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Emerging Partnership Lessons from Diverse Contexts – new report

Published as part of the Promoting Effective Partnering (PEP) project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, the report draws on the experiences of partnership brokers worldwide.  It explores the emerging lessons about partnering in diverse contexts – exploring the factors at national and local levels that impact what partnering is possible.

PBA is one of 5 partners in the project. The other 4 are: The Collective Leadership Institute, Partnerships Resource Centre, Partnerships in Practice & The Partnering Initiative.

To read the report: http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/learning/recent-current-research/

For more information on the project, visit the PRC website: http://www.rsm.nl/prc/our-research/projects/promoting-effective-partnering-pep/

Power & Politics: the second installment of the Start Network story now published

Following on from ‘Dealing with Paradox’, ‘Power & Politics: The Consortium-building Story continues’ is now published. This is the second piece in the story of the consortium:

” Over a year has passed since the publication of the first case study and it is time for a re-visit. That it has been turbulent is clear – a great deal has happened and the picture is now, in some ways, very different…………

There is no doubt that there are exciting, possibly turbulent, definitely ambitious and potentially innovative times ahead. With so many internal and external factors in play, not even the most far-sighted can know whether the inherent paradoxes will prove insurmountable or will… continue to give the Consortium the challenge it needs to re-frame the game and make a serious difference to those that need it most”

Read the full piece here: http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/learning/

The first case study is also posted on the link above.

Fanning the Flame: The CDAC Network – A Movement for Change (2009 – 2014)

This new publication tells the story of the CDAC Network (Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities). From initial meetings through to the first Members Council, it charts the journey of the Networks formative years.

“What shines through is Network Members’ passion and commitment to ensuring that communicating with disaster affected communities becomes a consistent, resourced and predictable element of humanitarian preparedness and response, and their commitment to the CDAC Network as an important vehicle and voice in propelling this agenda forward.”

 

Click here to access the publication from the CDAC Network site.

Collaboration Complexity – a Myanmar case study

The partnership at the heart of this case study is from a project funded by the Government of Canada, managed by Agriteam. The project was designed to build skills in negotiation to enable stronger participation in law making and development planning amongst stakeholders in two locations in Burma / Myanmar as a contribution to the country’s transition from conflict and authoritarianism to democracy.

The work took place over the course of 7 months, and the case study was designed to be a mechanism for recording the process of collaboration. This was in terms of both the programme’s partnership structure and its collaborative delivery model in a country where voluntary collaboration has, until recently, been strictly confined to Buddhist charity.

Its focus was collaboration in action at the strategic, operational and community levels. The content was compiled by all 4 partners: Agriteam, Institute for International Development, The Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation and the Partnership Brokers Association, and was collated and structured in this case study format by PBA.

We hope this study is of use to those working in complex collaborative projects. Our desire is that this contributes to practitioners learning about collaboration – about the process, the relationships, the challenges and the potential for a new way of working.

Download the case study

Brokering local collaboration – latest publication

We are pleased to share the latest publication – Brokering Local Collaboration – looking at the impact of training World Vision staff at the local level in partnership brokering skills. Focused on World Vision’s local programme for child well-being, this inquiry was developed jointly between World Vision and PBA.

To read the publication click here

To read more publications by the Association, please click here

Good for Business? an enquiry into the impact of Microsoft’s investment in partnership brokers training

Over the last few years Microsoft has invested significantly in partnering capacity building. It chose to specifically focus on partnership brokering due to the fact that those fronting Microsoft partnerships were very often taking on the dual role of Microsoft representative to the partnership whilst also driving the partnering process forward to help it to add value to all parties.

“We believe the results are significant—for our employees,our partnerships, our business and wider society—but we wanted to be sure…hence this enquiry.”

The Partnership Brokers Association has completed an enquiry piece to look at the value the training has brought to the company. We hope you find the report useful, stimulating, and above all valuable, to building the picture of  the value of partnership brokering to an organisations partnering approach.

Download the report here

 

What do Partnership Brokers Do? An enquiry into practice

To coincide with the launch of the Association, we have published a comprehensive report into the role of partnership brokers in multi-stakeholder collaborations. This brings together the practical experiences of 250 accredited partnership brokers and seeks to help both partnership brokers and the wider partnering community to better understand the partnership broker’s role in building and maintaining effective, efficient and innovative partnerships.

The enquiry finds that partnership brokers can make a difference to partnerships in two key ways:

  1.  By helping partners address typical partnering challenges
  2. By improving a partnership’s efficiency, effectiveness and innovation

‘What do Partnership Brokers do?’ uses brokers’ personal reflections on their practical experiences of partnership brokering to draw out what the most common roles they play are, and what challenges they face.

Some of the key findings are that brokers:

  • Spend considerable time on relationship-building and relationship management.
  • Exercise a range of specific skills that also demonstrate approaches that partners can adopt and use themselves.
  • Assist partnerships by pulling partners together when they fall out with each other and by pushing them to achieve more.
  • See real value in becoming more ‘reflective’ in the way they approach their work.
  • Have a need to balance effective, valuable input and potential dependency on them.

This research starts the ball rolling in assisting a greater understanding of the role of a Partnership Broker. The vignettes from brokers in their own words convey a real need for effective brokering – if partnerships truly are to achieve their ambitious goals. There is more work to be done, and we invite brokers to share their experiences with the partnering community to continue the quest for learning.

 

Download the enquiry here

Partnership Brokering Project – Survey findings

A pleasing number of people from the global network of partnership brokers (114) responded enthusiastically to our recent survey. Responses indicate an interesting level of consensus about the way forward for this work and we (the staff team and the International Development Group) will be using the findings as a basis for the comprehensive development plan from January 2011.

We feel our general direction has been warmly endorsed and have summarised the findings below. A full summary of responses can be downloaded here.

Warmest good wishes for the Festive Season and for all the important work that will be undertaken by you and other partnership brokers in 2011!

Survey headlines include:

Training
  • Expansion of open Level 1 training courses to new regions warmly welcomed (SE Asia, Africa and USA specifically mentioned)
  • Strong endorsement of sector-specific Level 1 options – Health and Extractives sectors achieving highest rating
  • Respondents indicated a high need for single sector or individual organisation trainings for every sector – business, donors, governments, international agencies and NGOs
  • Some made the case for small groups for Level 1 making it possible to be highly personal and responsive to individual brokering challenges
  • Many endorsed Level 1 being a residential programme in a ‘retreat’ setting as an important aid to getting participants out of their comfort zones
  • Warm enthusiasm for other post-Level 1 training opportunities with the following emphasis:

–          Cross-sector exchanges (88 rated this as ‘high importance’)
–          New Leadership training (78 rated this as ‘high importance’)
–          Specialist topics (55 rated as ‘high importance’) – with negotiation, communication, reviewing and personal development being singled out as topics
–          Level 1 refresher courses (46 rated as ‘high importance’)

  • 55 respondents thought a Masters level qualification (Level 3) would ‘add significantly to knowledge and influence’ on partnership brokering –a long-distance course being an important component and a strong emphasis on practice
Research
  • An overwhelming majority, 88.7%, of respondents said that there was a demand / need for evidence demonstrating the impact of brokering.
  • The theme that received the highest marks in terms of ‘usefulness’ was “A comparative analysis of brokered versus un-brokered partnerships.”
  • Suggestions for other research topics were largely variations of the ones proposed (see LEARNING section of website for more details)
  • Research into internal versus external brokering was suggested
  • There was considerable enthusiasm for being involved in research from the respondents
Network, Institute & Influence
  • Strong interest in a community of practice as long as it was well moderated – with particular enthusiasm from many in developing regional chapters / networks (ie linking Level 1 graduates from different cohorts but living and working in the same region)
  • Interest in some international and regional events to ‘put brokering on the map’ with decision-makers and leaders in all sector
  • Considerable support for an international professional institute of partnership brokers – though some expressed a level of dissatisfaction with other professional institutes and hope that this would be different.