FICCI-World Bank join hands to advance ‘Millennium Alliance’ initiative

To support solutions that provide last mile delivery in healthcare, sanitation, education, clean energy and agriculture to base of the pyramid population

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the World Bank has announced their partnership to advance the Millennium Alliance (MA) initiative. The MA seeks to identify and scale up innovative solutions being developed and tested by social enterprises in India that can improve access to services for poor and underserved populations across India and the world.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dr A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI and Onno Ruhl, India Country Director, World Bank. The MoU formalised a shared commitment to support solutions that provide sustainable last mile delivery to populations at the base of the pyramid in healthcare, sanitation, education, clean energy and agriculture.

FICCI and the World Bank have come together in a knowledge partnership to promote the replication and scaling up of innovative approaches in service delivery across the South Asia and Africa regions. The partnership will facilitate dialogue between social enterprises and governments so that solutions can be scaled-up to underserved populations under the government’s priority programmes.

Besides the Millennium Alliance programme, the agreement also provides for FICCI and the World Bank to work together to enhance private sector engagement in global migration policy and promote the generation and synthesis of knowledge on migration issues. In this, the World Bank’s engagement will be led by the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD).

Reportedly, FICCI and the World Bank’s partnership aims to promote the mobility of skilled labour, enhancing safe and legal migration, and ensuring ethical transnational recruitment practices. Potential areas of collaboration include the study of demographic changes and migration; the study of remittances, including access to finance and capital markets; and mobilising the diaspora as agents of social and economic change.

In terms of the MoU, both FICCI and the World Bank anticipate that their collaboration will focus on a number of substantive areas, which include, but will not be limited to:

  • Identifying social enterprise innovations in India through FICCI’s “Millennium Alliance” competition and supporting capacity development activities.
  • Researching and analysing innovative pilot activities in the priority areas of health and/or sanitation, and identifying and operationalising mechanisms for replicating/scaling up the benefits of social enterprise at the sectoral level.
  • Generating and synthesising knowledge on migration issues for the benefits of countries worldwide, including the creation and dissemination of a menu of possible policy choices based on multidisciplinary knowledge and evidence – based research.
  • Enhancing private sector engagement on migration issues, establishing strategic partnerships, and engaging with Government of India and industry to promote policy cohesion in addressing growth of industry and business through joint initiatives related to international migration and labor mobility.
  • Framing KNOMAD and FICCI’s efforts to promote portability of skilled labour migration, safe and legal migration, and ethical recruitment initiatives, and to inform policy makers in the interest of industry, business and migrants.

“From sectoral cooperation to a flexible framework agreement brings the World Bank and FICCI to a new development opportunity which we are excited about”, said Dr Singh.

The MoU provides a framework to engage private sector in key development initiatives. Collaborations on Swachh Bharat, development of social enterprises, South Asia trade and knowledge exchange with Africa will get immediate focus”, said Onno Ruhl, Country Director India, World Bank.”

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