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Forming And Sustaining Successful Partnerships Presenter: John M. Mutsambi, Community Liaison/Educator with University of Zimbabwe and University of California.

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Presentation on theme: "Forming And Sustaining Successful Partnerships Presenter: John M. Mutsambi, Community Liaison/Educator with University of Zimbabwe and University of California."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forming And Sustaining Successful Partnerships Presenter: John M. Mutsambi, Community Liaison/Educator with University of Zimbabwe and University of California San Francisco Collaborative Research Programme (UZ-UCSF)

2 Introduction Community based HIV Prevention studies e.g. HIV Prevention and Trials Network Studies, require community-wide support in order to succeed. Partnerships, coalitions and collaborations are some of the key strategies for promoting health and delivering social services associated with scientific research.

3 What is partnership? Partnership emphasizes gender equality, no institutionalized fear, a flatter and more egalitarian organization. The primary organizational concern is linking or bringing people together in mutually beneficial relationships and figuring out if individual responsibilities and contributions blend to produce extraordinary creative results.

4 Genesis Of Partnership Failure of existing efforts to address the problem ( need for innovation) Scarcity of resources Competition for clients Recognition of mutual needs or purpose and shared responsibility for the problem as well as the solution etc.

5 How To Establish Partnerships COMMUNITY MAPPING Community mapping/needs assessment is a crucial step in the process of forming community partnerships.

6 The community mapping process includes: Defining the community in terms of its location General characteristics Relevant demographic features of residents Documenting community resources and services currently available Community Mapping (continued)

7 Inventorying assets and resources that might be useful Documenting needs, barriers and alternatives Community members’ perspectives on service delivery, barriers to service, community resources and needs Once all this information is gathered, it is important to disseminate it to community members or opinion leaders. Community Mapping (continued)

8 Importance Of Community Mapping It establishes a base of information for creating and adjusting implementation strategies for measuring success. It facilitates recruitment of study participants It facilitates involving community members’ actively in planning. It provides information that mobilizes agencies and community members.

9 Community Mobilization Once a needs assessment exercise has been conducted, community mobilization may follow: Community mobilization process involves engaging a wide variety of community members and agencies to participate in the research process. This is crucial because stakeholders should feel a since of ownership of the research project if they are to support it. Building community commitment is a process which takes lots of time and energy.

10 Community Involvement And Membership Recruitment Diversity of membership is essential in partnership success. Partners may include: Prominent community members and political leaders Representatives of businesses, education and health Human services sector Religious communities Youth serving organizations

11 Process Of Partnership Development The following steps are important to partnership building efforts. 1. Do your homework. Have an idea of what you are looking for from your partners. Form you community plan. Assess readiness.

12 2. Look for the right organization. Typically, this is an organization that values partnership behaviors, such as sharing of information. This organization also places high value on the success of the community. Successful partnerships are based on trust and shared interest. Process Of Partnership Development (continued)

13 3. Find the right person. The most effective person is someone who is community-based and enthusiastic about the research project. This person should be an advocate for your project. Process Of Partnership Development (continued)

14 4. Be open to other ideas. Having formed the plan, be prepared for potential partners to bring other ideas to the process. Process Of Partnership Development (continued)

15 5. Make clear agreements, preferably in writing. If all partners have formally agreed on their expectations for partnerships, there will be less possibility for disagreements later on. Process Of Partnership Development (continued)

16 Advantages Of Community Partnerships Partnerships pool resources, share risks and increase efficiency. In partnerships the expertise of different individuals, professions and groups can be pooled allowing a more complete understanding of issues, needs and resources, improving the capacity to plan and evaluate and allowing for development of more comprehensive strategies. Partnerships eliminate duplication. Allow maximum use of resources.

17 They provide access to and permit development of more talents, resources and approaches. Partnerships bring together larger and more diverse constituencies than single organizations. By including diverse perspectives partnerships can develop a more comprehensive vision, increase accountability and achieve a wider base of support for efforts. Partnerships integrate and coordinate services. Advantages Of Community Partnerships (continued)

18 By coordinating service providers, partnerships can develop comprehensive plans, eliminate duplication, allow members to specialize in their functions, link and integrate partners’ activities. These benefits improve efficiency, making better use of more limited resources. Partnerships build communities. Advantages Of Community Partnerships (continued)

19 Partnerships take a long time to establish. In the early stages of partnership considerable energy is needed to build the partnership itself. Later on energy is also needed to maintain partnership. Skilled staffing and support are needed to manage a successful partnership. It is quite challenging and takes time to establish true community consensus on community issues/problems Difficulties Associated With Community Partnerships

20 Sustaining Successful Partnership: Governance Processes-a Case Harare Site Partnerships utilize different internal administrative structures. At the Harare site partnerships utilize a committee or task force structure organized around identified community sectors. Committees include members from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Committee leadership reflect partnership diversity. Regular and frequent meetings for all participants are held for example quarterly stakeholders meeting and an Annual research day workshop.

21 Meetings should be orderly and clearly directed, with agendas minutes etc. Decisions should be made in a participatory manner. Member led decision making reduces obstacles and facilitates agreement in some partnerships. Sustaining Successful Partnership: Governance Processes (Continued)

22 Since partnerships involve members from different disciplines, races, genders and cultures, the greatest challenge is to create equality and satisfactory working relationships. Partners need to develop mutual respect, understanding and trust in order for the association to develop. Allowing time at the start of partnerships for members to learn about each other is crucial. Sustaining Successful Partnership: Governance Processes ( Continued )

23 Cultivating patience and a willingness to learn and compromise are also important. Creating relationships of equality between community members and professionals is a major challenge. For partnerships to succeed professionals should identify with the ordinary community member. Sustaining Successful Partnership: Governance Processes

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