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PARTNERING: AN INTRODUCTION an on-line module for partnership practitioners The Partnering Initiative is a specialist programme of the International Business.

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Presentation on theme: "PARTNERING: AN INTRODUCTION an on-line module for partnership practitioners The Partnering Initiative is a specialist programme of the International Business."— Presentation transcript:

1 PARTNERING: AN INTRODUCTION an on-line module for partnership practitioners The Partnering Initiative is a specialist programme of the International Business Leaders Forum. For more information go to:

2 Purpose of the module This module is designed as a basic overview of what is involved when you create partnerships for sustainable development. It is for practitioners from any sector (public, business or not-for- profit) to enable them to understand how to partner systematically and successfully There are 6 sets of questions embedded in the module for you to consider and make notes on. These will take you around 1 hour to complete – it is important that you do complete them to ensure that you apply the general partnering principles and issues to your own partnerships. In all, the module should take you 1-2 hours to complete. Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

3 Why ‘partner’? Organisations partner because it becomes clear that they cannot achieve their development goals by working as a single entity… …and that only by working cooperatively with others they can achieve greater innovation, impact, scale, reform and / or sustainability. Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

4 Defining ‘partnership’ Based on a dictionary definition, the term partnership can be understood as an ongoing working relationship where risks and benefits are shared. In practical terms this means every partner is involved in: Co-creating projects & programmes Committing tangible resource contributions Mutual accountability Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

5 Consider the following questions: Who are your actual / potential partners? What do these partners contribute to the partnership? How do you think they understand the concept of ‘partnering’? Take 10 minutes to review these questions – making notes of your thoughts for future reference Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

6 Possible partner types Public sector eg: Local or regional authorities; central government departments; public sector organisations (education, health etc) Business sector eg: Multi-national or national companies; business organisations; small & medium enterprises; enterprise development agencies Third sector eg: NGOs, Community-based organisations, trade unions, religious organisations International organisations eg: UNDP; WHO; Unicef Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

7 RESPECT Core partnering principles TRUST SUSTAINABILITY Equity? Transparency? Mutual Benefit? Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

8 Consider the following question: What kinds of behaviours are most likely to promote equitable, transparent and mutually beneficial partnerships? Take 10 minutes to review this questions– making notes of your thoughts for future reference Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

9 An outline of phases in a partnership Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

10 Partnerships evolve over time Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

11 The Partnering Cycle Phase 1: Scoping & Building i.Scoping involves: Exploring the partnering option; Understanding the interests / motivations of different sectors; Analysing the context ii.Identifying involves: Making the case for partnering; Selecting potential partners; Undertaking early discussions iii.Building involves: Establishing partnering principles; Promoting good partnering behaviour; Creating some relationship management ‘ground rules’ iv.Planning involves: Stakeholder / activities & resource mapping; Agreeing an outline project plan; Drawing up a partnering agreement Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

12 A Partnership Planning Tool 4. Resources 2. Desired outcomes - 5. Evidence of success - 3. Activities 1. Key issues - This planning tool can usefully be undertaken as a ‘step by step’ process prior to signing a partnering agreement Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

13 Consider the following questions: What kind of agreement does your partnership need? How flexible should it be? What issues should it cover? Who should create it? Take 10 minutes to review these questions– making notes of your thoughts for future reference Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

14 The Partnering Cycle Phase 2: Managing & Maintaining v. Structuring involves: Putting in place decision-making procedures; Communications arrangements and accountability mechanisms vi.Mobilising involves: Resource procurement; Effective management of partner meetings; Engagement of other stakeholders vii.Delivering involves: Allocating roles and responsibilities; Tracking activities and partner commitments; Wider / external communications Copyright: The Partnering Initiative Note: Phase 2 can run for years!

15 Consider the following question: What does the term ‘resource’ mean in a partnership? Take 10 minutes to write as long a list as you can of all the different things that could be seen as types of ‘resource’ within a partnership. When doing this, it is useful to consider the specific types of resource that each partner / sector can be expected to contribute. Enabling all partners to contribute tangible resources is a major way to build equity within a partnership. Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

16 The Partnering Cycle Phase 3: Reviewing & Revising viii.Measuring involves: Agreeing success indicators at an early stage; Checking delivery / outputs and impacts; Monitoring compliance with agreement ix.Reviewing involves: Taking stock of the partner relationships; Assessing the value of the partnership to partner organisations and their constituencies; Considering ‘where next’ for the partnership x.Revising involves: Re-defining the partnership (if necessary); Making changes to the project (where needed); Changing partners (if desirable) Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

17 Consider the following questions: How often should your partnership(s) be reviewed? For what purpose? By whom? Take 10 minutes to reflect on these two questions – bear in mind that the partnership is ‘co-owned’ by the partners and any review or revisions need to be agreed collaboratively or the partnership itself may be undermined. Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

18 The Partnering Cycle Phase 4: Sustaining Outcomes xi.Scaling involves: Engaging and impacting systems; Expanding the programme; Having wider influence (see next slide) xii.Moving on involves: Ensuring sustainable development outcomes will be maintained; Building / securing long-term delivery mechanisms; Implementing exit strategies Copyright: The Partnering Initiative Note: Partners may decide to re-configure their partnership and develop new areas of work together once the initial project is completed.

19 Consider the following question: From your experience, what do you see as the main challenges to partnering successfully? Take 10 minutes to consider this question before going to next slide. Remember that challenges can take many forms ranging from those within the partnership to those relating to the context in which the partnership is operating Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

20 Common partnering challenges: Within the partnership: Partners not giving the partnership or its projects priority Unresolved disagreements / approaches that are too divergent Differences of organisational culture / expectations / delivery timescales Changes of key personnel (eg turnover of staff in some of the partner organisations) Beyond the partnership: Scepticism about the partnership from key stakeholders Unwillingness / inability to engage with the partnership An inadequate / hostile enabling environment Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

21 Communications: skills and approaches Partnering skills include: Interest-based negotiation (based on an understanding of each partner’s underlying drivers, priorities) Brokering & facilitation (bringing people together and managing the decision-making process) Active listening and plain speaking (being able to engage and articulate ideas and decisions appropriately) Effective partnering involves individual practitioners being: Engaged and committed Objective and reflective Willing to learn from experience and change direction if necessary Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

22 The partnering context Whilst there may be many common features in the partnering process, no single partnership is like any other. All partnerships are highly context-specific and will invariably be a reflection of the surrounding circumstances. Sometimes it is necessary to settle for a ‘ good enough ’ partnership until the local conditions change. Often the partnership itself can help to influence and bring about change. Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

23 Any partnership’s potential influence Level 3 Changing policy and practice In due course, even the smallest partnerships can provide the evidence and inspiration for new policies and can lead to a significant change in the ‘rules’ Level 2 Influencing individuals, organisations & systems However, ‘Level 1’ projects when they work well inevitably impact and influence more widely and deeply Level 1 Practical solutions to development challenges Most partnerships operate at this level as grass roots, co-created and delivered collaborative projects Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

24 Partnering works best when those involved: Take time to build strong working relationships Develop genuine concern for each other’s underlying interests Do more listening than talking Develop good communication skills at all levels Deal with difficulties rather than ignoring them Balance a flexible with a rigorous approach Focus on practical and sustainable results GOOD LUCK in all your partnering work! Copyright: The Partnering Initiative

25 Access to further partnership tools, case studies, information and advice from: Partnering – An introduction


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