Betwixt & Between

Issue #5:

dedicated to promoting knowledge exchange on partnership brokering

Browse Issues:
Issue #6, Issue #5, Issue #4, Issue #3, Issue #2, Issue #1

The content in this Issue continues our search for evidence of the role partnership brokers play in helping partners deliver effective outcomes. Through their personal and professional perspectives and experiences, we are able to relish the diversity that exists within the partnership brokering world. Diversity is the main theme in Marcia Dwonczyk’s article, where she argues that it is an essential ingredient for collaboration efforts and can add value when dealing with complex issues which transformational partnerships seek to address. Acknowledging that diversity is not without its process, cultural or behavioural challenges, she goes on to explore how partnership brokers can effectively involve diversity in partnering. Marcia poses an interesting question around whether we are truly willing to be taken out of our comfort zones and have our preconceptions, assumptions and ways of working to be challenged In her article, Chelsea Waite describes one particular case of contextual adaptation. Her starting point was to assess whether the Partnering Cycle (developed by The Partnering Initiative) would fit the needs of small, fast-moving organisations involving few partners with more obvious commonalities and short timelines. Chelsea describes the streamlined Partnering Cycle, along with the tools and strategies, she has developed as an internal broker to fit the pace of her partnership’s work. Rafal Serafin’s article provides insights into how partnership brokering... Read the article

Diversity as an essential partnership ingredient

Abstract: Diversity is an essential ingredient for collaboration efforts if new insights are to be gained as the basis for the complex issues transformational partnerships seek to address. There is increasing evidence of the value that diverse stakeholders (“beyond the usual suspects”) bring to collaboration. Diversity also brings challenges of - finding respectful and inclusive processes which don’t privilege those with certain education, roles or understanding; seeking out people who wouldn’t ordinarily be engaged; and conflict- different... Read the article

Brokering shorter food supply chains

Abstract: How can we meet the growing demand from consumers who want lower cost, quality and tasty food and want to know where it comes from and how it is produced? One solution is to cut out intermediaries and shorten the social and geographical distance between consumers and food producers. This raises the important challenge of working out ways of organising geographically dispersed smallholders and family farms into food systems, which can provide quality food at scale and in a systematic and sustained way. The need is to organise collaborative arrangements with farmers in order to access... Read the article

Brokering in fast-moving partnerships: a Digital Promise case study

Abstract: This paper examines strategies for partnership brokering among small, fast-moving organisations where partnerships are crucial but the broker is required to skip or streamline some of the steps in the Partnering Cycle in order to fit the pace of the partnership’s work. In contrast with complex sustainable and community development examples, our partnerships at Digital Promise often involve fewer partners with more obvious... Read the article

Building competencies for co-creative partnering for local, adaptive development

Abstract: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be adopted by the international community in September 2015 are set to drive development processes and finances over the next 15 years. It is widely recognised that if the SDGs are to succeed, then many organisations including INGOs will need to move away from a top-down, donor-driven, solution-delivery focused... Read the article

Working with development giants – a broker’s dilemma

Abstract: In 2009, ZOA, the international non-governmental organisation founded in The Netherlands, teamed up with Care Netherlands, Save the Children Netherlands and HealthNet TPO to set up the Dutch Consortium for Rehabilitation (DCR). This collaborative venture focuses on the recovery of (post-) conflict zones in Africa through infrastructure reconstruction, strengthening the social coherence of communities and creating employment. DCR has established the Pamoja project to implement its plans in... Read the article

Exploring partnership culture – the partnership broker’s role

Abstract: A multi-stakeholder partnership brings together people with different skills, outlooks and personalities from sometimes dramatically different organisational and social cultures. This influences their organisational and cultural adaptability to shape and nurture the culture of the emerging partnership. It also raises some interesting questions about the role of the partnership broker in this process: how do we engage partners in understanding... Read the article