Projected public-private partnership forum to focus on issues affecting women and families
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Amman (JT) - A symposium tackling key challenges affecting the formation of effective public-private partnerships to advance economic development and social progress concluded yesterday at the Dead Sea.

Sessions included discussions on tools and structures related to public-private partnerships, why corporations should be engaged in the wider community and the government’s role in encouraging public-private partnerships, according to a statement released by the Dead Sea Institute, one of the conference organizers along with Vital Voices Global Partnership and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the US State Department. Participants also shared best practices and successful partnership models, which demonstrated that sustainable cross sector collaboration is a win-win situation, especially businesses that have enjoyed measurable return on investment, built brand equity and enhanced morale with employees and loyalty with consumers, while producing a positive impact on communities.

Participants at the symposium, entitled Building Public-Private Partnerships to Enhance Social and Economic Progress in Jordan and Beyond, included more than 100 high-level representatives of government, business and civil society from Jordan, the region and the United States.

During the event, held under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania, HRH Princess Dina Mired, director general of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, announced a new project being developed to address the rising incidence of breast cancer in Jordan.

The goal of the breast cancer initiative is to launch and sustain a vibrant public-private partnership to address all aspects of this disease from a public education campaign to detection and treatment.

Meanwhile, following a discussion of a model family support centre in the United States, three Jordanian partners – representing the community and business- announced their interest in developing a public-private partnership in the Kingdom to provide comparable family support services.

On the first day of the conference, the country’s five telecommunication companies- Fastlink, MobileCom, Express, Umniah and Jordan Telecom- signed an agreement to activate a toll-free Family Support Helpline, which seeks to promote a culture of child safety and child rights.

The Jordan River Foundation pioneered the initiative, “110 for families and children,” which is intended to empower children and families by providing them with support and guidance.

As an outcome of the event, MEPI will support the creation of a Jordanian Forum for public-private partnership forum to continue the collaboration begun with the symposium, the statement said.

The forum will provide an opportunity for ongoing discussion on key questions and provide capacity building workshops to close the gaps between the private sector and NGO partnerships. A key focus of the forum will be issues affecting women and families.

In addition, MEPI will also support the organization of a regional conference in Jordan later this year to showcase newly developed partnerships on women’s empowerment, as well as the development of a multimedia tool-kit on corporate social responsibility.