Global Hand is a non-profit, online platform that facilitates public/private partnerships. William Benter is committing Global Hand to develop a website interface to:
· provide an interactive process to 'match' offers of potential collaboration from the private sector to appropriate potential partners among UN entities - in this way maximizing the potential for partnerships between private sector organizations and the United Nations.
· where suitable 'matches' for private sector offers are not found within the UN, pass them on to a broader audience of NGOs, in order to maximize opportunity for partnership in a world of need.
· provide information and clarity to the private sector regarding the capacities and needs of the UN by restructuring information currently housed on the UN & Business website in a more user-friendly manner.
Not long ago the UN and business sector eyed each other with suspicion. Today, the UN is making business and other social actors vital partners in its work. Now the UN has the capacity to engage business across a wide spectrum of activities: from advancing universal values and principles, advocacy, humanitarian assistance and partnerships to advancing the Millennium Development Goals in areas such as information technology, micro credit and health. The UN has made some notable progress in adapting policies and processes in order, more effectively, to engage with non-state actors.
However, the process of structural and cultural transformation in the United Nations is not complete. The succession of disasters in 2005 - including the tsunami and the South Asian earthquake - served as an eye-opener for much of the UN System regarding the potential resources of the private sector. Further, as more and more companies recognize the business value of working with the UN and NGOs to contribute to development and peace in the areas of their operations, and to harness the growing impetus of Corporate Social Responsibility, there has been an even greater call for more effective facilitation of engagement among the private sector, the UN and NGOs.
Thus, there has been a growing consensus that greater efforts should be made to present potential engagement opportunities in a more coherent manner. Doing so will help to showcase the diversity and expertise of partnerships, while at the same time, directing users to the information they seek from one central platform. The United Nations is therefore partnering with Global Hand to build a central online portal for business connectivity across the United Nations.
The website platform will provide an informational matching function whereby private sector offers can be matched with UN needs. In addition, the platform will provide users with access to information for those interested in opportunities for longer-term partnerships with the UN. The site will provide information about ways business can work with the UN in various capacities, success stories, notable UN/business partnership initiatives in different regions and fields of competence and existing UN tools, resources and publications. This will improve engagement between the private sector and the United Nations, directing goodwill from the corporate world - whether offered in financial terms or through core competencies - towards toward more effective and strategic partnerships.
The project with Global Hand is being facilitated by the United Nations Global Compact Office, and developed as a UN-wide initiative in conjunction with UNFIP, OCHA and a working group of 10 other UN Agencies, Funds and Programs.
Provide expertise and services to Global Hand to develop a website interface to provide an interactive process to 'match' offers of potential collaboration from the private sector to appropriate potential partners among UN entities. Launch delivery of the new web platform within the next six months.
· During the finalization of the platform development phase, we are inviting leading business organizations to participate as corporate advisors, evaluating the platform and feeding back counsel, as appropriate, for it to enhance UN-business engagement.
· As part of the public launch phase we are inviting companies, non-state actors and UN bodies to contribute to the platform's success in a variety of ways:
o We particularly welcome companies' utilizing the new matching platform, to explore appropriate partnerships across the United Nations.
o We encourage companies to use the site to discover the variety of ways in which the United Nations is currently partnering with the private sector.
o We invite companies, non-state actors and UN bodies alike to endorse the new platform amongst their peers and other appropriate audiences.
o We invite offers of core competencies in marketing and promotion of the site in order to establish it as a vibrant portal for business connectivity with the United Nations.