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A ‘Rough Guide’ to Partnerships in Global Commodity Chains

This report (pdf, 44 pages) represents the final output of a collaboration between the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) and the Expert Center for Sustainable Business and Development Cooperation (ECSAD).


This collaborative research project entitled “Partnerships, Power and Equity in Global Commodity Chains” was initiated in 2004 with as its objective an enhanced understanding of the issues, processes and dynamics related to setting up international commodity chains aimed at improving market access for low-income farmer groups in the Third World.


The guide is intended to summarize the lessons learned through the research in a practical
fashion so as to provide support for organizations considering the ‘hows’ of the partnership
approach. It aims to provide a helping hand to (NGO) practitioners in developing countries in
addressing the following issues related to partnerships in global value chains:

  • how to identify viable and sustainable chains, who are the crucial stakeholders in these chains,
  • how to select suitable partners for value chain development,
  • how to develop the partnerships in the chains and finally,
  • what could be the roles played by the NGO within the selected chain?


Other publications from the research project are: • Position paper on cooperation between companies and NGOs in stimulating sustainable development. • Multinational Enterprises, commodity chain partnerships and host country development goals. • A Comparative Analysis of Commodity Chains, Partnerships and Development in Ghana (sorghum), Burkina-Faso and Mali (mangoes) and Uganda (cotton)

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