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When collaborating with large multinational organizations, leverage local knowledge as a key value add of participation in collective action

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When collaborating with large multinational organizations, leverage local knowledge as a key value add of participation in collective action

When collaborating with large multinational organizations, leverage local knowledge as a key value add of participation in collective action

Posted on August 31, 2021 by Lillian Holmes

Authoring Organizations: CEO Water Mandate
Consulting Organizations: California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Universal: No
Applicable Phases: Commit
Last Updated Sep 17, 2021

Overview

Whether your partnership engages multinational corporations, large NGOs, development agencies, or other global entities, engaging local partners and framing local knowledge is a key value add of project participation. Multinational entities may be highly motivated to engage on natural resources in a region that is a priority among their international operations, but they may still rely on local project partners such as local NGOs or other technical actors to help them understand key natural resources challenges in the region. Consider establishing learning sessions with local experts and organizations as guest speakers.

Benefits

  • Learning sessions offer a chance for partners to connect and share insights as well as develop their understanding of the environmental challenges in a given region.
  • Building shared understanding of local context helps shape project proposals to meaningfully address local natural resource challenges.
  • As learning session participants deepen their understanding of local water and natural resource challenges, they become better able to advocate for water stewardship internally with others at their organization.

Guidance

  • Engage technical NGOs and organizations with a strong understanding of local issues to present at learning sessions.
  • Use Natural Resources Risk and Action Framework (NRAF) Tool 8 to assign suitable roles and responsibilities to all actors.
  • Frame this knowledge-sharing in terms of its benefits for multinational and local entities alike.

Example

The California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC) is a coalition of more than 20 organizations ranging from multinational corporations to local NGOs, among other partners. The coalition found that the multinational corporations were eager to benefit from local NGOs’ understanding of the ins and outs of California water issues. CWAC engages a nonprofit dedicated to facilitation NGO to lead meetings, and the professional facilitators regularly host sessions with guest speakers from community organizations to share information on a variety of local water topics, such as drinking water access, water policy at the state level, and forest restoration in California. Companies have identified this education component as a key value add of CWAC membership because they are able to benefit from this on-the-ground knowledge to create relevant and durable projects.

Projects that have validated this Lesson


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This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.