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Principles of Partnership

FAO's policy to attract increased private sector participation in food security and other agricultural development programmes through partnership activities is based on a number of key principles:

  • Conformity with FAO's mandate and work programme
    Partnership activities must be consistent with FAO's mandate and should enhance the effectiveness of its work programme. FAO does not enter into partnership with organizations or enterprises whose products, programmes or methods of operation are judged by the Organization to be unethical or otherwise antithetical to its mandate; or into partnerships that might in any way undermine the Organization's credibility with member governments as a steward of public trust and funds.

  • Mutual interests and objectives
    Partnership activities will focus on areas and subjects of mutual interest to FAO and the partner organization. The potential contribution to achieving food security or other FAO objectives will be explicit in the design of any partnership activity. Partnership agreements will stipulate that such agreements do not imply any right to provide special access to the decision-making machinery of the Organization or to influence its policies or its position on scientific and technical issues.

  • Transparency
    FAO/private sector initiatives will be fully transparent. Information on agreed activities will be publicly available and may be reported in documents to FAO's Governing Bodies. In partnership activities where business confidentiality is necessary or proprietary knowledge is a factor, exceptions to full transparency may be agreed on the basis of narrowly established criteria and explicit agreements.

  • Accountability
    Partnership activities will be designed and implemented in a manner that ensures clear and agreed responsibilities and accountability by all partners.

  • Endorsement
    While the identity of partners should always be apparent, no partnership activity may be construed as an FAO endorsement of any product or service of a private sector partner.

  • Sustainability
    Partnership activities should be planned to promote sustainability (economic, environmental and social) and to make optimum use of a partner's resources. A mutually agreed process for the monitoring and evaluation of partnership projects should normally be built into the project design.

  • Scientific credibility
    Partnership activities should be defensible in terms of objective scientific judgement.

  • Intellectual property
    There will be consultation and prior agreement between FAO and private sector partners regarding activities that could generate material subject to copyright, patent or other intellectual property jurisdiction.

  • Partnership protocols
    FAO will require specific protocols or memorandums of understanding incorporating the above and other principles in certain partnership initiatives, including those involving individual enterprises or organizations that do not have official relations with the Organization.

  • Non-exclusivity
    FAO will not enter into an agreement with one or more partners if it excludes the right to negotiate a similar arrangement with other partners.

Canning tuna fish. Italian Cooperation Project Italia Sud.

Who is the private sector?
From individual farmers to global enterprises, including foundations and non governmental organizations (NGOs) representing business.

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