February 9, 2020

Next chapter of the BPP: four more years, four focus countries

Australia will invest a further $17 million over four years to deliver the next chapter of the successful Business Partnerships Platform (BPP).

Through the BPP, the Australian Government partners with businesses, not-for-profits and academia to create jobs, increase incomes and empower women. The BPP is built on the concept of shared value where business can achieve commercial returns while also delivering sustainable social impact.

Four countries: Fiji, Samoa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam

Four focus countries will receive targeted support in the next chapter of the BPP: Fiji, Samoa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Targeting four countries will help maximise impact in each.

Partners in the focus countries will benefit from catalytic funding and DFAT’s knowledge of the business and regulatory environment. Businesses will be able to apply in country-specific funding rounds. The BPP will continue to operate globally with a global funding round to be announced in 2020.

The BPP trialed a country-specific funding round with the “India Window” in 2017. Through the funding round Australia is investing in four private sector partnerships Improving health, Redefining markets for poultry producers, Improving access to reliable energy and Empowering women to sell solar energy. The concentration of partnership is enabling cross-partnership learning opportunities, strong engagement from DFAT in-country and supporting scalable business opportunities with the potential for significant social impact.

Partnering for impact

The first chapter of the BPP has demonstrated in practice that partnering with the private sector can be an effective way to achieve development results, with 33 partnerships reaching 5.5 million beneficiaries and providing an expected $51.3 million in additional income or increased savings.

The BPP has leveraged $25.8 million in partner investment, nearly double the Australian aid funds committed. While a number of the BPP’s initiatives have yet to reach completion, there have been several pathways to scale – from businesses embedding practices, further expanding their business models geographically and achieving broader policy change to influence markets.

Businesses deriving value

Private sector partners highly valued DFAT’s contributions beyond the financial investment, from supporting broader policy change, enabling technical assistance and providing access to broader networks.

“DFAT’s expertise in areas such as gender focus, impact monitoring and reporting has added further value to the partnership.”
Rvain De Mel, Head – Group Corporate Planning and Strategy, Dialog Sri Lanka

Partnering for the SDGs

Underpinning the BPP is DFAT’s recognition that the private sector as a critical partner to achieving the sustainable development goals.

For some businesses a BPP partnership is the first time they have partnered with government and an NGO – and vice versa. This brings challenges, with different organisational approaches and systems. The BPP helps guide partners through the collaborative work process and offers innovative and skilled management and utilises accredited partnership brokers.

“What the BPP did for us is it got everyone organised around a set of goals, and from there we began working out a strategy and that involved building relationships. Through that we began to understand each other’s needs and operating mechanisms.” Dr Michael Di Gregorio, TAF CR Vietnam

Embedding the private sector 

DFAT is committed to embedding the private sector as strategic partners in the aid program and enabling the private sector to achieve outcomes that promote economic growth and reduce poverty.

Find out more about private sector engagement in the Australian aid program.

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