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PBA’s Ros Tennyson keynote at M&E Partnering for Success at Wageningen

The conference took place in the Netherlands, and had keynotes from Ros Tennyson and Bruce Byiers.

‘I believe that partnering is about sharing (not mitigating) risk; about co-creating (not dictating) solutions; and embracing (not avoiding) the principles of mutuality, transparency, diversity and equity. But it seems that it is surprisingly hard to partner effectively. How can partnership brokers help? How can partnership brokers use monitoring, evaluating, learning and capacity-building approaches to make partnerships have the best possible local impact and global influence?’ Ros Tennyson

For more information on the conference please visit the website: http://www.managingforimpact.org/event/conference-partnering-success-how-me-can-strengthen-partnerships-sustainable-development

To follow on twitter use the hashtag #MEpartnering

What’s your collaboration story?

We often hear partnership brokers asking for more case studies – more stories about what works and what doesn’t, how other partnerships work in different contexts, what’s new, and what needs to be next on the horizon. So here is your chance to contribute to the growing bank of resources for practitioners: a piece in the next issue of the only online journal dedicated to partnership brokering: Betwixt & Between.

http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/contribute-to-the-journal/

Abstracts are due on 31 March 2016, final piece is due 30 April. Why not give it a go? Never written for a journal before? our Editor, Surinder Hundal, will work with you through the process to get your piece ready for publishing.

Questions? just email us: info@partnershipbrokers.org

 

 

New report: Realities Behind the Rhetoric

This is the third case study in the series of the Start Network journey – the focus this time is on the staff team and the advisors, looking at the processes of a multi-stakeholder membership model.

We are the privileged that see everything the Start Network is doing. As alchemists, we are searching for that perfect chemical formula, but as magicians, we know intuition might just go farther, faster. So we constantly connect-the-dots between individuals, organisations, evidence, information, people. We don’t have to prove we are getting somewhere, because the evidence speaks for itself, and allows us to take the Start Network to the next level.” Matthew Kletzing, Manager: Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) team

The case study series is important for a three reasons. First, it is as close as we have to a historical record. Second, it enables us to share our emerging experience with others who wish to learn. Third, it unveils what is ordinarily hidden behind organisational boundaries. This series contributes significantly to our legitimacy as a humanitarian system change catalyst.” Sean Lowrie, Start Network Director

Read the report here: http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/learning/case-studies/

Visit the Start Network website: http://www.startnetwork.org/

Realities beneath the Rhetoric

PBA’s third case study for the START Network (January 2016) – whole series available

7 Probable Myths of Partnering by Catherine Russ

Over the years at the Partnership Brokers Association – working as we have in many different contexts and types of collaboration – we have come to believe that there are a number of partnership ‘truisms’ that may, in fact, not be true.

Myth #1 – “Collaboration is simple – it just takes common sense and good project management”

Collaboration is always complicated and often complex and failure rates of partnerships have been high over the past 20 years because too many key players have not understood this. In reality, partnering requires a high level of professional skill and a focus on process management.

Myth #2 – “Partnerships are the best way to address most problems in the humanitarian sector”

Many issues may be dealt with more efficiently and directly in a transactional model. It is an error to assume that partnering is the best mechanism for every intervention – it should be reserved for the truly intractable problems for which diversity of view and a wide range of interventions are essential.

Myth #3 – “Successful projects are the most important outcome of a partnership”

Project outcomes are, of course, important, but even more valuable outcomes may go way beyond projects – mind-set, policy, behavioural and / or system change may be far more important in the longer term.

Myth #4 – “For partnerships to work, all partners must have common objectives”

Partnerships must operate under a shared, overarching mission but beneath that, each partner is likely to have their own set of specific objectives. The best partnerships welcome this diversity and work hard to incorporate different approaches since this is most likely to lead to innovation and unexpected solutions.

 Myth #5 – “Agreement and consensus are essential for good partnering”

The aim is ‘win-win’ scenarios – this is most likely to be achieved if partners are ambitious for the partnership and work to arrive at alignment with a level of give and take rather than struggling for 100% agreement that inevitably leads to unsatisfactory compromise or collusion.

Myth #6 – “All partnerships need is a good leader”

The risks of a sole leader include on the one hand, over-dependence and on the other, power imbalance. Partnerships are a real opportunity to address questions of power and inequity.  Partnerships that work well are those that offer opportunities for new forms of shared / distributed leadership

Myth # 7 – “Partnerships are nothing new – they’re as old the hills”

It is probably the case that human beings have survived because they have found ways of collaborating and developing a healthy interdependence. However, given the huge challenges we currently face, the time is right to approach the collaborative imperative with a new focus and intentionality. There is an urgent need for those involved in partnerships to equip themselves for the 21st century with appropriate adaptive knowledge and skills coupled with the new modes of networking, societal innovation and communicating.

 

Catherine Russ is speaking at AidEX 2015

@CathRuss

Doing development differently: partnership brokering in a programme addressing urban poverty in Bangladesh

How do you respond when a community asks you to help them to access health services, education and jobs when your programme doesn’t have funding for these things?  Managers of the Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction Project (UPPR), a large programme managed by UNDP in Bangladesh, did so by becoming expert partnership brokers.  They helped to create win-win collaborations between the communities themselves and local NGOs, Government departments and companies.

Tom Harrison was so impressed with this approach that he has written a paper explaining what he found when he was commissioned by UNDP to evaluate this programme.  He explains how the brokering works in practice and why he thinks this is a valuable lesson for any organisations seeking to ‘do development differently’ in the new SDG world.

Read the paper here: Partnership Brokering in UPPR

 

 

New report: the art of partnering

Published by: Kings College London

The result of a cultural enquiry between the BBC & Kings College – exploring the role partnership plays in enabling publicly funded cultural institutions to enhance the quality and diversity of their work across the UK.

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/cultural/culturalenquiries/partnership/index.aspx

Partnership brokering is a role that needs professionalising. The skill set for the cultural sector should be more clearly identified and nurtured within organisations or as an external network of experienced practitioners.”

Ros Tennyson, PBA’s Development Director for Strategy & Services was on the Advisory Panel and attended the launch this week.

True partnership is radical, possibly revolutionary, difficult and testing as it should be. The rewards of transformation, of innovation, can be real and significant. But they must be hard fought and will be hard earned.” Sir John Tusa

Issue 5 of Betwixt & Between – the journal for partnership brokers – out now

And it is quite an issue. Here’s a taster of the 6 articles, followed by some useful links:

Diversity as an essential partnership ingredient: Marcia Dwonczyk

Addressing complex issues will need partners with different purpose, experiences, & approaches – such  diversity is key to innovation. There is a role for the Partnership Broker in supporting & challenging partners to stretch beyond the obvious partners, and work beyond their comfort zones.

Brokering shorter food supply chains: Rafal Serafin

“Partnership brokering is needed because collaboration… must encompass not just farmers and consumers, but also other stakeholders in the local food system, including public agencies, community groups, media, schools, researchers…. An investment in partnership brokering in this way is an investment in building local food systems as transformative partnerships, which over time build the skills, knowledge, know-how and markets that enable them to self-organise and sustain themselves, generating benefits for all participating partners.” 

Brokering in fast moving partnerships: A Digital Promise case study: Chelsea Waite

Fitting pace & style: How many partnerships start in a rush? Process & frameworks are appreciated & needed, however it doesn’t always play out that way. Here, the author took a resource from the Partnership Brokers Training Level 1 and adapted it to her working context.

Building competencies for co-creative partnering for local, adaptive development: Marisa Vojta

Organisations across the sectors must adapt their systems and processes, as well as their staff skills and competencies to become better partners if they want to remain relevant in the development space. Developing partnership brokering competencies in staff can change development practitioners’ mind-set from service- or solution-delivery to meaningful co-creation through facilitation of participatory processes.

Working with development giants – a brokers dilemma: Kenze Ndamukenze

Starting a complex partnership coordinator role with a key question: “What to do now?” – the importance of taking the time to understand the role of the coordinator – both with a partnership broker lens, and also through the eyes of the partners.

Exploring partnership culture – the partnership brokers role: Surinder Hundal

A greater understanding, awareness and sensitivity to organisational culture among organisations seeking to partner can increase their chances of partnering effectively. It also helps partnership brokers. They observe behaviours and group dynamics at work in the day-to-day life of the emerging partnership. Understanding a partnership in terms of its emerging organisational culture and in relation to the organisational culture of the partners creates an opportunity for partnership brokers to make practical and tactful interventions where required. Ethnographic approaches can be useful in understanding cultural dimensions of the partnering process.

 

Quick links

To view this issue, alongside the Editorial, and also past issues: http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/journal/

To find out how to contribute an article: http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/contribute-to-the-journal/

To subscribe to receive future issues: http://partnershipbrokers.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=2db7a18f80d8c273e1dd07b49&id=748efdc7f6

Have a question? let us know: info@partnershipbrokers.org

 

 

 

Partnership Brokers Training heads to Wellington, NZ

We are running a Level 1 training in Wellington in October – all details here: http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/training/level-1/

We are working with Thought Partners and Inspiring Communities. The training is 20 -23 October 2015.

Seeking Partnership Brokers for Learning

Action Against Hunger are recruiting for 5 Regional Learning Advisors: http://www.acfin-hr.net/jobs/positions.php?hq=18&id=1258&lang=EN

Deadline for applications is May 10 2015.