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At the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, a new multi-stakeholder partnerships initiative was launched. It was hoped that partnerships would catalyze nongovernmental participation in and additional funding of sustainable development projects around the world. The authors find that at present, however, little partnership financing is coming from new sources; most is coming from governments and less than 1% from the private sector. Guided by empirical findings from the partnerships to date, we propose the following to make the partnership program more effective: (a) establishing a learning network; (b) increasing the transparency of partnerships; (c) increasing private sector and small stakeholder participation; (d) establishing an institutional home to support partnerships; and (e) ensuring that the partnerships are consistent with multilateral priorities. © 2004 Sage Publications.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Environment and Development

Publication Date





220 - 239