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Messages on Principles and Partnership in Conflict Setting

In 2020 PBA worked on a research on principles and partnerships in conflict setting in South Sudan and Nigeria. The research was commissioned by a coalition of organisations – Caritas Norway, DanChurchAid (DCA), Kindernothilfe (KNH), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA).
Below you can find four key messages derived from the research and actions to be taken. For the the full report “Towards principled humanitarian action in conflict contexts. Understanding the role of partnershipsfollow this link.

Download: Messages on Principles and Partnership in Conflict Setting (pdf)

Next BPR cohort is enrolling now!

The Certificate in Brokering Partnerships Remotely is a five week course delivered online. We have just opened enrolments for our cohort. The course dates are: 5 May – 2 June 2021. Weekly webinars will be hosted on Wednesdays at 3:00PM UTC (8:00 Vancouver & Seattle/ 10:00 Lima, Bogota, Mexico City/ 11:00 Washington DC & Ottawa / 12:00 Brasilia / 16:00 London / 17:00 Madrid).
The course is delivered in English but some of the materials (Course Manual) can be available in Spanish and Portuguese. Participants can also choose to submit their journals in Spanish or Portuguese instead of English.

To get more information and register for the course please visit the Remote Partnering website.

Please download the course flier and share it in your networks!

Brokering Partnerships Remotely in 2021

Over the last year, being able to collaborate effectively on partnerships, networks and alliances that are operating remotely has become a ‘must-have’ skill. Our online Brokering Partnerships Remotely course helps to grow your skills, confidence and competencies in brokering partnerships at a distance. This training is an opportunity to experiment and test out novel methods and solutions for the ‘new normal’ of operating remotely. Learnings from the course can be put to immediate use in your day to day partnering work.

Three regional cohorts have been planned for 2021 (more information and to register):

  • Europe, Africa, Asia: 3 – 31 March 2021 with Bulbul Baksi, Ros Tennyson and Lola Gostelow
  • Americas cohort: 5 May – 2 June 2021 with Catherine Russ, Helga van Kampen and Jocelyne Daw
  • Oceania and South-East Asia: 18 August – 15 September 2021 with Julie Mundy and Kate Hayes

This course is also offered on commissioned basis. If your organisation might be interested, please contact info@partnershipbrokers.org.

 

Assessing the effectiveness of partnership brokering

Our first feature in the 2021 Stories from Practice series presents a paper on self-assessment and measuring the value of a partnership broker’s role and work.

The PBA Accreditation journey invited US-based BETHANY CRAIG to take an evidence-based approach to her performance as an internal partnership broker for the American Red Cross.

Assessing her effectiveness to understand how her role is contributing to better partnering outcomes was pivotal for strengthening capacity building across the organisation.

“This paper analyses how the process of reflection informed the approaches to design and test a framework for assessing the effectiveness of partnership brokering. As an internal partnership broker for the American Red Cross one of the author’s key responsibilities focused on building the capacity of colleagues to collaborate well with external partners. The paper examines how understanding one’s own capacities and how the process of partnership brokering is effectively adding value is positively impacting organisational learning.”

Bethany’s paper offers an excellent example of developing a practical tool that internal brokers can use to measure the effectiveness and impact of their collaborative work.

Download the paper here and let’s hear about your evaluation approaches. How do you make the impact of your partnership brokering role more visible? Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Cultivating equity through applying a gender lens

Before we are closing this turbulent year, we would like to leave you with a thought-provoking and highly relevant story from practice.

In her PBA Accreditation paper Australia-based SAMANTHA GROVER shares about her experiences in integrating gender and equity as values in her partnership work. The relevance of a gender lens in partnership brokering and its contribution towards helping to establish equity moves beyond the man and woman relationship aspects.

Samantha works on environmental issues in an academic context. This invites another layer of significance to her work in that environmentalists consider the exploitation of nature to be supported by a patriarchal framework, while feminists speak about collaboration with nature, which resonates well with the partnering framework.

We all have a gender, but few of us are gender experts. Sustainability unarguably requires greater equity, and yet our internal and external processes are steeped in gendered institutional practices. As partnership brokers, we have the opportunity to help partners to recognise and change inequitable practices. Beginning with internal team practices builds buy-in and confidence. Deep capacity building will be required to mainstream gender and equity within research for sustainable development. Join Partnership Broker Samantha Grover as she weaves gender, academia, and sustainability research into a rich tapestry in this paper.

Read Samantha’s paper here and tell us in what ways you cultivate equity in your collaborative work on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Grasping for clarity: Defining interorganizational relationships

For the November edition of “Stories from Practice” we are presenting a paper on developing partnering approaches within and across organisations.

During her Accreditation journey, Canada-based alumni DANA SILVER explored her organisation’s relationship with funders. The process revealed that despite one of the core funders dedication to building a partnership, the understanding among partners of what “partnership” means differed widely.

The paper describes her experience in helping her organisation become more ‘partnership ready’. The examples provided on mapping relationships and exploring mindsets illustrate how internal partnership brokers can approach organisational development and capacity building in an inclusive, step by step manner.

“The term ‘partner’ is often used to describe a wide range of organizational relationships, without necessarily considering the value each contributes toward achieving the organisation’s mission. Internal partnership brokers increasingly find themselves in the role of having to serve as voices and instruments of change in support of their organisations having greater clarity about what they mean by partnering and having more coherent strategies and approaches to partnering development, implementation and evaluation. This paper explores the opportunities and challenges organisations face in making partnering a core part of their work.”

Read Dana Silver’s paper here and tell us how you foster partnering approaches in your organisation. #partnershipbrokers on Twitter.

Through “Stories from Practice” we are sharing compelling papers written by partnership brokers as part of their PBA Accreditation journey. Every story is a contribution to a colourful mosaic that shows the many facets of our growing professional field.

Links between partnership brokering and effective leadership

The October edition of Stories from Practice explores how partnership brokering relates to leadership.

Accredited partnership broker STUART KINSELLA from Australia shares an in-depth analysis of leadership qualities and how these qualities are tied to the attributes of partnership brokering. He further outlines how he applied these in his professional practice, and how leadership qualities can nurture the success of a partnership.

“The contribution made by a good partnership broker, particularly an internal partnership broker, can often be overlooked and/or is undervalued. However, there are strong parallels between the qualities demonstrated by a good partnership broker and key attributes of leadership. For example, the best leaders lead through influence, not the power of their position, and they are open to new ideas, criticisms and different perspectives. This paper argues that a good partnership broker has extensive leadership capabilities and can therefore frame their ‘offering’ (ie their skills and expertise) in this context.”

Download Stuart’s paper here. Tell us how you improve and enhance your leadership skills and how this impacts your collaborative work. Twitter @PBA_Brokers using #partnershipbrokers.

Building New Landscapes for Partnering Remotely

Is it true that, ‘It’s much harder to build trust without meeting in person’? Perhaps we have a new opportunity to do ‘business as unusual’ and to disrupt the patterns we found ourselves working in that didn’t feel equitable or effective.
Watch the recording of our third Global Dialogue on Partnership to explore with Catherine Russ, who created the prototype for PBA’s ‘Brokering Partnerships Remotely’ certificate course, the disruptive potential offered by remote dynamics in partnerships. Get motivated to try some new things!

 

 

6 partnering lessons for bilateral donors

In the September edition of Stories from Practice we invited PBA accredited partnership broker Dulani Sirisena to share her paper with our global community.

Dulani explores the relationship between donors and beneficiaries, and how both sides can move beyond the transactional nature of a funding relationship toward extracting greater value and impact. While not all partners have to be ‘equal’, it is key to seek equity in the partnership.

Dulani provides insights from her own practical experience with DFAT programmes in Sri Lanka and offers pointers as to how mutuality and reciprocity can be achieved. Not least also asking the question, whether to partner with all the consequences of mutuality, reciprocity and sharing risks, costs and benefits, or not to partner and instead focus on providing funds in the most effective way possible.

“In today’s world of complex development challenges, such as the global crisis we are facing right now, it is no longer enough for donors to play a passive role in the development equation. A broader understanding within the development community is required of the value-add a donor can provide beyond funding. This paper shares lessons on common partnering challenges from the Australian Community Rehabilitation Program in Sri Lanka, and the application of key partnering principles to resolve them. It explores the critical role of a bilateral donor in building and supporting effective partnerships.”

Download Dulani Sirisena’s paper here and tell us about your insights on working with donors on Twitter @PBA_Brokers using #partnershipbrokers.

What can partnership brokers learn from engineers?

Short answer? A lot. In her PBA Accreditation paper, Vietnam-based Takara Morgan explores the challenges related to introducing partnership brokering approaches to existing collaborations. Examining and understanding the structural integrity of the partnership is key to help partners ‘retrofit’ and implement principles and practices, that will not only carry the dynamics of collaborative processes but lift the partnership’s effectiveness and ability for transformative impact.

“What can partnership brokers learn from engineers? Not much it might seem. On the surface, engineers may even be considered the antithesis of partnership brokers. However, if an existing partnership is considering introducing partnership brokering approaches, the partnership broker needs to understand the foundations on which the partnership was built. If there are cracks, these need to be addressed before applying extra loads. If not, there will be problems later on. This paper explores case studies on retrofitting partnerships with partnership brokering approaches, and suggests four pre-conditions that need to be assessed to determine if a partnership is ‘retrofit ready’.”

Read Takara’s paper here and tell us how you helped existing collaborations adopt partnership brokering practices, using #partnershipbrokers on Twitter.

New dates for Brokering Partnerships Remotely courses

The Certificate in Brokering Partnerships Remotely is a five week course delivered online. If you are a partnership practitioner operating remotely and you would like to: explore the issue; build insights and confidence; develop practical approaches suitable for your context and earn a CERTIFICATE in Brokering Partnerships Remotely, you are welcome to join one of the upcoming cohorts:

  • Global cohort: 21 October – 18 November – course in progress
  • Oceania & South Asia cohort new dates tbc
  • Americas cohort: Spring 2021

To get more information and register for the course please visit the Remote Partnering website.

Join the September 1st Global Dialogue on Partnerships with Ian Gray

Our next session of the Global Dialogues on Partnership is on 1 September. Free bookings at: https://bit.ly/scalingpartnerships

Our special guest will be Accredited Partnership Broker, Ian Gray, who will unpack years of experience working with diverse partners, navigating partnerships along the innovation continuum and grappling with questions like:

–  How do you ensure the partnerships are fit for purpose for the right stage

–  What does fit for purpose partnership look like? And what does your approach need to be

– What happens to small start-up innovators, partnering with larger, established organisations, as they move towards scale?

– Scaling: Can you hold it together when partnerships turn from being transformational to being transactional?

Join host Michelle Halse, for this 90 min conversation, to learn from Ian Gray’s vast experience, and share your own experiences and challenges. Perhaps together we can redraw the map of partnering for innovation!

When: 1 September 2020, 12:00 – 13:30 London,  7:00 – 8:30 Ottawa,  8:00 – 9:30 Sao Paulo14:00 – 15:30 Nairobi16:30 – 18:00 New Delhi21:00 – 22:30 Canberra,  23:00 – 0:30 Wellington

Excited about this session? Share it with your networks using this LinkedIn announcement or the registration link https://bit.ly/scalingpartnerships .

About Ian Gray: Ian is the Founder of Gray Dot Catalyst, a strategy, innovation and partnering consultancy. He is an author and speaker who has provided advisory, mentoring, training and facilitation services to over 70 businesses, charities, multilateral organisations and governments. He has brokered and supported numerous innovation partnerships through the different phases of the innovation cycle. Ian is a patented inventor and holds an M.A. (Hons), MSc (Econ), M.B.A. and is currently studying for a PhD in Strategic Innovation. He is an Accredited Partnership Broker, member of the PBA board, and a Fellow of the RSA.

References:

  1. Better Together: How startups and the third sector can collaborate (Charlotte Reypens, Christopher Haley, Gwil Purchase; Nesta &Save the Children)
  2. Partnerships Review: Humanitarian Innovation Fund (ELRHA)
  3. Frameworks for Approaching Collaboration within the Humanitarian Sector (Dan McClure & Hannah Reichardt, Save the Children)

 

How to make the most of virtual communication

The shift from face-to-face contact to working-remotely has invited all of us to explore how we can continue to collaborate effectively. Investing in the partnering process and bringing presence to the question of what is needed next is as important as before. The difference is, we are asked to create spaces for these processes online and/ or over the phone.

In this edition of Stories from Practice we invited Accreditation alumni Lauren Flaherty to share her paper on communicating in a virtual world. She recently also completed the Brokering Partnerships Remotely course exploring the benefits and challenges of this new paradigm and what it means to use virtual communication more consciously when elements of context, gestures, body language and eye contact are reduced or even removed.

“Are you feeling overwhelmed by the increase in virtual communication? After generations of honing our face-to-face communication skills, we are sophisticated ‘readers’ of others; their meaning, intentions and potential to help, or harm us. The rich nature of traditional communication feeds our need to ‘fill in the blanks’ of what people are saying, reaching deeper into the meaning behind the words. Virtual communication is sterile, and if not used consciously, can lead to misunderstanding, mistrust and conflict. This paper will get you thinking about communication – and how to make the most of virtual communication, while avoiding some of the pitfalls!”

Read Lauren’s paper here let us know what you have learned in your journey of partnering remotely using #partnershipbrokers on Twitter.

Brokering development partnerships in head-field office contexts

In her PBA Accreditation Paper Anna Naupa explores her role as an internal partnership broker working on development partnerships in a head-field office context. She examines the plurality of roles for an internal partnership broker and investigates specific issues and dynamics that can arise in such contexts related to power, alignment and consensus.

Join Anna in her reflective journey as she navigates complex partnership issues in the unique cultural and regional setting of the Pacific region, characterized by strong cultural norms and practices for collaboration and remote and isolated islands.

“What role can partnership brokering play in navigating head-field office dynamics to foster sustainable development partnerships? This question is explored in the context of the author’s professional experience working as an internal partnership broker for multilateral, multi-national and regional organisations in the Pacific, where the challenges of distance, isolation and smallness necessitate head-field office arrangements that can efficiently address economies of scale. The paper explores the plurality of roles for an internal partnership broker in such contexts and unpacks concepts of power, alignment and consensus in head-field office dynamics. It explores how the central principles of effective partnership brokering can be applied.”

Read Anna’s paper here and let us know how many hats you are wearing when brokering collaborations in complex settings using #partnershipbrokers on Twitter.

Global Dialogues on Partnership

Partnerships for the Goals: Is it time to reframe SDG 17 so it’s fit for transformation?

You can now watch the recording of the first in our series of Global Dialogues on Partnership.
SDG 17 – does it reflect an old paradigm of international cooperation? Of donor-recipient relations? Of developed-developing countries? Does it give primacy to economic growth? Why does it represent a narrow conceptualisation of partnerships, and use language that is contradictory to the language of transformation throughout Agenda 2030?

To watch please click here.