(The Meeting is over - information is provided for reference)
"Innovative Public-Private Partnerships that Promote
International Agricultural and Rural Development"
Dear Colleagues -
If you are interested in agricultural or rural development, then I enthusiastically invite you to attend an important conference hosted by The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD). Our 44th Annual Meeting will be held June 1-3, 2008 at the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C Street SW in Washington, DC, and will attract a wide array of leaders, field-based experts, students, scholars, and many others from government, academia, business, foundations and elsewhere. I'm looking forward to this gathering as a chance to discuss and debate one of today's most exciting issues in international agriculture and rural development.
This year's topic is, in fact, especially timely. For so long, private and public sectors have been at odds over how to facilitate development overseas. At best, the two sectors have tolerated the interests and goals of the other. More often, they have run amuck of each other.
For all kinds of reasons, however, a new day is dawning. Ever-tighter public coffers coupled with a deepening appreciation all round of market-facilitated development have prompted a re-think. In fact, partnerships between the public and private sectors are now on the rise - even in the agricultural development arena. Yes, some such efforts have stumbled. Others have been modest in scope and effect. But some have been really effective in promoting deep improvements and greater prospects at the community level. What can we learn from these early efforts that may cue what we do in the future?
As we focus during this year's AIARD meeting on "Innovative Public-Private Partnerships that Promote International Agricultural and Rural Development," we expect the presentations and discussions to be lively, engaging and especially thought provoking. The program will consist of presentations by speakers who have been front and center in creating trailblazing partnerships. Key questions that they will discuss include:
What fresh, joint approaches can we use to promote development that meets the goals of both public and private partners?
What are the downsides of such partnerships and how can we minimize them?
Is there something unique about the agricultural sector that makes partnerships more or less likely to succeed?
Are there situations in which public-private partnerships are especially advantageous, or simply don't make sense?
Over the course of the meeting, our expert speakers will review the rationale for and emergence of public-private partnerships; highlight key innovations in such collaborations in international agriculture and rural development; and, look ahead to consider the challenges and opportunities that such partnerships present. There will be plenty of time for open discussion. It should be fun.
Please join us if you can!