide an opportunity for Scholars and Alumni to learn and collaborate with a wide variety of practitioners and thought leaders particularly while this challenging period that we’re living through so pleased to be meeting you virtually, I do hope one day, It’s not too far away to be able to speak to you face to face. But for now, we’ll have to continue to press on with this.

00:46 - We’re certainly keen to make sure that these helps to share knowledge and benefits to the program and participants and indeed we’ve already seen a number of Alumni offered graduate training and employment opportunities as outcome of that as an outcome of the networks and collaboration from last year series and we are keen to continue that this year.

01:06 - Throughout the program NCP relies on the close connections that we can forge between the private and NGO sectors to offer practical experience, professional experience, and things that can leverage off you, who’ve been so active in the NCP program.

01:23 - We certainly appreciate in particular, our partners, our sponsors and the private sector partners that we’ve got here today.

01:29 - I’m really grateful today particularly to have Peter Botten, ACOVE. Foundation of the chair of Oil Search foundation. And some of you may know, Peter spent the better part of 28 at Oil Search.

01:42 - Working in PNG, before retiring in August 2020, and he’s got a truly and deep connection to the region.

01:48 - His commitment to funding and support major development project in PNG is well recognized and he’s a true, true, true champion of DFAT, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with Peter for a number of years.

01:59 - and his company. A particular example, I think bares testament to the commitments when PNG was severely impacted by the earthquake on 26th February 2018, Peter and his team played a key role and supporting PNG communities recover.

02:14 - Also want to talk to Dr. Dan Evans, founder of XPI today with experts of the panel who will be with us and talking through how to position Australia by 2020.

02:24 - As a leader of transformational cross sector development partnerships in the region, and we hope that this engagement today will lead to increase development impact and be interest to you all.

02:34 - Sincere thanks also to the other panel members, Sabina Curatolo. Acting CEO, of impact investing Australia, Morgana Ryan, chair of the chair of innovation, info exchange, and connecting. Brandon.

02:48 - Allan from the Bennett Institute, Julie Rosenburg, executive officer from, from Australian international development network, Karen James, CEO business development and Shannon Schulz, NCP scholar and XPI research assistant. Today’s session is particularly relevant to the question and the consideration related to the Asia-Pacific and the development challenges, and one that’s occupying many people’s minds, in particular my own at DFAT, for me collaboration with the private sector and the NGO communities being key to success.

03:18 - Certainly, in a number of places where I’ve had the pleasure to work in the Philippines and the Pacific and into Southeast Asia.

03:24 - One of my lessons is certainly is that partnerships are key, and we have to invest in them and then it’s important to learn and understand perspectives of both the private sector, but we really need to take time to invest in each other and indeed, learn from the lessons of the partners that we’re working with on the ground in the host countries.

03:39 - So, I look forward to myself learning some things today and we’ll hand over to Shannon to take us through and get into the session. Thank you.

03:47 - Thank you. Good afternoon everyone my name is Shannon Schultz, and I’m delighted to be joining you today from Melbourne on the land of the Kulin Nation, and I pay my respects to their elders, past, present, and emerging.

03:59 - I’m a 2020 new Colombo plan scholar, GHD sponsored scholar and the Cook Islands fellow from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

04:07 - I have been a pro bono research assistant with the cross-sector partnership initiative, or XPI since the start of 2021.

04:15 - I’m so excited to be facilitating today’s Momentum session brought to you by the New Colombo Plan and XPI.

04:21 - Creating a Team Australia approach to Asia-Pacific, I feel privileged to be in the company of the incredible panellists joining us tonight. It is thanks to the business champions like Peter Botten, that the NCP is the global program that it is.

04:37 - Before we begin, let me tell you a little bit about the working relationship that I developed with XPI which has resulted in a highly rewarding learning experience that extended my New Columbo Plan Scholarship.

04:47 - Developed my professional skills and helped me understand Australia’s strategic role in Asia-Pacific development.

04:54 - The top 3 benefits I derived included: Real time exposure and collaboration with a group of Australia’s leaders from XPI’s five key sectors business, government, private capital NGO, Academia and medical research.

05:08 - Secondly, I was able to improve my analytical and project management skills by conducting research and analysis with oversight from XPI leaders who have a strong management consulting background primarily ex-Accenture.

05:21 - And, thirdly, I deepened my presentation skills through the opportunity to deliver the research results to XPI steering committee at their quarterly meetings.

05:31 - The pathways that have been open to me through the New Colombo Plan, and XPI have been invaluable in creating multi-disciplinary links and learnings to help me secure my new position as a consultant at the world’s largest, pure play sustainability consulting firm environmental resource management. I will apply these analytical skills in this new role focused on the digital transformation of environment, health & safety, energy, and climate change solutions.

All of which play a vital role in securing livelihoods across Asia-Pacific region.

06:02 - Value I added to XPI was to provide a critical stake holder mapping, which defined some, 170 Australian business entities in active development partnerships across 19, Asia-Pacific countries.

06:15 - This was one central component to underpin their decision to select Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh and Indonesia, to develop proof of concept pilot projects.

06:25 - Now, XPI is practically looking to deliver projects in these countries and create a Team Australia approach to development in the Asia-Pacific region with some of Australia’s leaders in their respective sectors.

06:37 - I would encourage other current and Alumni, New Colombo Plan Scholars to consider contributing from research capacity to XPI to support this important research agenda.

06:46 - And, I look forward to hearing from the panellists on their insights into cross sector partnerships and some of their own incredible work in the region.

06:53 - I will now pass over to doctor Dr. Dan Evans, the chair of XPI to provide an overview of structure and share the discussion before I return to moderate the Q&A.

07:03 - Please send me your questions via the Q&A function throughout the discussion. We’ll endeavour to answer them during question time.

07:09 - Thank you, so much for joining us and over to you, Dan.

07:14 -. That’s our strong appreciation for this valued opportunity to introduce ourselves to NCP scholars, DFAT, and others interested in Asia-Pacific development.

07:33 - In particular, my thanks go to Brian Bergino and Secretariat.

07:38 - Introduced to us by Andrew Parker, PWC Asia practice lead.

07:43 - Also, BCA Asia Taskforce, leadership group member, who was key in delivering its recent very important second chance report which proposes a Team Australia approach.

07:55 - We appreciate Andrew serving on our advisory council as a business sector representative.

08:01 - Our own adoption of BCA’s Team Australia terminology Is unapologetic, as it perfectly fits our cross-sector approach.

08:10 - Our use of the term Team Australia is constant, and no way diminishes the role of in country partners obviously essential to define and deliver successful development projects and programs.

08:24 - My first key role today is to overview XPI specifically to provide insights into three key themes.

08:31 - Firstly, who, and what we are, and equally importantly, what we are not.

08:35 - Next, what’s our potential value add to our existing development approach? And lastly, how will we measure our effectiveness and impact.

08:44 - XPI is best characterized using our four C’s.

08:49 - We’re a Coalition, a Catalyst, a Convener. And, a Collaborator. Very critically, XPI itself is neither a project funder, nor a project manager.

09:01 - Our 50 strong organizational structure comprises a twenty-two-member advisory council and a twenty-eight-member expert network, which is still expanding.

09:11 - Each one has very strong Asia-pacific experience in development and our business.

09:17 - We believe this XPI, talent pool spread across our five stakeholder sectors is unique in Australia.

09:25 - We define the sectors as business, NGO, and not for profits, Government philanthropy, private capital, and also, most importantly Australia’s world class Academia Health Medical research sector.

09:43 - The Council’s primary function is to provide strategic oversight for XPI, Its deepest country expertise is in PNG which, when adding our expert network members totals 30 of the 50 or 60%.

10:00 - All of whom had very strong in country experience spanning the different five sectors, importantly, each council member has a dual function representing both their own parent entity and uniquely also the broader sector each entity belongs to.

10:18 - Today, four of our sectors are represented.

10:22 - XPI Has a small steering committee comprising both advisory accounts on expert network members, which both coordinates and provides governance oversight for XPI.

10:33 - XPI is not an NGO. Rather, we’re an initiative whose simple purpose is to break down the silos between our five sectors, which contribute to international development.

10:45 - Why? we believe Australia can both create leverage and also increases development impact. This should then also justify increased donor confidence and related funding.

10:58 - All parts of XPI serve pro bono with a single exception of our part-time project director, who is currently funded by two family philanthropic foundations.

11:09 - In Melbourne Business School, most critically, we will absolutely indebt the business for development before day, for providing all business support services on an incline basis.

11:21 - Let’s now briefly consider what XPI’s potential value add is.

11:25 - Our just standard premise is that by modifying Australia’s current approach on tap potential exists to a synergistic combination of first, mobilizing increased Australian business sector participation, ideally insuring each of their overseas operations has a well-developed, clearly articulated social development strategy integrated into its operations.

11:52 - Second, by creating specific partnerships between stake holders from elements across our five sectors, to ensure the right fit for purpose consortium, combined expertise, experience, funding, and partner commitments, which reflect effective separate value propositions.

12:12 - Thirdly, by capitalizing on Australia’s latent capacity and passion which exists within a very strong under or unutilized development talent pool which XPI has unwittingly discovered, and lastly, by consistently achieving promised impact.

12:31 - The increase this increasing partner and donor confidence and hopefully related funding levels. The final topic I’ll briefly cover now is how we’ll manage from our own impact.

12:44 - XPI by has defined its original scope as 19 Asia-Pacific countries.

12:49 - Five in Melanesia, eight in Southeast Asia, and six in South Asia.

12:54 - With short term research support from Melbourne Business School, Global Health Alliance at a New Colombo Plan Scholar.

13:01 - Yup, Thanks Shannon, we map the country presence of about 170 Australian entities.

13:07 - From across our five sectors in all 19 countries.

13:11 - We believe this represents a unique approach within Australia.

13:15 - Importantly, we searched to uncover which entities had cross sector partnerships.

13:21 - Particularly, including an Australian business. Why? Because we believe these businesses are self-defined developments, development leaders, and most prospective potential business partners for us to engage with.

13:35 - We also developed a set of indicative partnership guidelines which encourages the Australian and host country project partners to create their own government NOU, agree a theory of change and related international partnership framework to operate on an open book financial basis and would necessarily agree how to jointly secure project funding.

14:00 - Given our eighteen-month time frame, our advisory council has strongly encouraged us to quickly focus on countries where we had natural advantages, particularly XPI, expertise and in country relationships, consequently, we prioritize one country in each region.

14:17 - Namely PNG, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and created a working group for each comprising a mix advisory council and expert network members to identify facilitate and support the initiation of at least two proof of concept partnership pilot projects and each priority country by December.

14:39 - These working groups are each extremely keen to strengthen collaboration with a DFAT post and Port Moresby, Jakarta and Dhaka to assist identifying potential pilot projects.

14:51 - While it’s still too early for XPI to discuss any potential pilot project leads, each working group is quietly confident their initial efforts are well directed towards building long-term relationships and host countries to create platforms from which important opportunities should emerge.

15:10 - Where I’m particularly encouraged to announce today that XPI is executing an opportunity definition NOU with Brack Australia, I’m sorry, Bangladesh’s and possibly the world’s largest NGO.

15:24 - We fully anticipate one key focus will be gender lens social development projects.

15:29 - Brack advises us this NOU represents its first with any Australian entity, other than DFAT, regardless of which stakeholder sector.

15:40 - XPI is sincerely grateful to most of the park.

15:44 - Former Minister for International Development and current Brack governing body member for her introduction to Brack’s CEO.

15:51 - Hopefully, that’s enough XPI context for now, for to set this session up which is designed to explore what we currently understand about the challenges of cross sector partnerships.

16:03 - Now, a quick introduction to our speaker. First, Peter Botten, former All Search CEO and New Colombo Plan business champion will provide a short case study on All Search’s PNG social development partnerships.

16:17 - At the risk of embarrassing Peter, his development leadership is widely recognized as the business sectors, Gold standard and PNG. Apologies Peter, other speakers today have already been introduced by Mat. So, I thank you for that, Mat.

16:31 - one of our plan speakers, Brendon Allan, Executive General Manager of Partnerships and Business Development, for that institute, is a late withdrawal due to illness, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

16:43 - I requested Laiza Garcia, our project director, to join our panel for the Q&A session, Laiza works closely with UN Australia Association, and also consults for Development Partnerships Institute, EPI mining.

16:57 - We’ve defined six priority development partnership questions for our speakers to provide some of their insights on.

17:05 - Shannon will then moderate the Q&A session, which will include the full XPI team present today, so don’t forget to lodge questions in the Q&A function.

17:14 - Thanks for your attention over to you, Peter.

17:22 - Thank you, Mat, Shannon, and Dan, and may I say it’s a pleasure to participate in this important session.

17:31 - This afternoon highlighting the need for new thinking on partnerships to effectively address the Team Australia approach to the Asia-Pacific.

17:40 - To Asia-Pacific development, my message to you is that the private sector should be regarded as a key partner along with more traditional stakeholders, such as Bilateral, Multilateral organizations and not for profits to deliver creative and sustainable solutions to social development challenges.

18:01 - In our region today, I’ll speak specifically about Papua New Guinea.

18:07 - Many Government organizations, when addressing a program tend to focus on traditional actors, such as the bilateral, multilateral, International NGOs to deliver their programs.

18:19 - I firmly believe that more effective and sustainable programs can be delivered when right-minded, private sector entities are engaged in these development partnerships.

18:30 - To do this, we need to move past the prevalent suspicions on all sides and develop new ways of partnering including, all of the actors and stakeholders mentioned above and including the private sector.

18:47 - There is unfortunately a pervasive ignorance of how the private sector is now approaching social development challenges, attitudes are changing in many organizations on how they wish to participate in development challenges, especially in places such as PNG.

19:05 - Business does bring substantial capital and capital investments.

19:11 - Business provides jobs and substantial training.

19:16 - This can influence society by empowering Women, addressing health issues of their staff such as Malaria, TB, H. I. V. and now COVID, that threaten their workforce and their families.

19:29 - As well, as promoting changes in attitudes and behaviours through the company’s value system.

19:35 - The private sector is incentivized to work with agility and speed and can often deliver development results quicker than governments and donors, and this is especially, especially true on the ground in PNG.

19:49 - An example, which Mat spoke of was shown during the tragic 2018 earthquake and PNG.

19:58 - When a private sector, as estimated by the U. N.

20:02 - delivered around 80% of all food aid into remote villages in the first month following the earthquake, this was done with innovative partnerships between the private sector.

20:15 - With the private sector delivering people equipment, supply chain, and security on the ground working with governments and Bilateral, Multilateral, and NGOs.

20:27 - Getting past misunderstandings and suspicions to deliver life-saving outcomes under very challenging circumstances.

20:35 - Another example is the partnership between governance and the private sector.

20:40 - To support and improve health services in Hela and Southern Highland provinces and PNG.

20:47 - These two remote provinces challenged by ongoing tribal conflicts and very difficult service delivery environment.

20:56 - Partners in this process of set common goals and measure achievements against the PNG medium term strategy working within the Government system and framework.

21:09 - Funding and another support has been secured from over 10 different Government and private sector entities.

21:16 - And I’m pleased to say that DFAT is one of the supporters of our work.

21:21 - In both Southern Highlands and in Hela, measured results have demonstrated significant improvements in health outcomes, including vaccination rates, attended childbirth various child and maternal health issues.

21:36 - Addressing the scourge of family sexual violence, providing medical, mental health, and legal support for victims.

21:43 - As well, as provision of fit for purpose infrastructure.

21:47 - Water, electricity, and sustainable servicing of infrastructure across the two provinces.

21:54 - Open support has also provided within the Government system and provides governance structures for effective board.

22:02 - Financial Management across the two PHAs. To deliver a sustainable system, and the sustainable enhancement in the Government system. A challenge that has been on the books of so many entities for so long.

22:19 - This process is so important in endeavouring to manage, now the impact of COVID.

22:27 - Support for the PHAs to address the pandemic is now core to partner response, and we hope to play a major role in providing efficient vaccine role out across the provinces.

22:40 - Another complex and challenging task, given societal sensitivities and logistics challenges.

22:47 - Ones that the private sector is uniquely placed to help.

22:52 - In finishing, there are real opportunities, especially in PNG for innovative approaches to private-public partnerships that could transform sectors such as agriculture and employ many while addressing social issues, such as conflict prevention, empowering Women, addressing the youth bulge in Papua New Guinea and preventing disease.

23:16 - There was a real opportunity to build the next…

23:23 - A long-term solution… deliver responsible change.

23:36 - So, we can do so much more if we can work together.

23:41 - Thank you. Back to you, Shannon. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Peter much appreciated.

23:48 - Your first-hand experience of PNG is very, very, highly respected, so now we’re going to move to these questions that we’ve framed for our own sort of advisor council members to speak to.

24:02 - The first question, is what’s compelling about a cross sector partnership approach to international development.

24:10 - Sabina’s going to speak to this first, and then Karen will pick it up and add her insights as well. So, Sabina across to you. Thanks.

24:17 - Thanks, Dan so, cross sector partnerships are not new in International development. And, as Peter noted, the need for these types of partnerships is only heightened in our response to and recovery from the COVID pandemic.

24:32 - Um, and partnerships can be local, regional, or global so the sustainable development goals are, or SDGs which are global goals to achieve a better and, and more sustainable future for all their global demonstration of a cross sector development effort.

24:47 - The SDGs recognize that what is one of the key drivers of cross sectoral development partnerships is that the need to address complex social and environmental problems do not respect human made borders.

25:01 - And, they’re too large and intractable for one organization or sector to tackle alone.

25:07 - And, they also recognize that, no, one, actor has all the answers or the resources.

25:12 - So, what’s compelling about these types of collaborations is that they draw upon multi-disciplinary skills, know how, and resources to address these conflicts and seemingly intractable challenges.

25:24 - And, I will have a bit more to say about that shortly. But for now, over to you, Karen, for your insights.

25:37 - Agree that database uniting framework that brings us all together to solve the complex social issues that they’re addressing. And from our perspective why a cross sector partnership compelling to solve.

25:52 - These issues that they don’t just connect interested parties, but they enable them to act with collective agency and together when you get a cohort of interested parties, connected, and enabled for action.

26:05 - We believe they can influence a range of outcomes beyond what the individual organizations might have been able to do on their own.

26:13 - But important to note is, is that if the cross-sector partnerships are not coming together with a shared purpose, vision and measures of success, they’re not going to achieve the outcomes they intend to, and they could end up causing unintended adverse outcomes. So, there’s a lot of information about development and aid and as, you know, Sabina said these are not new concepts and I believe that partnerships have to be founded on trust and connection. And, and that, without that, no cross-sector partnership could be successful and you create the energy between people and you have everybody in that relationship heard and seeing there’s no judgment, everyone’s cultural nuances are respected and that when you do that you get this high performing partnership that is able to work together on a foundation of shared values and we believe that when you connect that headspace that, that’s that complex understanding and putting together the right frameworks with that heart of partnership that you can really achieve incredible change and incredible outcomes.

27:23 - Thanks, very much for that. Karen. Okay, so the next question I want to go to is. What has Australia’s experience been in cross sector development partnerships? Morgana’s going to speak to this, and she’s also going to talk about which countries she considers the global leaders and what are some of the key lessons.

27:41 - So, Morgana. Thanks, Dan and thank you for inviting me to speak today.

27:47 - I’ve been very fortunate to spend my career in a hybrid between commercial business management consulting, but also, ten years with international development with some of the biggest international NGOs. So, I’ve seen partnership at many different levels, and I actually want to start today with a few comments around when we talk about globally in the best practice. One of my frustration is, how often we try and reinvent the wheel, and so I would really like to share some resources with the participants on this call today and challenge all of you when you’re thinking about your roles a part of the New Colombo Plan, and if you’re thinking about this partnership space to not try and reinvent the wheel and go to the gurus, and the gurus that I would direct you towards the partnering initiative TPI.

28:35 - and partnership brokers association PBA. These are the two, and it’s globally around how to build partnerships, how to make partnerships work effectively, and they have some amazing resources around tool kits and guides that work well together. DFAT itself in recent years has run the business partnership platform which now has some great case studies of organizations working together in partnership for impact in Asia.

29:02 - There is also other organizations, like the UN global compact and the World Business Council for sustainable development and … business.

29:10 - All of these are organizations that are looking at these really complex development issues and how you bring different players together to have an impact.

29:20 - But at the same time, there’s also been an emergence of a number of groups, particularly out of Africa, challenging the way the development is done for example, know what save in Uganda … who’s a long-term community extended development laid out of Kenya and they’re really challenging us to look at models that they’re seeing is more colonial and historical development in a different way.

29:45 - So, in a minute, when I talk about some case studies, I am going to really refer back to the importance of partnership that has seeded in a deep understanding of a challenge in a place and designing a way of bringing additional resources to amplify solutions to the problems and that is the beauty of partnerships. I’d also like to very quickly referred to a piece of work it’s quite old now, extension of Business for Development, then AusAID, now DFAT, that worked together in 2012 to do the business development study.

There was a survey of over 100 businesses and Deep Dive interviewed CEOs and Executives of another 30.

30:24 - That’s a, that’s a really strong theme around why businesses aging partnerships. And, I think there was relevant today as they were then. So, 93% of respondents survey agreed that business does have a role in alleviating poverty, employment, education, infrastructure, and health, were the primary areas where they felt business could really make a substantial impact and why a business is motivated to do that brand trust and reputation is a big one.

30:53 - Employee engagement also potential future employees of the organization and personal motivation and this is where, I think people like Paul Polman, the former CEO of Unilever and Peter Botten are real leaders in this space.

31:08 - Because it’s the CEOs and Executive who have a passion and who have an understanding about why caring about society, also is good business and as an increasing amount of literature talking about why Milton, on the sole role of a company is to maximize shareholder value is no longer the best way for organizations to operate.

31:29 - So, I just want a very quickly on two examples. One, is a very, very international example and, one is a very Australian example. Just to really highlight some of the themes around what is good look like and what a partnership sometimes struggles.

31:43 - The first one, is a global like that that was a combination of five players. There was a United Nations agency, there were two fast moving consumer goods companies, there was a nutrition company, and there was an international NGO, and they came together in New York in September, which is a very busy time for various UN and in the old days Clinton, global initiative and other big meetings, and I had a huge announcement about this program of the five-year program with a focus on child malnutrition.

32:14 - Now, the vision was fantastic, um. The challenge in the partnership came into the details, and this is one of the issues, I think around having a global commitment being able to really think about how it plays out on the ground. And in the end, twelve, but it, it took them awhile to get out sometimes challenges.

32:34 - And, one of the most basic challenges was, everybody agrees around a vision of, we’re going to tackle child malnutrition.

32:42 - Problem was that for the UN agency and to the international, a child, and child malnutrition was the first 1000 days, but for the businesses was anything up to 9, 10, 11 years old.

32:55 - Now, both groups of entities had reasons why they had to find the child in that. Right? But it meant that what they thought it was a common vision was actually quite divergent and getting that discussion out on the table early understanding those differences was really important. And it was really important to respect why they were coming from different angles and to find a common ground, but still allowed the partnership to have its reach and its impact while meeting the needs of their partners.

The other major challenge is, that has been kind of grouped together at an international headquarters level ultimately implementation was the responsibility of the regional and country level entities.

33:40 - Which are a completely different set of stakeholders and you can imagine five partners, two countries, regional offices, country officer’s headquarters, that is a lot of stakeholders to quite a while on that partnership to get the governance together. So, these are just things to think about practically when you’re pulling a partnership together.

33:58 - The other one I’d like to choose closer to my heart. It’s not truly an international development example, but it is absolutely a social justice social impact story and it’s based on a product called ask Izzy.

34:11 - So, if ‘Google’ ask Izzy, you’ll find it’s a website that’s designed for people experiencing homelessness and intrenched disadvantage to find access to services. The reason why this was such an effective partnership is because you had the.

34:23 - The social enterprise of the, not for profit who had a long term… working with homelessness. They sat on a huge database of services that they knew all the places that homeless people go to get help.

34:36 - And they also knew that even that were people homeless, they still had mobile phones.

34:41 - And they were able to convince Google and Real Estate Australia group, that it would be a really good idea, and investing and working together as a team to take all this information and put it directly into the hands of those people in need.

34:58 - And, then I managed to convince Telstra to come on board and Telstra committed to providing access to that website and which basically make if you’re living on the street, you’ve got a mobile phone, but you don’t have any credit on your mobile phone you can still access this website, and you can find out where to get a meal, legal support, shower, housing, &c.

35:22 - So, in reflecting on those two examples, and my top kind of three to four things around what does good look like, there’s definitely the importance that the idea is grounded in real understanding a knowledge of the problem.

35:34 - And, some innovative thinking about how to tackle it and recognition that each of the partners is something that helps amplify the ability problem sees where organizational complexity in partnership and if you’re going to agree things on his level.

35:56 - Please make sure that you keep going a stakeholder within your transaction on board committed before we start to engage others to his credit, Peter Botten just talked about the right mindset. I can’t emphasize that enough, I spent quite a bit of time in the UK working in international partnership space. I’ve seen it here in Australia. It’s the leaders who have a vision and have a passion for this that make a difference. And, I would love to throw questions to Peter.

36:22 - Maybe for the Q&A later to just get his when he talks to the latest has he seen any trends are characteristics that kind of drive which leaders care about this, and what motivates them because, I think this is a really key trend business to come to the party. And, the last thing is honesty.

36:40 - All partners are in it for a reason. They’re not always aligned, but there needs to be an overlapping intersect in that Venn diagram. And, I think it’s okay to be honest about why are there, even if it doesn’t fully align with your other partners.

36:52 - And, when he designed KPIs for program, everyone gets really excited about round with tackling child malnutrition.

37:00 - What your… can tell if you’re doing good or not… KPIs for the other participant as well because, any one partner is not getting what they need out of that partnership there’s no reason for them to stay in, the partnership falls apart. Really do need those KPIs on both levels, KPIs for the overall the partnership, but KPIs for each partner in the partnership.

37:20 - So, in conclusion, I’m excited about what the prospect of partnering brings, particularly the fact that we focus down on three countries, and we’re looking to work really closely with stakeholders in those countries because, I think the opportunity for the five sectors from Australia to help amplify is very exciting. Um, but again, it’s, it’s, finding those players like,… within countries really have a deep understanding of when I might need help. And, then how that comes out.

37:48 - Thank you, thanks, very much Morgana, really appreciate that. Okay. We’re going to move on to our next question. What experience if any do you personally have at cross sector partnerships? And, can you quickly describe relevant cross sector partnership project you’ve worked on.

38:05 - We’re going to ask first, Karen, and then Sabina to speak to this. Karen…

38:17 -… Spearheaded program with business for development in Papua New Guinea. So, in the organization that I lead, we get the opportunity to both work on the business and in the business.

38:30 - So, I have quite a hands-on role in our community degree enterprise program in Papua New Guinea.

38:37 - That was started by Oil Search. So, we started with the idea of could there be an agricultural Piggery program in the Hela Province where they stock feed, and the pigs are all manufactured and reared in the province and that was proven a number of years ago.

38:55 - And, then the earthquake and some security issues impacted us, and we were delayed, but we now have the program in.

39:02 - In full force and, and, I participate in that as a, as a leader on the team with Wonderland Agri stock limited, which is a company formed by five landowners plus Oil Search.

39:18 - And, we’ve been building the program throughout the COVID situation, of course, practicing all of the safety requirements that we need, but we have been able to maintain momentum, which we’re all very happy with.

39:31 - And, so we’ve got almost 2000 farmers signed up in the Hela Province. We’ve got thirteen model farms established and of those 1915 of but farmers, 75% of them are Women and this is going to create both a commercial and a community enterprise were over 850 people in the community are economically impacted.

39:58 - The program is both in agriculture and in husbandry, and animal husbandry program, and it’s going to address one of the key problems around economic instability and malnutrition.

40:10 - And, I think probably one of the highlights for me of the work is the, is the collaboration and the teamwork we have, and it’s founded very much to Morgana’s point on honesty.

40:22 - Honesty creates trust and in that trust results in us having the momentum to, even in a COVID world, to keep things moving and progressing. We’re now in phase two so, we’re just in the process of negotiating the land for the Piggery and our hero metric to date, is that by June, we’re anticipating that we’ll have enough enough plants, and, and, and, tubers to actually create 270 tonnes of stock feed where a forecast was 60. So, it was going, it’s, we’re going to be achieving four times our forecast.

41:03 - And, um, it’s, it’s, an absolute pleasure to be working on the program. Thank you, Dan.

41:11 - Sabina, thanks. So, I’m privileged to be part of what’s described by Harvard as a “bold global experiment” in cross sector collaboration and this is known as the global steering group for impact investment, or GSG, so the GSG is a global body of more than thirty-three member countries with seventeen more countries or regions preparing to join and it started from a social impact investing task force of the G7 in 2013.

41:42 - And, since then it’s been driving towards its mission to build the market for investments, which deliver both immeasurable social or environmental outcome with a financial return.

41:56 - So, I mentioned the before the STGs before, it’s well accepted that philanthropy and Government alone can’t meet the challenges of delivering those STGs. So, the private sector has an important role to play.

42:10 - And, so do other actors such as civil society and Academia and the GSG brings all of these actors together globally.

42:18 - So, each member country has its own National Advisory Board or NAB as they are known, and NABs themselves are comprised of a range of local leaders and business leaders from business, government, philanthropy, civil society, Universities, and all of these people are working towards driving the full purpose market for social impact within their own countries.

42:46 - NABs are themselves, cross sectoral collaboration and they too are underpinned by further such collaborations, which result in the impact investments themselves.

42:57 - So, these powerful change agents for developing and developed impact economies, benefit people and planet and they’ve demonstrated their potential to unlock new sources of impact capital and develop national impact, infrastructure and policies. So globally the market has grown to more than a Trillion Australian dollars, according to the global impact, investment network, or the GIM and in Australia, the responsible investment, uh, association of Australasia reports that Australia is impact investing market is more than tripled over the past two years to almost 20 Billion dollars.

43:35 - Thanks Dan. Yeah. Thanks, very much. Both of you. Okay. Let’s now look at some of the bigger challenges. So, the question that I’m going to ask of Julie, is one of the most difficult impediments to effective cross sector development partnerships.

43:50 - Julie. We were struggling to unmute herself even though she was told not to, thanks for listening. Yeah. What are some of the, first of all, I will say that the Australian International Development Network is it has the simple mission of increasing flows out of Australia to developing countries in need cross sector partnerships, or XPI as it’s called, has the value proposition that cross sector partnerships are an under-utilized tool that could actually accelerate those flows.

44:35 - And, that’s why there’s a kind of a natural fit for us to work together.

44:40 - You know, starting from the collaboration we’ve heard from Peter Botten, on the value of business engagement in delivering a social agenda, we’ve seen great collaborations in crisis and there’s no doubt the landscape is changing. And, I mean, that is so cool, Sabina to hear that, it has increased to 20 Billion in the last two years.

45:07 - The active investing market, because it’s Australia has been lagging a big set so it’s changing and it’s like, that’s cool. And it gives hope.

45:21 - The stuff that I think, and that I’ve experienced that actually slows it down or a kind of the hurdles that need to be dodged the first one, the major one, would be trust.

45:35 - Basically, and then there’s so many sorts of issues that fall under that when you unpack what trust really looks like.

45:44 - Now, first of all, huge one is language, you know, everybody each of these sectors have developed their own shorthand because they would like to move with speed and be really cool. And, so this whole heap of acronyms and that combined with the general desire for everybody not to look foolish stops people going. “Hey, what are you talking about?” So, there needs to be an intention to actually work together and really slow the process down a bit and, that would come to the second major hurdle, but I think that it is time frames business have quarterly reporting cycles when cash is good that keen to engage.

46:37 - So, when it’s not so good. So, you actually need some time to build those programs into the business, find the shared value.

46:46 - So, that it doesn’t get cut when the cash disappears and really programs around social change.

46:59 - So much longer, this idea of teaching someone to fish. Yeah. Awesome. But it takes a lot longer than anybody expects.

47:08 - I’ve just been up to Alice Springs, not an international development example but, I’ve been up in Springs, working with children’s ground. They’re doing an empowerment piece on First Nation, 25 years, is, is, that’s, that’s, what they’re doing. I’ve got to be there for 25 years. And then, after that 25 years are going to do another 25 years. 25 years is how long they estimate it will take for social change, that’s a long time for business to commit.

47:40 - It’s, you know, and for Governments to commit as well, we’re all on different cycles and that, I think is one of the biggest hurdles as well together common networks.

47:54 - We’ve all sat in meetings going, why don’t the NGOs come and talk to us at business? And there’s, there’s been attempts many times, and I don’t want to be negative about it because they’re actually huge examples of moving forward and we’re doing all these things. But I’ve been asked to speak to the ones that, I think, slow it down.

48:15 - And, it’s about trust and totally agree. You know, hey, Jay said.

48:21 - Honesty is a massive part of trust and sometimes it’s really difficult for NGOs or even business to actually be honest and articulate what objective is.

48:35 - So, that also slows it down. Um, I think that’s probably enough for me, unless.

48:42 - Does anyone, anyone else can think. Oh, to add thanks. Okay. No, that’s good, Julie. No, thanks, very much for that. That’s very, very insightful. So, our last question that we’ve set up as being a key question for our group is. What are some of the predictive criteria to assess who are most likely to be effective partners? And, related elements to create ethical, sustainable cross sector partnerships. Karen, and then Sabina are going to address this briefly before we go to Q&A.

49:16 - Okay, Karen. Have very related answers, because, because they, the common threads determine whether things are going to be successful or not.

49:30 - So, when you look at this question, anything to do with ethics and sustainability, for me, always starts with the first, predictive criteria, and that everyone involved needs to legitimately care and the partners have to genuinely care about the community, the work, and the changes they are making commitment to, and they have to be committed to play a long game in this kind of work, to Julie’s point.

49:56 - There is no checking the box greenwashing first year program in international development. You’ve got to be in it for the long haul and you have to be committed and care.

50:09 - And, I think I spoke earlier about shared purpose, vision, and measures of success. I think they’re very, very, critical, and also, at the start having a shared definition of what the problem is, you’re solving for a common analysis of that problem and frameworks that are going to be used for planning, but are going to have the agility to navigate the bumps in the road.

50:33 - Because there will be bumps in the road, and then from all of that foundation, then you can put the type of governance and project documentation things you need in place to actually resolve complex or intractable issues.

50:48 - Seemingly intractable and I always like to look at complex systems. I’m an engineer by trade. So, I think like an engineer, and I like to create inputs and outputs. And I think the easiest way is to think you’re baking a cake.

51:02 - And if you were going to bake a cake, one of the most important ingredients, you put in it, was executive endorsement and leadership.

51:09 - What, what, I’ve found in my two plus years… when we have executive endorsement and strong leadership programs work.

51:17 - And when we don’t have that, they, they, fail in the private sector in the business sector, you’ve got to have financial backing. You’ve gotta have the ability to actually do the work.

51:28 - You’ve gotta have an impact-oriented approach.

51:32 - I think you have to have a strong operating cadence that everyone in the program commits to it creates a sustained momentum and governance that supports bringing people in and out that are going to see that you’ve got that structure there and it’s trusted, and one of the things I’ve learned about people in Papua New Guinea, that your trust isn’t given until you prove that you say you’re going to do what you say.

52:01 - Does that make sense? they say, and if you say you’re going to do something you do it, and when you don’t, don’t, expect to have their trust and then no matter what happens you’re going to have unintended outcomes and we’ve had crazy problems of the last 12 months, I mean, COVID was just one thing, we had a truck breakdown on the way to the Hela Province and a few dimensions access and we had to literally take 130,000 vines, drop, keep them water, new truck and responsiveness, and having the channels in place where.

52:38 - You know, you say that’s a priority, that you’re respected as a partner, and it’s going to be taken serious and all these things, I think, bake the cake that leads you to success.

52:47 - And, and, and, I think the most important one, in my opinion is that executive endorsement of all the partners in the cross-sector partnerships. Thank you.

53:00 - Thanks Carrie, and I think I’m going to pick up on a few of the things that you’ve touched on some of the other speakers have touched on because I do think they’re important.

53:09 - So first, and foremost, someone called me, I think it was Morgana? that called out leadership and commitment to the effort and then also the common understanding, and, you know, these partnerships that need to be intentional and they need to enable openness and diversity of thought.

53:26 - So, true collaboration working together. There also needs to be a recognition that the actors do not have the same drivers.

53:34 - So, there’s a coming together around a mutual objective or objectives, but, um, someone talks about the Venn diagram. There are limits to where these overlaps and I think and that’s important. Um.

53:47 - It’s important to recognize both the drivers and the limits, because the point at which each actor doesn’t, you know, that’s the point at which they don’t share that commonality.

53:57 - And arguably, I would say those partnerships can’t exist beyond that commonality, but they can very comfortably exist within it. So, you know, the partnership, it doesn’t mean adopting wholesale the other organizations and missions and values.

54:13 - And, I’m a big fan of partnerships of unlikely allies. I think that can work. I’ve seen them work very well together.

54:21 - Where they have that mutual objective, because they bring together approaches and networks and resources that, you know, other partners within that partnership may not otherwise have access to.

54:34 - So, recognizing too, that the different actors have different roles to play for that reason. So, for example, in the invest impact investing market.

54:46 - Um, we like to talk about Government and Government can be a great source of funding that beyond that, Governments are uniquely placed to set the regulatory condition or to signal to the market.

54:59 - So, in the case of market building, an important role for Government is much more than the funding relationship. It’s in creating that, that enabling environment, which I need the Government can do.

55:11 - And maybe, because this is a DFAT, a DFAT call, it seems appropriate to really acknowledge the leadership role that DFAT has played, particularly in the global impact, investing space and within that, particularly around investing in Women and gender lens investing.

55:29 - So, thank you. Okay, thank you very much, Karen and Sabina. Okay, so that finishes that section of our prepared questions on topics we thought were really important to be getting some insights into.

55:43 - So now, Shannon across to you to moderate the Q&A session. Thanks.

55:48 - Thank you, and thank you, to every all the panellists who participated. I’ve just gotten the first question in from, Natasha Kidd.

55:58 - Do you see youth organizations playing an important role in building, trust, honesty, connections and partnerships to advance Australia’s partnerships in our region? How have the New Colombo Plan and NCP Alumni contributed to this goal? … Do you want to head that any particular direction, or you look at the volunteers for, volunteers? I’m not sure if any group has got much experience with the New Colombo Plan. So, I don’t know if there’ll be in a strong position to comment on that, but I know.

56:40 - I know in my past life it also has there been a number of New Colombo Plan people who have come through um, PNG and spent, uh, quite a number of months uh, I, I think it’s an essential part of, uh, a demonstrating corporate, corporate Australia’s commitment to social development uh, and teaching, uh, at least, uh, providing an experience for participants of the New Colombo Plan to an understanding of some of the challenges of what actually happened on the ground in a developing country and how business of Government work.

57:26 - Try and address some of those challenges just every 1 of the, uh participants that I spoke to during, and after the PNG experience that they had deeply, I, I think challenged and moved by what they saw and was very impactful to pass an understanding of what does work and what doesn’t work and equally the challenges of actually doing things well with proper governance in our country, like PNG, I think there’s a big gap between people who talk on teams and teams and WebEx, uh, in nice places in Australia.

58:07 - And actually, the reality of getting the on the ground of the developing country where pressures and, and challenges are very, very different, and sometimes not well understood in the context of an office.

58:22 - So, having the New, New Colombo Plan people come through understand the challenges understand the culture of people as well very important and what makes them tick a massive positive for Australia and the younger generation as a whole.

58:41 - I’m a, I’m a big champion of NCP and it does a fantastic job.

58:47 - And the job that, uh, I think Julie Bishop wanted it to do um, if I’m a, I’m going to speak about the New Colombo Plan, because I’m not so well qualified to do that. I would love to comment on it about the youth and I think that absolutely they have and are playing a really important role.

59:12 - If I look at that impacting missing Australia one of the things we do domestically, as we run a growth grant which supports later stage social enterprises who are looking to scale their impact by taking on investment capital.

59:27 - And, we say a range of brilliant entrepreneurs coming through, um, people and a lot of, you know, young people in particular coming up with new ideas.

59:37 - So, where the business model is part of solving the social or environmental problem. And, they’re, they’re just thinking about problems in different ways and um, and thinking about impact in different ways. So, um, you know, people in my generation, we, we often think about. It’s, it’s almost a dichotomy. It’s a very binary, you know, you have the impact on one hand, finance on the other.

60:04 - Whereas, um, really the new thinking that we’re seeing coming through is that every investment, every action. So, every investment has an impact, and it can be from a scale of negative to positive and I think we’re seeing a lot of that coming through in the next generation, so, yes, I’m full of token admiration for the the ideas that are coming through. Fantastic, Thank you both for your insights on that.

60:31 - This next question is from Liam Holt, and I think I’m going to directed at Dan Evans and Laiza Garcia as our core members of the XPI community and structure.

60:43 - And this question is. How does XPI ensure that community consultation is at the centre of its focus? How does it uphold such a focus in keeping its outcomes? Okay, I might start to then ask Laiza to follow. I think my own perception anyway I’m not a development specialist, so I’ll put that up, but because we have a very strong view that any pilot project must have counterparties in country. Okay.

61:14 - So, I think fundamentally, that’s the way this gets assured it’s really a question of choosing the right in country counterparties to make sure they’ve got the credentials track record, being community inclusive.

61:28 - I think someone like Karen put a comment on this as well, because they’re really about community sort of inclusive businesses, but that would be my sort of top of my response. It’s really about selecting the right partners and my view of it and then, obviously making sure the framework is put together. So, that these things are clearly articulated and not left to chance, but articulate it right up front. That’s kind of where we’re coming from as far as putting together a partnership guidelines, you know, including early MOU that would cover offer off a number of the things that people like Morgana and Sabina have covered.

So that it’s really understood where each one’s coming from. But I feel like where the overlap is and what the mutual commitments are.

62:15 - That’s right, and I just want to add something. Well, the approach of TPI, something that is already maintenance the four C’s, Coalition, Capitalist, Convener, and Collaborator.

62:27 - So, we actually can find these elements into applying into all our private projects, for example, we convene with the stakeholder partnerships.

62:36 - We got, we got a light pilot project and something that is fundamental for XPI is to collaborate with local people. And we want people to have ownership and to guide us to create this project.

62:49 - And, based on that we want to follow is coalition of like-minded people across the sectors.

62:55 - So, um, yeah, yeah, so at that. Thank you, both this next question is for Julie. Can you give some insight into the current status in key investment criteria by impacted investors in Asia-Pacific development projects? No, I can’t, I think that would be more, I think Sabina might be able to have a go at it, but no, I can’t. We actually at Aiden undertook a research project early on a couple of years ago to actually try and track the flow out of Australia where they were going from who they were coming from, around private capital and investment, and we failed.

63:45 - So, I think there, there is an issue around comparison of apples with oranges in relation to data, Sabina might have a it a go at it.

63:59 - Can you repeat the question? Please, I can’t see it. I’m sorry. Absolutely. Can you give some insight into the current status and key investment criteria by impact investors in Asia-Pacific development projects? So, um, I think in intact investors come in all different shapes and sizes into, you know, to Julie’s point. It is, it is still emerging as a market.

64:27 - Um, I referred earlier to some of the work that’s being done by different market builders. So, you can focus by sector.

64:37 - Oh, you can focus bias at class, and I think we’re still seeing a lot of, you know, a lot of institutional investors looking, looking in the region.

64:48 - We’re seeing a lot of we’re not seeing as much capital as we’d like to see coming from Australia into these emerging markets, I guess, but I will probably point you to resources such as the global steering group or the GIM for, for answers to that question.

65:08 - Thank you. This next question is from Nick Martin, he’s wondering what role the legal sector can play in cross sectoral partnerships? He’s grateful if any of the panel can share experiences.

65:20 - They’ve had with, for example, law firms or legal regulatory advice and assistance.

65:26 - That’s open to anyone wants to jump in. I’ll start something, I’ll make a contribution.

65:36 - Okay, so it’s a PNG related issue and it’s a group called Businesses for Health, and essentially, it’s a TB advocacy group in PNG. Okay so it’s not the global funds TB principle recipient, but if you’re like a spin off business against HIV AIDS, and now it’s focused on TB. So, Port Moresby the legal sector okay the professional service sector.

66:05 - It’s providing very extensive pro bono support for their executive director. Dr Anne Clark. Okay. So, without that sort of support, she would have a much more difficult time financially, making a reasonable sort of fist of her business economics.

66:23 - So that’s a really obvious area where the legal profession can help out supporting some of these NGO type initiatives often don’t have a very secure long-term funding source.

66:38 - So that’s one thought for me, anyway, it’s something that’s very practical, very real ongoing as we speak in Port Moresby.

66:45 - I will jump in here, being a lawyer and Mallesons’ and Smith. I think one of the prime skill sets that lawyers have is project management.

66:56 - I mean, that’s what you’re taught to given sort of a deadline, and you have to work back from and you often have to coordinate teams.

67:06 - So, I think they have a role in sort of facilitating the logistics and actually bringing various groups and moderating and negotiating, because I think a lot of the sort of outcomes around successful partnerships, strong negotiations about listening to other people, understanding value’s objectives and negotiating compromises that people are actually happy with, I see that’s a role lawyers. Thank you so much. The next question is from Paul Moffitt, do the panellists have any comments on how cross sector partnerships might evolve in the coming decade, if the Asia-Pacific middle class continues to expand at its current rate? Okay, let me make some opening comments and then hopefully others will have more insightful comments to the extent the middle class keeps increasing in Asia-Pacific.

68:17 - Hopefully, they themselves will become project either project initiators and or project partners through the businesses that they’re involved in their own philanthropic activities, middle class. Maybe they’re not ready to be philanthropic contributors.

68:31 - But the point is, they can still align with SDG priorities. And if you like the concept of partnerships, and they can find where to be influencers, even if they’re not in a position to be, say, financial supporters.

68:46 - I mean, there’s such a wide range of roles, because it’s a change of mindset. It’s a movement. So, I would have thought there’s room for contributions of all different components across the socio-economic spectrum.

69:01 - Absolutely, so it says the second part of that question says that there’s a greater incentive for involvement of the private sector. So, I might pick up on that and just say, I’m sure that’s I’m sure. That’s right.

69:15 - I’m sure that we will see that growing movement, which is, which is welcome, I will also say that I don’t see the private sector as a silver bullet solution.

69:27 - So that’s why these cross sectoral partnerships are so important. I think there is a really important role for actors such as government and philanthropy to play and I think there is roles where by the capital should not go, cannot go, and should not go probably…

69:44 - I would have people challenging me to extent of those where those limits are what it can do is it can free up the very valuable capital that is government or philanthropic capital to do the hard-intractable things at the market will not solve does is that it enables the Government to do that job or the philanthropy civil society, whatever it is.

70:10 - So, I think that’s a really interesting question, but I do to the point that I made earlier that even in cross sectoral partnerships, everyone has a different role to play. And, I think that’s really important to know.

70:23 - Fantastic. For this next question, I might pass it on to Peter Botten. What do you consider to be the key blockages to increasing the business sectors involvement in social development partnerships? Look, I think they’ve been covered a little bit in.