Partnerships are a crucial lynchpin in Obama’s economic stimulus plan. Alliances between the public and private sector are given centre stage in the implementation of several elements of the stimulus plan including housing, healthcare, transport and energy. Local educational agencies and schools, for example, in order to expand are expected to ‘work in partnership with the private sector and the philanthropic community… to identify and document best practices that can be shared’ (House Democrats 1/23/09 Bill Text, Page 247: and Senate “Compromise” 2/7, Page 380). In housing partnerships between non-profit organisations and real estate agencies are seen as an important tool to prevent more foreclosures (House Democrats 1/23/09 Bill Text, Page 224).
Using partnerships to stimulate the economy makes sense. Non-profit and private sectors have different sources of knowledge and expertise which, if shared, can be a tremendous vector for rejuvenating the economy and building consumer confidence. As the Stimulus Package makes clear partnerships can enhance the effectiveness of each grant given under the package. Partnerships also prevent the duplication of efforts (H.R. 1: Final Stimulus Version, page 294).
For Kaiser’s take on the Stimulus Package for healthcare click here