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Recruit private-sector partners by engaging with clusters of companies


Recruit private-sector partners by engaging with clusters of companies

Recruit private-sector partners by engaging with clusters of companies

Posted on August 31, 2021 by Lillian Holmes

Authoring Organizations: CEO Water Mandate
Consulting Organizations: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Universal: No
Applicable Phases: Assess
Last Updated May 22, 2024


Where possible, work with existing industry associations groups to engage a greater number of partners while benefiting from existing trust, relationships, and networks. Industry groups may include companies who are already highly engaged on water issues. Additionally, gaining the trust of an industry group will speed the project vetting process.


  • Engaging many companies within the same sector is essential to address sector-specific challenges.
  • Companies who are new to stewardship will be motivated by the stewardship successes of their company peers. Uniting companies in a single sector brings the best specific knowledge of natural resources stewardship opportunities to the table.


  • Identify top industries in the region and look for business associations, chambers of commerce, or other groups of companies in that industry.
  • Understand that some companies may decline to participate in collective action within the industry due to perceived competition. However, know that many companies see the business case for collective action.


​​​​​​​El Agua nos Une is a partnership led by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) with partners in local governments, the private sector, and civil society. El Agua nos Une has benefitted from close collaboration with a business association of paper producers in Colombia. The partnership will continue to engage with industry-specific groups in Mexico, Peru and Brazil in industries as diverse as food and beverages, chemicals, and agriculture. The partnership finds that engaging industry groups builds momentum and is key to identifying the most pressing water challenges and the best opportunities for addressing them (e.g. good practices, technologies, reuse).

Projects that have validated this Lesson

None found.

This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.