In a crisis, companies are better off working together




In a crisis, companies are better off working together

May 23, 2018

The private sector plays an essential role in humanitarian preparedness, response, and recovery efforts, but large numbers of independent actors - no matter how well intentioned - can introduce complexity and potential duplication of efforts, particularly when companies react in an ad hoc or uncoordinated way.

To deliver maximum impact, many forward-thinking companies have begun to forge private-sector networks.  These networks of companies and local businesses collaborate in a country or region to strengthen their own risk preparedness and to mobilize and coordinate the private-sector response to an emergency.

The paper discusses the role of the private sector in disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery efforts and introduces ideas how companies can collaborate better to become more resilient themselves and reduce duplication and deliver maximum impact supporting humanitarian efforts.

The article proposes how companies can contribute to disaster management on four different levels:
1) Workforce; 2) Company; 3) Sector; 4) Society.

Concrete examples from Fiji, Philippines, Madagascar, Turkey and Haiti help to demonstrate what the private sector networks are already doing together with the Connecting Business initiative (CBi). The article also introduces key success metrics for an effective private sector network.


The paper is co-written by David Young and Wendy Woods (the Boston Consulting Group), Marcos Neto (UNDP) and Rudolf Müller and Marcy Vigoda (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).

To read more about how private sector networks support disaster management, visit