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From the conference Competence 50+ 2007 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

From the conference Competence 50+ 2007 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Education
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  • 1. Partnership A model for sustainable change Some key success factors Leda Stott Patrik Jonsson Competence 50+ Gothenburg, Sweden June 19th 2007
  • 2. EU-perspective on Partnership <ul><li>Stimulates innovation and creative thinking in problem solving activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant measures, as the problem(s) and solution(s) have been defined by the involved/affected parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Bigger political influence through the fact that more partners are involved in problem solving activities. </li></ul>
  • 3. Partnership weaknesses <ul><li>Partnerships have an unclear status and it is difficult to determine and claim responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>The partnership composition is uniform with a majority representing the public sector. </li></ul><ul><li>Several partners have joined partnerships to protect their own interests. </li></ul>
  • 4. “ Because you understand (from experience) that you cannot achieve your goals by working on your own…and you believe that by working cooperatively with other sectors you can achieve greater innovation, impact, scale, reform and / or sustainability…” The power of the partnership idea
  • 5. Collaboration, Common vision, Complementarity, Compromise, Consensus, Consultation, Creativity, Democracy, Engagement, Empowerment, Equality, Equity, Exchange, Fairness, Honesty, Inclusion, Innovation, Involvement, Mutuality, Openness, Participation, Reciprocity, Respect, Sharing, Togetherness, Trust, Transparency, Win-win situations… Partnerships enable…
  • 6. Ambiguous, Blurred, Challenging, Competitive, Complicated, Demanding, Difficult, Draining, Exhausting, Hard work, Laborious, Messy, Problematical, Protracted, Risky, Strenuous, Tedious, Time-consuming, Tiring, Tough, Unaccountable, Unclear, Undemocratic, Unfair, Unruly, Untidy, Wearisome… But partnerships are also…
  • 7. Being realistic “ The language of partnership may be very attractive …but in practice…may conceal far more than it facilitates …” David Runciman “ If you can achieve the same goals by any other means – don’t partner!” Nelson Phillips PCCP lectures, University Of Cambridge, September 2004
  • 8. Understanding partnership <ul><li>An association between people in business where the risks and benefits are shared </li></ul><ul><li>A relationship between people (marriage, games-playing, dancing) </li></ul>SOURCE: OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
  • 9. Balancing risks & benefits SOURCE: PARTNERS IN ACTION (THE PARTENRING INTITIATIVE AND UNSSC) <ul><li>Access to resources, information & knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>More effective products / services </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation and creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced reputation & credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation impact </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Resource implications </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation challenges </li></ul>Benefits Risks
  • 10. Working with multiple relationships Organisations Individuals
  • 11. Starting the partnership “ The preparatory work is not just the first – it is the most important.” EQUAL Partnership Practitioner
  • 12. Key pointers SOURCE: BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS FOR DEVELOPMENT (BPD) <ul><li>Review the context </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and select partners carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Map and value resources </li></ul><ul><li>Assess drivers thoroughly </li></ul>
  • 13. Reviewing the context <ul><li>Urgency of need </li></ul><ul><li>Historical / social / political / economic situation </li></ul><ul><li>Degree of stability / levels of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship histories / sector ‘track records’ </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional rules and regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure from non-partners (e.g. external donors, related pressures for wider reform) </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of resources </li></ul><ul><li>Existence of an ‘enabling environment’ </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of partnering competencies / capacities </li></ul>ADAPTED FROM: PARTNERS IN ACTION (THE PARTNERING INTITIATIVE AND UNSSC)
  • 14. Selecting partners carefully <ul><li>Criteria should include: </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Legitimacy </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Resource commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Readiness to deliver </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul>Allows us to set parameters around who should participate
  • 15. Mapping resources <ul><li>Access </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Influence </li></ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul><ul><li>In-kind support </li></ul><ul><li>Publicity </li></ul><ul><li>Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Local knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Political support </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Political liaison </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul>What does each partner bring to the partnership?
  • 16. Value diverse contributions SOURCE: GUY VENABLES, THE PARTNERING INITIATIVE, IBLF
  • 17. Understanding different drivers <ul><li>Drivers are the individual and organisational ‘pushes’ and ‘pulls’ that determine and condition behaviour and action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>motivate partnership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disincentives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discourage partnership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obligations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>commitments to provide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inputs/outputs and participate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in partnership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sanctions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>negative consequences or penalties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for not participating </li></ul></ul>
  • 18. “ The most effective partnerships are tied with no uncertainty to the core business, or core interests, of each organisation that comes to the table…if a “business” case for each partner (more broadly than in strict financial terms) cannot be made convincingly, then forget it. ” Ken Caplan ‘ The Purist’s Partnership’ Partnership Matters1, 2003 Assessing incentives
  • 19. <ul><li>Example from an EQUAL partnership in Sweden </li></ul><ul><li>July 2000: informal 6-member working group established from a first meeting of 20 county organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Project leader employed to draw up “ideas inventory” from municipalities working with EQUAL </li></ul><ul><li>May 2001: 1 day meeting held with 50 participants to brainstorm EQUAL ideas </li></ul><ul><li>30 ideas outlined in detail - 12 selected as worthwhile projects - 7 projects financed and realised </li></ul><ul><li>14 partners gradually engaged for partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Other authorities & organisations were involved in parallel in vision process for whole county. </li></ul>Starting a new partnership SOURCE: EQUAL GUIDE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS, 2004
  • 20. Maintaining the partnership <ul><li>“ This is the most difficult time – the honeymoon is over and the real work begins.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ How can partnerships create structures and systems for internal coordination and external legitimacy while also being flexible and innovative?” </li></ul><ul><li>EQUAL partnership practitioners </li></ul>
  • 21. Key pointers <ul><li>Develop clear & accountable governance structures & systems </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage diversity, innovation & flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Promote and maintain engagement internally </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate legitimacy & credibility externally </li></ul>
  • 22. Promoting accountability <ul><li>Compliance – (“Being held to account”) </li></ul><ul><li>Partners know what is required of them to achieve objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Partners have signed up to clear standards and commitments </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency – (“Giving an account”) </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible information exists on partner decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Related actions, performance and outcomes are clear </li></ul><ul><li>Responsiveness – (“Taking account”) </li></ul><ul><li>Partners can publicly demonstrate why particular decisions/actions have been taken </li></ul>SOURCE: ACCOUNTABILITY & BPD
  • 23. Accountable Governance SOURCE: BPD WATER & SANITATION <ul><li>Risk factors taken into account in voting and decision-making statements </li></ul><ul><li>Channels available for querying of particular decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Review schedules of roles and responsibilities available </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible info on voting rights and decision making procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly stated communications mechanisms </li></ul><ul><li>Minutes of meetings available </li></ul><ul><li>Shared job descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Statement on internal decision making procedures for each partner </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational and partnership organograms </li></ul><ul><li>Job descriptions reflecting responsibilities and tasks adequately </li></ul><ul><li>Clear decision-making forums and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly defined roles and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Clear succession plans </li></ul>Responsiveness (taking account) Transparency (giving an account) Compliance (being held to account)
  • 24. Ensure clarity at all times SOURCE: GUY VENABLES, THE PARTNERING INITIATIVE/IBLF
  • 25. <ul><li>Example from an EQUAL partnership in Austria </li></ul><ul><li>Central decisions made by all partners (definition of central decision made during first meeting) </li></ul><ul><li>All decisions to be agreed by consensus. If this not achieved, qualified majority of 2/3 must agree (10 of 14 partners) </li></ul><ul><li>Decision on changes of terms and conditions must be unanimous </li></ul><ul><li>No rules for excluding a partner but guidelines on how to handle conflict (mediation strategies) </li></ul>Decision-making SOURCE: EQUAL GUIDE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS, 2004
  • 26. <ul><li>Partnerships need strong internal and external communication systems & procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Internal - to promote ‘trust’ among partners and ensure organisational buy-in to the partnership. </li></ul><ul><li>External - to stakeholders and general public in order to mainstream work of the partnership. </li></ul>Communicating well SOURCE: PARTNERS IN ACTION (THE PARTENRING INTITIATIVE AND UNSSC)
  • 27. <ul><li>Continual (appropriate) information flow </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledging achievements </li></ul><ul><li>Capturing / disseminating the ‘real’ stories </li></ul><ul><li>Ground rules for going public </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring newcomers are ‘up to speed’ </li></ul><ul><li>Meticulous (and engaging) record-keeping </li></ul>Good communication involves… SOURCE: PARTNERS IN ACTION (THE PARTENRING INTITIATIVE AND UNSSC)
  • 28. <ul><li>Example from an EQUAL partnership in Portugal </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated staff member responsible for project information circulation </li></ul><ul><li>Regular partner meetings (once a month with all partners) </li></ul><ul><li>Production of meeting notes/ minutes distributed among partners </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly activity maps to make partner roles and responsibilities clear </li></ul><ul><li>Shared information about partners and their work outside partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Periodic newsletter about project with contributions from all partners </li></ul><ul><li>Regular internal evaluation meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions sessions about communication </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of informal connections </li></ul>Internal Communication SOURCE: EQUAL GUIDE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS, 2004
  • 29. <ul><li>Tips from partnership practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Establish media relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Choose someone to communicate the work of the project externally </li></ul><ul><li>Create links and communication channels with official structures </li></ul><ul><li>Produce newsletters, press releases etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Use internet platforms and websites </li></ul><ul><li>Hold and participate in seminars and conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Give training on information issues </li></ul>External communication SOURCE: EQUAL GUIDE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS, 2004
  • 30. Mainstreaming & moving on <ul><li>“ Partnerships are not meant to be permanent but a transitional mechanism until practices become institutionalised or transactions-based.” </li></ul><ul><li>Building Partnerships for Development (BPD) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The deadliest thing for a partnership is to perpetuate it for its own sake.” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>EQUAL Partnership practitioner </li></ul>
  • 31. Key pointers <ul><li>Move beyond individuals to systems </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt and institutionalise results </li></ul><ul><li>Review and assess </li></ul><ul><li>Manage exits and endings well </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate and share partnership learning </li></ul>
  • 32. Moving beyond individuals <ul><li>Promotes : </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability of work/activity </li></ul><ul><li>Greater reach, scope & influence </li></ul><ul><li>Development of skills & capacities </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational change </li></ul><ul><li>Access to new networks & contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Stronger/improved external profile </li></ul><ul><li>Learning opportunities </li></ul>SOURCE: ADAPTED FROM PARTNERS IN ACTION (THE PARTENRING INTITIATIVE AND UNSSC)
  • 33. <ul><li>Tips from partnership practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Involve different individuals from management of partner organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicate someone to bring organisations on board </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate information about partnership in different organisational newsletters </li></ul><ul><li>Hold events on different partner premises </li></ul><ul><li>Have ‘partnership’ lunches to disseminate information </li></ul><ul><li>Circulate reports from different partner institutions at partnership meetings </li></ul>Getting internal ‘buy-in’ SOURCE: EQUAL GUIDE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS, 2004
  • 34. <ul><li>Tips from partnership practitioners </li></ul><ul><li>Work with: </li></ul><ul><li>Other partnerships: exchange programmes, meetings, workshops & on-going dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Media: Specialised, local and official press, newspapers, radio, TV </li></ul><ul><li>Internet: Websites, internet platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Professional organisations: Journals, brochures, publications, legal texts </li></ul><ul><li>Academic links: Universities, colleges, journals, newsletters, conferences, seminars </li></ul><ul><li>Wider networks: National Thematic Groups, learning networks, conferences </li></ul>Wider mainstreaming SOURCE: EQUAL GUIDE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS, 2004
  • 35. Promoting organisational change “ Ultimately, institutional reform may be a more important outcome of a partnership than any other… if the partnership leads to a government department functioning more creatively and efficiently; … or to a business contributing more vigorously or systematically to development in all aspects of its operations; or to an NGO having a much larger-scale impact – then the ‘outcomes’ of the partnership will have become significantly more substantial than its ‘outputs’…” Ros Tennyson, The Partnering Toolbook, 2004
  • 36. Reviewing and assessing <ul><li>On-going review processes enable us to gain: </li></ul><ul><li>An assessment of the results of the collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Are/have partnership activities had an impact on the ground? </li></ul><ul><li>An assessment of how the partners work together </li></ul><ul><li>Is/was the partnership approach the best way of meeting partners goals? </li></ul>
  • 37. Acting on reviews <ul><ul><li>Knowledge from a review should assist partners to make decisions about whether they: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are satisfied with partnership’s progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have concerns but will settle for remaining </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are dissatisfied and wish to re-negotiate terms of engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See no further benefits and exit </li></ul></ul>
  • 38. <ul><li>Manage them well (whatever the background issue or the exit situation) </li></ul><ul><li>Be transparent among partners at all times </li></ul><ul><li>(clarify what is happening) </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate achievements / contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Spend enough time debriefing </li></ul><ul><li>Value and capture knowledge / experience </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer knowledge to others </li></ul><ul><li>(as concisely & vividly as possible) </li></ul><ul><li>Agree an external relations position </li></ul><ul><li>(in advance and if necessary) </li></ul>Exits and endings SOURCE: PARTNERS IN ACTION (THE PARTENRING INTITIATIVE AND UNSSC)
  • 39. <ul><li>Example from an EQUAL partnership in Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>Early internal meetings held around possible future joint work </li></ul><ul><li>Identified clear common goals, new partners who should be involved, old partners who wanted to go their own way </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership seen as ever-changing infrastructure - coming together, dissolving & reforming in different sets around labour issues with core value focus on equality / inclusion / progression </li></ul>Mainstreaming & moving on SOURCE: EQUAL GUIDE TO DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS, 2004
  • 40. Accountability Innovation Task-oriented Policy-Oriented Emphasis on Sustainable Delivery Maximising influence and impact SOURCE:BPD
  • 41. <ul><li>Adapting Advocating Allocating Assessing Assimilating Awareness-raising Brainstorming Brokering Building Capacity-building Challenging Changing Checking Coaching Collecting Communicating Consensus-building Considering Creating Debating Delivering Discussing Disseminating Encouraging Engaging Experimenting Exploring Evaluating Identifying Implementing Influencing Informing Initiating Innovating Leading Learning Listening Mainstreaming Managing Measuring Mediating Meeting Mentoring Monitoring Negotiating Networking Persuading Planning Preparing Problem-solving Promoting Prompting Questioning Record-keeping Reporting Researching Respecting Responding Reviewing Revising Scoping Seeking Selecting Selling Sharing Studying Supporting Testing Thinking Time-keeping Tracking Training Waiting… </li></ul>Draw on partnering skills!
  • 42. Partnership Brokering <ul><li>Person / organisation that works as active intermediary between partners </li></ul><ul><li>Adapts to different roles over time as the situation requires </li></ul><ul><li>Uses range of different skills to create a positive & empowering learning environment </li></ul>SOURCE: THE BROKERING GUIDEBOOK
  • 43. <ul><li>Knowledge / analysis / thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding (of the past) </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative skills </li></ul><ul><li>Precise use of language </li></ul><ul><li>Professional detachment </li></ul>Partnering as a “science”
  • 44. Partnering as an “art” <ul><li>Insight / imagination / feeling </li></ul><ul><li>People skills </li></ul><ul><li>Active listening </li></ul><ul><li>Personal engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Vision (of the future) </li></ul>Magritte
  • 45. <ul><li>AccountAbility www.accountability21.net/ </li></ul><ul><li>Building Partnerships for Development www.bpdws.org </li></ul><ul><li>EQUAL http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/equal/ </li></ul><ul><li>EQUAL Guide for Development Partnerships, Learning from the experience of EQUAL partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/equal/about/key-doc_en.cfm </li></ul><ul><li>Partners in Action www.unssc.org/web1/programmes/partners/ </li></ul><ul><li>The Partnering Initiative http://ThePartneringInitiative.org </li></ul>Further information

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