Building and Scaling a Cross-Sector Partnership:
Oxfam America and Swiss Re Empower Farmers in Ethiopia
Authors: Jonathan Doh, Ted London, Vasilia (Lea) Kilibarda
Institutions: Villanova University, USA; William Davidson Institute/Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, USA
Competition year: 2012
Place: 2nd place
Track: Corporate Sustainability
Key words: Cross-sector partnership, Base of the pyramid (BoP) strategies, Sustainable development, Climate change and food security, Creating social and economic value, Strategic management, Public-private partnerships, Nonprofit management, Corporate social responsibility
Courses: Strategic Management, Sustainability Management, Global Corporate Responsibility, Nonprofit Management
Target audience: MBA, EMBA, MPA, MPP
Download an inspection copy.
After several years of preparation, in May 2009, Oxfam America (an international relief and development organization) and Swiss Re (a leading global reinsurer) along with other partners piloted Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation. HARITA is an innovative model designed to help propel some of the poorest farmers in Ethiopia out of poverty by helping them cope with weather-related risk. Oxfam’s goal for HARITA was to develop a scalable model that could be disseminated throughout developing countries across the globe to help farmers deal with the effects of drought and other challenges associated with climate change.
Swiss Re served initially as a funder and technical advisor for HARITA but also engaged in the project to better understand insurance markets in the developing world. This case provides a personal account of two key actors: David Satterthwaite (Oxfam) and Mark Way (Swiss Re). Although many cross-sector collaborations reach the pilot stage, “scaling” offers a new set of challenges because it inherently requires greater commitments and entails greater risks for both partners. This case places students in the shoes of Oxfam’s Satterthwaite as he prepares for a critical meeting with Way about a dramatic expansion plan for HARITA in Ethiopia and beyond.
Case Purchase Information
An abbreviated online inspection copy of this case is available here. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission rights. You can also purchase this case directly from the GlobaLens web-site.