Partners for Democratic Change (Partners) and the GE Foundation made a presentation on the results of a three-year evaluation of Partners’ model of Sustainable Impact Investment. Nike Carstarphen, the evaluation expert who produced the final report, explained how Partners merged the concepts of social entrepreneurship with a commitment to building durable organizations in transitioning democracies. The resulting international network of 19 local, autonomous Partners’ Centers for Change and Conflict Management now has over 25 years of experience promoting democracy and peace throughout the world.
During the presentation, representatives of GE described the company’s commitment to supporting democratic principles and the rule of law as fundamental to a stable business operating environment in emerging markets. In addition, the GE Foundation spoke to the importance of a long-term social investment strategy in local institutions, leadership and good processes.
The evaluation produced by Partners gave concrete data and lessons learned on how this type of investment strategy can be most successful. In particular, the presentation described in detail how an international organization is able to develop an “authentic partnership” with local organizations and serve as a conduit for collaboration to build on each other’s strengths, connections and know-how.
The discussion fleshed out the specific attributes of an authentic partnership, and also reflected on how the local Partners Centers have achieved an 82 percent organizational sustainability rate to survive past start-up.
And finally, the panelists talked with an audience of democracy and peace-building experts about what kinds of programs and interventions were the most successful in promoting democratic change within this international network.
The full panel discussion and Q&A session can be seen in the video below.
Vice President and Senior Counsel, Global Government Affairs & Policy, GE
President GE Foundation and Chief Diversity Officer
Ph.D. Evaluation Expert
President, Partners for Democratic Change