Business-NGO Collaboration : Partnerships for Biodiversity

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Over the past decades partnerships between the different spheres of society (state, market and civil society) have become increasingly recognised as a way to promote sustainable development. The focus of this study is on partnerships between actors from the market and civil society spheres: businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Interaction between businesses and NGOs has become more frequent with a larger geographical and substantial span whilst also shifting from being mainly confrontational to more collaborative. Business-NGO partnerships are defined as collaborative agreements in which actors from market and civil society are involved in a nonhierarchical process, through which these actors strive for a sustainability goal. The scientific literature on partnerships mainly focuses on the partnering process, while it pays less attention to the outcomes and results of partnerships. This study attempts to link the partnership process with partnership outcomes by specifically analysing business-NGO partnerships that are addressing biodiversity issues. This study is part of a graduation research that is conducted in cooperation with ARCADIS. This study seeks to analyse which challenges partnering organisations encounter when engaging in a partnership during the formation, implementation and evaluation stages. The study also looks at the potential role for a third or external party in supporting the partnering business and NGO. The central research question is the following: What challenges do businesses and non-governmental organizations face when engaging in strategic biodiversity partnerships during the formation, implementation and evaluation stages of the partnership process and how can third parties contribute to alleviate these problems?
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