Brokering, Learning, Uncategorized


news categories

Stories from the frontline of Public Private Partnerships

In June 2023, partners of the Sustainable Development Goals Partnership (SDGP) facility of RVO gathered to share their experiences and write their stories about engaging in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). The writing workshop (‘writeshop’) was part of a four year PBA accompaniment trajectory to RVOs SDG Partnerships. A number of PBA Associates worked on this accompaniment trajectory. The writeshop is a method of the Barefoot Guide to help practitioners reflect on their practice, and was facilitated by the Barefoot Guide Connection together with PBA.

Stories from the frontline of Public Private Partnerships is an anthology of eleven compelling stories, each of them a testament to the trials, triumphs, and untapped potential inherent in PPPs. Accompanying the stories are an analysis and insights, all of which capture the essence of our collective pursuit: to find ways to work together that make a difference.

PBA Marketing & Communications Lead vacancy

PBA seeks to expand its influence and reach, strengthen engagement with Associates and host a global network of partnering practitioners. A robust marketing and communications strategy is essential to articulate its value proposition, engage key stakeholders, and drive membership growth.

It is our desire to create an enduring position for a Marketing and Communications Lead. The purpose of this initial engagement (to be undertaken as a consultancy) is to develop a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy for the Partnership Brokers Association. This strategy will aim to enhance the organisation’s visibility, strengthen its brand identity, and effectively communicate its mission and activities to diverse audiences, including its globally dispersed Associates.
See the TOR for more details.

Interested applicants should send their CV and a cover letter along with a short portfolio highlighting examples of previous work. All applications need to be sent to by 16th June 2024, 5pm (BST).

Shortlisted candidates will be notified by the 21st of June 2024 and invited for an on-line interview.


CSSI Symposium 2024 – Power and Inclusion

This year’s edition of the CSSI Symposium is hosted by the University of Cape Town.
PBA Associates will host an online panel discussion on 5th April on Working with communities: Can partnership brokering help to navigate power imbalances (and promote inclusion)?
The panel will be convened by Leda Stott and Bulbul Baksi, and the speakers will be Kwasi Amponsah Boateng, Anindita Majumdar, Olukayode (Sbaba) Soremekun and Peni Tawake. Drawing upon experiences from different country and cultural contexts the panel will discuss whether partnership brokering and the promotion of principle-based collaboration can make a difference in the navigation of power with and among marginalised communities, and how it might assist communities to express and make use of their own power.

Upcoming PBT courses

To learn about dates and locations of upcoming PBT courses, please go to the Training Programme page. This is where you can find course brochures with detailed information about each training and links to application forms to enrol. Our Training Manager, Emma, will be happy to answer your questions:

PBT in Canberra

PBA is running the flagship Partnership Brokers Training in Canberra 28 Nov – 1 Dec 2023 at the wonderful Shine Dome at ANU.
There’s a lot of talk about genuine partnerships in the air right now and the training provides opportunities to examine this language and reflect on the principles and practices needed. Interested? Join our trainers Yeshe Smith and Arthi Patel for this course!

For more information please see the course brochure.

Click here to apply.

Partnership Campaign for the SDGS

PBA contributed to an advocacy campaign involving UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, The Partnering Initiative and others, focused on creating a more enabling environment for partnerships. PBA Associates prepared a paper for the final report on the contribution and value that partnership brokers bring to partnerships.
The report was launched at the UN General Assembly in September. One of the key findings of the study was that a very significant determinant of a partnership’s success was related to having an independent third-party specialist providing facilitation and support. The report pointed out that partnerships need to invest in the process of partnering, where possible with the support of such a specialist (broker), to ensure inclusion, unlock innovation and set the partnership up for success. They should also build in stronger monitoring to demonstrate value creation, measure progress to allow adaptation, and keep the partnership healthy and effective.

Leaning In: A lean canvas for public-private partnerships

What if a simple tool could bring greater harmony, understanding, and effectiveness to collaborations, especially between public and private partnerships? In Richard Wecker’s recent paper, he explores exactly that, using the concept of the Public-Private Partnership Canvas (PPPCanvas).

Richard introduces the PPPCanvas as a strategic tool for partnership brokering. This powerful approach pushes beyond the memorandum of understanding and into the realm of actionable planning. From managing and maintaining partnerships to reviewing and revising them, Richard posits that the PPPCanvas is not just another method, but a communication bridge and a catalyst for co-creation.

In the world of business, achieving alignment in partnerships is crucial but often challenging. Whether you’re from the public or private sector, Richard anticipates your concerns and addresses them upfront. Will this tool tip the scales in favor of one party? Will it risk oversimplification of complex, multi-stakeholder partnerships? These questions and more are answered with remarkable clarity, transforming initial skepticism into informed anticipation.

But the real magic of Richard’s work isn’t in what he explores – it’s in what he envisions. The PPPCanvas isn’t just a tool – it’s a transformative conduit. It can lead to perspective shifts, power shifts, and even a new paradigm of mutual respect and collaboration.

Richard’s approach focuses on the practical application of this tool while being aware of its potential pitfalls. He reminds us that the utility of such a tool is not standalone, but nested within transformational exercises. This duality provides a framework that both structures thinking and fosters innovation.

Whether you are a seasoned professional in partnership brokering or just beginning your journey, this paper offers a new lens through which to view your work. Richard invites you to join him in this exploration, to test, adapt, and iterate the PPPCanvas in your own practice.

Intrigued? I bet you are. The journey into the depths of partnership brokering and the PPPCanvas is just one click away. You can reach out to Richard Wecker to dive deeper into the practical application of his innovative approach.

Revolutionize your partnership brokering today, harness the power of PPPCanvas, and join the conversation with Richard Wecker!

Join our next PBT in London

Join our trainers, Lola Gostelow and Mariana Merelo Lobo on our next in-person PBT cohort in London. The dates are  7 – 10 November. This course is for those who manage multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaborations and provides:

  • A framework for creating robust, efficient and impactful partnerships
  • Unique, fit for purpose tools and techniques for brokering partnerships that get results
  • Enhanced confidence and competence as a partnership practitioner
  • Strategies to overcome common and complex partnership challenges
  • Personal and professional insights that build competencies to support successful partnerships

Check the course brochure for more information.

For other dates and locations please go to our Training Programme page.

CSSI 2022 Conference: panel discussion on partnership brokering

Join PBA Associates Bulbul Baksi, Leda Stott & Ros Tennyson during a panel discussion at the upcoming CSSI 2022: Cross Sector Social Interactions Conference. This will be a facilitated dialogue drawing on both academic and practitioner insights of participants on how partnership brokering can assist transformation in different contexts.
Click here to learn more.

PANEL: Partnership Brokering: Changing the Rules of the Game. From challenges to breakthrough.
DATE:   22nd June 2022 | Time: 15:00 – 16:40 CET

Please share this invitation with your networks.

Maintaining the mojo of the internal partnership position

In out latest “Stories from Practice” issue we read about managing and measuring the effectiveness of internal partnership broker positions.

In her accreditation paper, Canada-based partnership broker LISA BURLEY explores various issues in relation to the interface between broader strategic priorities, organizational culture and processes and the ways they do or don’t come together to set the stage for the partnership broker’s role.

She offers a framework and practical advice on how to define and document the role of an internal partnership broker within the broader organisational context.

“Are you an internal partnership broker wanting to sustain the dynamism and variety of your job? This paper gives you an analytical tool to categorize what you’re doing, what mindset you’re drawing on, the skills you’re using and at what dosage to keep the mojo going. It also includes a practical suite of suggestions to reset these categories with your colleagues and supervisor to embed your role in making your organization a better partner with stronger partnerships.”

Download Lisa Burley’s paper here and share with us about your insights on the diverse roles that partnership brokers can play in fostering a holistic organisational approach (strategy, culture, processes, competencies, …) to collaboration.

Collaboration to tackle online abuse and exploitation of children; a case study from the Philippines

This case study on the establishment and functioning of an innovative consortium model to address online abuse and exploitation of children in the Philippines was written by a PBA Associate and a colleague of hers. It was commissioned by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Click here to read the paper.

Sneak preview of the new ‘Innovation Partnerships: The Masterclass Series’

From idea to impact: Partnerships for innovation

All innovation requires some form of partnership to get through to scale or maturity. If you’re innovating, you’re not doing it alone.

Join us on 17-18 November, as we share a short taste of our new course ‘Innovation Partnerships: The Masterclass Series’, coming February 2022.

You will learn about practices, frameworks and skills that specifically support you in managing collaboration across the innovation cycle. Click here to learn more.

PBA Associates and innovation experts Ian Gray and Michelle Halse are pleased to invite you to a 90-minute learning space to share current thinking and approaches in this field. The live-webinar is a free taster for the new “Innovation Partnerships – The Masterclass Series“ brought to you by Gray Dot Catalyst and Living Collaborations in association with PBA.

Sign up now and share this opportunity with your colleagues.

The Power of Questions

Gandhi once said „The power to question is the basis of all human progress.“ The same could be said for progress in partnerships.

In this edition of Stories from Practice we present a paper on how systemising the art and science of posting questions can shape collaborative processes, and help unearth deeper layers of understanding.

Being confined to digital spaces during the pandemic, Australia based partnership expert KYLIE SHAE reflected on the changed setting and how this impacts the way she can initiate meaningful conversations to support her partnership work.

„In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as it unfolded in 2020, this paper explores the use of questions as a powerful partnership intervention tool. When a partnership broker’s field of view is condensed to a zoom window, deep consideration of the questions that frame our partnership discussions can help maximise our effectiveness. Drawn from personal reflections and the concept of strategic questioning developed by Fran Peavey, a process for framing questions is introduced, emphasising clarity of purpose, consideration of how and by whom questions are delivered, and the partnership broker’s reflection on their qualities as questioner and listener.”

Read Kylie’s paper here and let us know how you integrate questioning in your brokering work on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Meditative Art of Partnership Brokering

At PBA we examine and explore partnership brokering through various lenses. One of them is the Art & Science lens. In this edition of “Stories from Practice” we present a paper related to visual-art meditation.

Meditation describes different mind-body practices that help cultivate clarity and calm independent of circumstances. Nepal-based Accreditation alumni and PBA Associate PRAJWAL SHAHI shares his experiences with a visual-art meditation technique and describes how it benefited his reflective practice and work as partnership broker.

„This paper explores the need for and value of meditative steps in reflective practice. It shows how a structured tool, such as Zentangles, can even focus on frameworks used in partnership brokering. One of the paper’s central themes is “learning is ever-evolving.” The author reflects on and re-engineers his problem-solving skills as Partnership Broker by using meditative art. For him it was an indispensable practice during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, where many had to learn how to do business differently. This journey has inspired him to deconstruct the partnership brokering framework using meditative art, to expand his understanding of it and to apply it creatively in a partnering context.“

Read Prajwal’s art-inspiring paper here and share about your reflective practices on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Moving beyond transactional and transformational

In this edition of Stories from Practice we look at the question of transactional and transformational collaboration.

PBA accredited partnership broker ANNELIES CLAESSENS invites us to glimpse into the professional world of an internal partnership broker in an Alliance setting.

She explores ways of looking at added value, transformation and evolution of a complex partnership, and shares her reflections on helping partners move across the collaboration continuum. Annelies’ paper offers an excellent analysis of how collaboration can be both transactional and transformational, as well as an analysis of drivers and approaches to collaboration in the humanitarian sector.

“Imagine accepting the challenge of supporting a partnership of 15 Dutch aid agencies and the Netherlands Ministry of Affairs in moving from ‘transactional’ to ‘transformative’. I found out along the way that this process is not linear but that fluidity between different concept and processes is key. This article describes how an internal broker can assist in finding appropriate decision-making processes for managing such an alliance, whilst being accountable and vulnerable. To co-create, adopt and model the results of the alliance, the internal broker should pivot between providing traditional leadership and encouraging collaborative leadership of the individual organisations.”

Read Annelies’ thought-provoking paper here and tell us about your experiences on Twitter and LinkedIn.