Alliance between a company and a development organisation

A Dutch electronics firm was keen to develop new activities in West Africa. The client needed financing and an African partner for the project concerned. Because company interests as well as development goals were involved, Berenschot decided to contact a Dutch development organisation operating in the relevant African countries.

A key issue in such assignments is that the parties speak a ‘different language' and have diverging interests. "One party talks about capacity building, whilst the other party talks about market outlets," says consultant Fons de Zeeuw. "You then look for joint interests and an approach that can be used to fulfil those interests." Furthermore, it is important to ensure that both parties speak the same language and develop mutual trust in each another. "Once they reach that stage, they will want to work together," according to De Zeeuw.

Berenschot next formulated a pilot project in which the company, the development organisation and an African organisation (NGO) worked together. This project was launched six months ago and is partially financed by the company and partially by the development organisation. Berenschot is currently managing the evaluation of the project. "If the evaluation is positive, the project can then serve as an example for upscaling in other African countries," says De Zeeuw.

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