Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Public Policy, Social Computing and Development (ICOPOSDEV 2021)

The adoption in 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) revealed the need for strengthen global partnerships. ‘Effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships’ highlighted in goals 17 may result the institutional and organizational structures needed to foster the systemic and transformative approaches required to deliver against the SDGs. Given the urgency to advance sustainable development, highlighted by the recent pandemic and social unrest around inequity, we need to be more deliberate in creating multi-stakeholder partnerships and pay more attention to the factors that promote effectiveness and impact through partnership. Without this, we shall continue to rely on serendipity and opportunism to bring partners together. An essential question to address is “Who starts it?” Partnerships that have a transformative ambition cannot rely on bottom-up approaches alone, which can present problems such as short-time horizons, insufficient coordination mechanisms and misaligned incentives.

ICOPOSDev 2021 explore the deliberate creation of a large multi-stakeholder partnership from a lifecycle perspective, paying close attention to how the formative stages of relationship building were accelerated, identifying the key ingredients required and how the partnership moved beyond incrementalism to deliver transformative change. We focused on drawing out how the partnership became a solid initiative, with value beyond that of the sum of the partners. The 2nd International Conference on Public Policy, Social Computing and Development (ICOPOSDev) 2021 to frame an SDG-oriented response to the COVID-19 crisis, represents a unique partnership devoted to building the capacity of relevant stakeholders to tackle the pandemic crisis. International Conference was used as a vehicle in which to examine the establishment of a partnership at speed, charged with a higher degree of transformation and focused on delivering more impact.