Welcome to the second edition of Partnership Insights - a short series of publications aimed at following up on the Cross sector partnership guideline


Welcome to the second edition of Partnership Insights - a short series of publications aimed at following up on the Cross sector partnership guideline that was published in March 2016.

In this edition we will be focusing on the importance of engaging local communities; featuring an interview with professor Arne Remmen from Aalborg University and with two very different case studies; the COOP/CARE project in Kenya and the partnership between Novo Nordisk and a range of local stakeholders in Colombis.

You can click directly to PDF-versions of each article or download the entire publication.

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Arne Remmen. Photo © by Jakob Brodersen / access2innovation


Engaging the local communities is absolutely vital if you want to succeed with a sustainable project. Failing to connect to local societies and institutions will in most cases mean that you are likely to be struggling, whereas strong local anchoring is the path to sustainable development.

”The traditional way of looking at developing countries has been to transfer advanced western technology to developing world markets. To me, it’s apparent that companies, CSOs, private authorities and other stakeholders no longer think that way. You absolutely have to be present locally to be part of the solution,” says professor Arne Remmen from Aalborg University.
He has been working with development research at the department of planning for more than a decade and is chairman of the board at the access2innovation association.

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Kenyan small-scale farmer Naomi Waweru working in the field. The crop will eventually end up in Danish COOP stores in the SAVANNAH brand. Photo @ by John Spaull/ CARE


The NGO CARE and the retail chain COOP are involved in a partnership surrounding COOP’s ”SAVANNAH” brand – a line of African vegetables and fruits that are sold in the Danish supermarket chain. CARE and COOP used the partnership to improve the conditions for the farmers in Africa – and secure delivery and quality standards for the Danish consumers. Securing the local engagement has been critical to the entire setup.

Back in 2011, the supermarket chain COOP launched a new initiative; SAVANNAH – a line of food products from Africa for the Danish market. COOP contacted CARE Danmark and asked them to join in a partnership that would secure a more steady delivery and consistent product quality through capacity building among the local smallholder farmers and producers and at the same time make the whole process more transparent.
COOP invited CARE to take a ‘deep dive’ into the process and look at the existing supply chain, identify the areas where it could be improved CSR-wise and develop it in a way that would make it more socially and environmentally responsible and sustainable.
“Besides the obvious commercial issues of stable prices, delivery and quality issues, it is part of our foundation strategy to work for a more sustainable development in the society. For instance, we do that by working to decrease food waste, against chemicals in canned foods and by improving the livelihoods for local farmers through trade,” says Head of CSR Projects at COOP Denmark, Jesper Frederiksen.
“In terms of doing the latter in Africa, we needed CARE’s competencies,” he says.

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Mother-to-be Diana Torrecilla in Barranquilla, Colombia. Diana had GDM during her pregnancy. Photo @ by Novo Nordisk


To Novo Nordisk, the strong local community in the Colombian city of Barranquilla was the perfect structure to support in order to raise awareness on gestational diabetes in the country. The Vida Nueva project is all about supporting devoted local stakeholders and addressing a global problem in a local setting.

”Engaging with the local community is part of our spirit,” explains global project manager Rikke Fabienke from Novo Nordisk.
“It is our mission to do good business. When we support local doctors and awareness projects, it’s not about making a short term profit. It may not even be about selling the medicine that we produce. We do it because we believe that any awareness that can be raised about diabetes is a good thing.”

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Good advice from the guide

The Cross-sector partnership guideline offers good advice on how to build a sustainable business case.

Click to visit the guide's page on business cases...


partnership insights is a series of digital publications that build on the Cross-sector Partnership Guideline published by Danish Red Cross with research and analysis by Deloitte.

Produced by Brodersen Kommunikation for access2innovation.

© 2016 by Danish Red Cross and access2innovation.

Skrmbillede 2016-06-29 kl. 10.07.03
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