Since the beginning of the 21st century ‘partnerships’ have received increasing attention on the development agenda. Governments and NGOs seek alliances with firms to increase the effectiveness of their development efforts. Partnerships have been pioneered in infrastructure projects, millennium villages, the provision of health services and (micro)credits. The increasing involvement of firms in development partnerships is particularly noticeable. Key note speech and contribution by Noreen Hertz.

But what is the logic of these partnerships and to what extent do they really provide a novel approach to development? Is it a tool or an aim? What problems are partnerships supposed to solve and how effective are they? Can partnerships also provide an excuse for not doing enough? Is there a discrepancy between the ideals and the reality of partnerships?

Also includes the background paper of Professor Rob van Tulder, RSM Erasmus University, Business-Society Management.