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The humanitarian sector through the eyes of partnership brokers – Betwixt & Between issue 4 out now

Issue 4 of Betwixt & Between – the journal of partnership brokering – is out now. It is a special issue focusing on the humanitarian sector, and has articles covering the following:

  • Hard-earned lessons for putting the partnership principles into practice
  • The servant leadership approach and humanitarian collaboration
  • Passing on the mantle of humanitarian collaboration across generations
  • Develloping a soft humanitarian field – improving doing and being through creative partnership brokering
  • Supporting civilian protection as humanitarian action – a brokering experience from the DRC
  • Value for money in partnerships – a challenge to partnership brokers

Read the full articles here

To contribute to the journal click here. The next issue is an open issue.

The humanitarian partnership broker as change agent

A new blog by Catherine Russ on the Humanitarian Practice Network talks through the barriers to effective partnerships and their management, and what a new approach may look like. The skilling-up of partnership brokers could assist the evolution in building partnerships that are fit for purpose in complex environments. This requires a new way of looking at funding and supporting partnerships.

“What is needed is an approach that fosters and embeds a partnering mindset and creates conditions of trust, creativity and innovation – all increasingly essential conditions for finding integrated solutions to complex problems and building legitimacy and buy-in from all partners for sustained systemic change.”

Read the blog here

 

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

PBA Board expansion

2014 kicked off with a flying start for PBA, bringing on both changes in the Board, and the appointment of 2 Development Directors.

The PBA Board has grown from 4 to 6. One of our original Board members– Kwasi A. Boateng has stepped down from the Board due to time commitments and to provide the opportunity for others to contribute their experience as Board Members to this ‘wonderful organisation’ (his words, not ours!). Kwasi will remain on the Members Council and an active alumnus of the organisation.We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Kwasi for his steadying presence and spirited support of PBA’s establishment and growth.

The January board meeting confirmed the appointment of 3 new Board Members.  This is in line with PBA’s drive to bring in a wealth of experience and fresh ideas to take forward our plans as a fit for purpose, small yet robust organisation. The 3 individuals are all alumni of the organisation, and come from very different backgrounds: Sam Aiboni works for Shell in Nigeria, Ian Dixon is the founding Director of Dixon Partnering Solutions and hosts the training in Australia. Marieke Hounjet is with Start Network in London. See the Governance page for a short biography of each Board Member.

PBA grows the international team

In addition to strengthening the PBA Board, we have appointed 2 new Development Directors to carry forward our training and learning work.

The new Development Director for Training is Julie Mundy. With over 20 years of experience in international development, Julie has been working as an independent partnerships specialist and with PBA for many years, as a trainer and mentor with practitioners, but also as a sound advisor to PBA in its transition over the last few years. Julie is based in Australia.

Leda Stott joins us as the Development Director for Learning. Leda has been involved in partnership brokering work for many years, and has worked with us as a mentor since the beginning of the Level 2 Accreditation course. Leda is based in Spain and has an impressive track record in research and teaching about partnerships and research methodology (at EOI Business School and the Technical University of Madrid in Spain  and Oxford Brookes in the UK). She has most recently worked with us to develop the new Level 2 Research Certificate.

Julie and Leda join Ros Tennyson as Development Director of Strategy. We are very much looking forward to expanding the internationally based team, and implementing our plans over the course of the next year.

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

Call for abstracts – Betwixt & Between – Issue 3

The next issue of Betwixt & Between – the  journal of partnership brokering – comes out in May and we welcome your abstracts.

This next issue is completely open – for any burning topics and developments in the profession that you would like to contribute to the brokering community.

Download the details here

We are looking for articles from practitioners in all these areas – be it frontline experience or conceptual frameworks. You don’t have to be an alumni of the Partnership Brokers Association to contribute – we welcome abstracts from all those working in this field.

If you are interested in contributing to the journal we invite your article by 1st March 2014. If you would like to contact us to discuss your piece, please email us. To view past issues of the journal: http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/journal/

Dealing with paradox

To address increasingly complex needs and solve pressing challenges for which single agency solutions seem largely inadequate, new forms of multi-stakeholder collaboration are emerging across the globe.  Do they live up to expectations? Are the inevitable transaction costs involved in managing diverse (and sometimes divergent) interests worth it? Does such collaboration lead to bold steps forward or to settling for the lowest common denominator?

The Association has been working for the past few months with the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies (recently re-named START Network) which comprises 18 lead agencies working in the humanitarian sector who have evolved a collaborative way of working that both designs and delivers interventions and seeks to challenge and change the way the sector works for the better. We have worked with the Board and with the staff team (operating, essentially, as partnership brokers) to deepen understanding of what it takes to collaborate productively.

Dealing with Paradox – Stories and Lessons from the first three years of Consortium-building is  an output from this work. It tells the story of Consortium, from its earliest moments (conversations in a pub) through a highly successful period of ‘joined up’ aid in response to the Pakistan floods and the drought in the Horn of Africa followed by a funding crisis and how the group has subsequently worked systematically (and sometimes unsystematically) to build (and re-brand) the collaboration into a bold new global venture.

“If we can hold together no matter what comes next, we can really have huge influence on the global humanitarian architecture and make a serious difference to how aid is  delivered in future.”

Nick Gutmann, Chair, START Network

It’s a good read and has, we hope, genuine insights and lessons for others involved in this kind of venture. This is a ‘work in progress’ – watch this space for a regular (6-monthly) up-date and let us have your views on what you read.

To read an experienced humanitarian professionals blog on the piece click here

To read more publications by the Association, please click here

For more information on START Network please click here

Multi-agency collaboration in the humanitarian sector

Applications now open for Partnership Brokers Training 4-day training course for those brokering multi-agency collaboration in the humanitarian sector.

“The course was highly applicable to the type of work I do with consortia and networks, and the kind of challenges I am faced with on a day-to-day basis. The material was relevant and helped give perspective to those challenges. The course also enabled the participants to step back and reflect on our own work in relation to what we were learning. I really appreciated the whole experience and went back to my role energised and ready for action.” Rachel Houghton, CDAC Network

Dates: 13-14 and 16-17 January 2014, London. The training is run in association with the Start Network, CDAC Network, and the Humanitarian and Leadership Academy.

Due to limited space, you are advised to get your application in promptly to avoid disappointment. The deadline for applications is 02 December 2013. Click here for some brief information. For more details and application information: http://partnershipbrokers.org/w/training/level-1/

Social Enterprise Spotlight: Building Capacity for Partnerships

Ros Tennyson, PBA’s Development Director is currently in Canada co-training the first Level 1 in Calgary with JS Daw & Associates. In between the training and moderating a session at the forthcoming Social Enterprise World Forum, Ros has been interviewed by SiG (Social Innovation Generation) to look at partnerships role in social change:

“collaboration is not business as usual. It takes reframed skills and it takes the kind of people who are willing to adapt and move outside their own comfort zone perhaps, for the benefit of a bigger purpose. And actually when the chips are down – however liberal or liberated we think we are – we are all fond of our comfort zones. In fact, the challenge to change towards a genuinely more collaborative model is quite a big one.”

http://www.sigeneration.ca/social-enterprise-spotlight-building-capacity-partnerships/