Betwixt & Between

Topic: Action Enquiry

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

Abstract: In 2013, the Start Network (formerly the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies) commissioned a series of case studies to document its emerging experience as a “humanitarian system change catalyst”. Three case studies have been published to date, relating the story of the consortium from its inception to its current state and looking at the organisational and human dimensions of a multi-stakeholder membership model. In this article, the author provides a critical review of the case studies. A review of the Start Network case studies  In 2013, the Start Network (formerly the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies) commissioned a series of case studies to document its emerging experience as a “humanitarian system change catalyst”. Three case studies have been published to date, relating the story of the organisational and human dimensions of the consortium’s multi-stakeholder membership model. The story behind the building and development of the Start Network is recognisable; it is also highly inspiring, particularly with regard to the development the Network has gone through and the courageous choices made at decisive moments. Started as a response to DFID’s call for proposals to strengthen the capacity of NGOs for disaster response, it has grown into a truly independent network of organisations working on new business models for humanitarian action. Started as a consortium of five organisations, at the time of writing it is a consortium... Read the article

The value of reflective practice for partnership brokers

Abstract: Reflective practice is the primary component of the Partnership Brokers Associations (PBA)’s Accreditation Programme, where during the four-month mentored period, partnership brokers are required to keep a reflective log book to show evidence of their practice. Participants report mixed experience of reflective practice. For many partnership brokers, reflection is a new discipline, generating some uncertainty about the process, value, and indeed the discipline it requires to set aside time... 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

Increasing reach and impact of partnership brokers through training

Abstract: The Partnership Brokers Association (PBA) is the only entity running a unique international professional training programme for brokers, promoting partnership brokering and supporting a sizeable community of partnership brokers worldwide. Drawing on PBA's training model, World Vision International (WV) has developed an equally unique internal training programme aimed at embedding partnership brokering within its organisation... Read the article

New mechanisms for brokering collaboration: the emergence of partnership brokering units and organisations

Abstract: This paper explores the interesting phenomenon of units or organisations that have been developed with a specific and recognisable partnership brokering remit – even if that term is not explicitly... Read the article

The role of partnership brokers in building a sense of ownership

Abstract: ‘A sense of ownership’ is a common expression in the partnership brokering world. Partnership brokers may question to what extent the partners, and hence the success of the partnership, depends on them. The current partnership brokering discourse has not delved deeply into the issue of ownership. Based on the author’s own experience as a partnership broker for a consortium of nineteen NGOs, this paper explores the importance of the partnership... Read the article

Progressive review and evaluation as a trust building mechanism in partnerships

Abstract:  When individuals and partners baulk at the thought of being evaluated, they may have formed an expectation that the proposed ‘review and evaluation’ is masquerading as an exercise in criticism and passing judgment, ‘blaming and shaming’ and issuing penalties. Such negative connotations are not conducive to building strong, open and resilient partnerships.... Read the article

Evaluating Partnership Broker Approach: A methodological perspective

Abstract:  There is increasing interest in generating substantive evidence of the impact that brokered partnerships have on the outcomes of multi-stakeholder partnerships. Evaluations of partnership broker approaches and indeed of the performance of individual brokers themselves contribute to such evidence. But what methodologies can be used to conduct such evaluations? Drawing from her experience of conducting an evaluation of... Read the article

Employment & social inclusion partnerships in Europe

Adding Value: The broker role in partnerships for employment and social inclusion in Europe Abstract: In Europe, the “partnership principle” is promoted as a policy instrument for improving employment and social inclusion and supported by Structural Funds such as the European Social Fund (ESF). Within this context partnership broker organisations play a vital role. However, while much is known about knowledge transfer about different partnership approaches and activities, far less is known... Read the article

Intermediary Mechanisms in Humanitarian Collaboration

Abstract: This article is based on the findings of a research study and report on the role of 15 intermediary mechanisms- ‘platforms’[1]- and how they promote and foster private sector collaboration for disasters and humanitarian action[2].  The research was conducted by the Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College London, with support provided by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Through in-depth interviews as well as desk-based research, the study sought to understand the origins, role, and the various... Read the article