Building and Scaling a Cross-Sector Partnership: Oxfam and Swiss Re Empower Farmers in Ethiopia

by: Jonathan Doh, Ted London

Publication Date: March 23, 2012
Length: 22 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-185

Core Disciplines: Base of the Pyramid, International Business, Social Impact, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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Winner of the 2012 Oikos Foundation Casewriting Competition. Swiss Re, a large global reinsurance company, has partnered with Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization, to provide the poor with risk reduction support. The partnership’s evolution shows students many common inter- and intra-organizational challenges. For example, the need to overcome internal biases, adapt to organizational differences, and build the capacity to learn from one another. Students will experience what is required to maintain this type of relationship, as well as understand adjustments needed when partnerships scale.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Evaluate the challenges inherent in cross-sector partnerships.
  • Identify the unique benefits and risks for each sector involved in a cross-sector partnership.
  • Evaluate the challenges and opportunities associated with scaling a partnership’s initial pilot.