Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Knowledge Sharing Platform to Help Companies Fight Global Poverty

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a knowledge sharing platform to help companies get more involved in the global poverty eradication campaign. This innovative platform to share information is the result of an issue raised at last week’s summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The issue was that heads of State urged companies to get more involved in combating global poverty. With the help of the private sector, governments will do significantly better in achieving the MDGs by the desired date, year 2015.

UNDP’s knowledge sharing platform includes business-savvy ideas for eradicating poverty. This platform includes case studies, publications and contacts of related actors focused on business models that incorporate poor people into value chains (international market and trade chains) as producers, employees and consumers. This wealth of information is sorted into two databases: one being a case study and publication database, and the other an actor database. The mastermind behind this organized platform of information is the UNDP’s Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) initiative. This platform would help people such as business leaders and policy-makers to connect with successful enterprises across the globe, and therefore help them create programs that improve poor people's lives.

The UN’s knowledge platform also provides proof that working to speed up the progress on the MDGs would still be in companies’ best interest. As Henry Jackelen, Director of the UNDP Private Sector Division puts it, “the case studies in this unique database present evidence that it is possible for companies to fight poverty while remaining commercially viable.” Companies could not only help reduce poverty, but they could also open up new markets for countries including ours, the U.S. Thanks in part to this new knowledge sharing platform, players in the private sector have an opportunity to help end global poverty.

- Clare O.