“Peace be within you.” – Psalm 122:8

One way to establish peace and harmony both within ourselves and in the world is to create smart partnerships. A partnership is entered into because of the synergy which one expects to gain from the relationship. The twain or many shall become one and the benefits are expected to be greater than the sum of the benefits which would accrue from each of the partners on their own.

Partnerships manifest themselves in many ways: Partnerships between regions of the world; partnerships between countries within a region; partnerships between social partners (government, private sector, unions, churches, other non-governmental organisations, communities, families and individuals) within a country; and partnerships between entities within a given category of social partner.

If partners can boast of tenets such as a Shared Vision, Cultural Diversity, a Code of Ethics, Longevity, Loyalty, Transparency, Equity, Fair Play, Trust and Values then we may define the relationship as a Smart Partnership.

The Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (CPTM) promotes the Smart Partnership philosophy. CPTM maintains a large informal network with professionals and leaders in business, government, research and civil society who are not necessarily formally members of CPTM but who can provide members with access to the highest levels of advice and experience.

‘CPTM – The Movement’ is a global network organisation and its way of operation for the development and transformation of the emerging economies in the Commonwealth and beyond, represents the true aspiration of CPTM. The Chair of the Smart Partnership Movement, President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has stated: “Our cultural family – with its shared values, commitment to a common purpose, and capacity to work together – has something to offer in a troubled world.” President Museveni is a CPTM Fellow and Companion and is also the co-founder of CPTM Fellows Endowment Fund.

CPTM’s next major event, the Global 2013 Smart Partnership Dialogue in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania – from Friday, June 28 to Monday, July 1 – is a manifestation of a partnership event between regions of the world. There will be representatives from Africa, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Mediterranean, Seychelles and the US. The theme will be “Leveraging Technology for Africa’s Socio Economic Transformation: The Smart Partnership Way” but the dialogue will be relevant in contributing to peace in all countries of the world.

Another example of a potential partnership between regions of the world is the relationship between aid donors and beneficiary countries. Since the end of the Second World War, developing and under developed countries, including the Caribbean, have benefited from projects involving huge cumulative sums of aid. These projects have been duly signed off as aid to the “beneficiary” country. Not only has it been shown that the net beneficiary of this aid is the donor country, because of the components of aid that must be used to buy goods and consulting services from the donor country, but also there has not been a commensurate level of sustained economic growth from the portion of aid that has been received by the beneficiary country. It is proposed that, if the relationship between the donor country and the beneficiary country is conceptualised as a Smart Partnership, then the outcome would be mutually beneficial to the two parties and could lead to sustained economic growth in the beneficiary country instead of what obtains today and has obtained for many decades.

Last week I was invited by Compete Caribbean to participate in a Strategic Regional Dialogue on Private Sector Development in the Caribbean and the Compete Caribbean Regional Consultative Forum. Compete Caribbean is a private sector development programme jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to provide technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. There were many plenary presentations and also simultaneous breakout sessions.

The concluding plenary sessions focused on the rationalisation of roles of the many stakeholder organisations involved in the regional corporate governance culture that is essential to ensure smart partnerships between countries within the Caribbean region. In particular, the establishment of a Smart Partnership between: (1) Caribbean Heads of Government (supported by the Caribbean Community and Organization of Eastern Caribbean States secretariats); (2) Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce; (3) Caribbean Development Bank; (4) Caribbean financing interests; (5) University of the West Indies; (6) Caribbean Export Development Agency; (7) Caribbean trade union interests; and (8) funding and technical assistance agencies; was identified as urgent and important.

As an example of partnerships between social partners, in the early 1990s, a tripartite Barbados Social Partnership (government, trade unions and the private sector) was formally established to deal with the consequences of the economic crisis and to implement the Structural Adjustment Programme with the IMF without need for currency devaluation. The first Protocol agreed upon and focused on wage and price policy as well as fiscal adjustment but also established the National Productivity Board. On May 2, 2011, the Social Partnership signed its sixth protocol for a period of two years.

Finally, an example of a partnership between entities within a given category of social partner is a business consultant conducting a strategic visioning retreat at a public or private entity to determine the best way forward for that entity to achieve sustainable growth.

Each of these Smart Partnerships contribute to peace and harmony and are each fueled by the inner peace of each individual involved.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET – Columns are archived at

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