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Partnership Brokering & Collective Impact

How does partnership brokering fit into the colorful and ever-changing landscape of collaborative approaches? Our September paper examines this question through the lens of an internal partnership broker.

During her Accreditation period, KATHY GALE, Executive Director for the US-based non-profit organization Eras Senior Network, was leading efforts on a complex multi-stakeholder partnership aiming to deliver a national service program. Using Collective Impact as a framework to guide the process, she explored how introducing partnership brokering principles, and making the role of a partnership broker explicit, influenced the outcome of the Collective Impact process.

Well-intentioned efforts to solve complex community issues with Collective Impact processes risk failure without sufficient attention paid to the formation and management of the partnership. Communities throughout the US have eagerly embraced Collective Impact as a framework for their work. However, without sufficient attention paid to the foundation and development of the partnership, these groups are ripe for the collapse of relationships, hurt feelings, wasted resources, and worst of all, not making progress on the very issue they are seeking to address.  This paper submits that the role of a Partnership Broker is integral in bringing a disciplined method and proven philosophy to the formation and maturation of a partnership, helping to create conditions favorable for using sophisticated processes such as Collective Impact.

Read Kathy’s story here. How did you apply partnership brokering when working with different collaborative frameworks? In what ways did it benefit the process? Share your experiences with us on Twitter #partnershipbrokers.

More Stories from Practice.

BRP Cohort 2 enrolling now!

In May and June we ran successfully the first cohort of the online Brokering Remote Partnerships course. Now we are recruiting for cohort 2 which is scheduled for 28 Oct – 29 Nov 2019.

Here you can find the course flyer and Q&A on Brokering Remote Partnerships course. To get more information and register for the course please visit the Remote Partnering website.

Collaboration in disaster recovery

This edition of Stories from Practice takes us to Nepal where in spring 2015 devastating earthquakes killed thousands of people and destroyed over 750,000 homes and vital infrastructure.

Arthi Patel was appointed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs to support the UNDP in their provision of humanitarian disaster relief. The paper outlines how Arthi, in her role as donor representative and partnership broker, helped the earthquake recovery project to succeed amidst the urgency of delivering rapid relief action and tensions between partner organisations.

In the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes Arthi worked for DFAT and UNDP to assist 14,000 micro-entrepreneurs recover their livelihoods. This was a high-pressure environment with strained relationships and high expectations. Arthi fostered an adaptive management approach, and with the support of her PBA mentor trialled different forms of brokering, collaboration and reflection. A focus on a higher purpose of recovery for micro-entrepreneurs helped people to break through bureaucratic and institutional hurdles. The paper describes how collaborative practice was fostered and came to be valued by all parties in a pressured environment.

Read Arthi Patel’s paper here and share your comments via Twitter using #partnershipbrokers. 

Brokering Remote Partnerships online course

PBA  is delighted to announce our new BROKERING REMOTE PARTNERSHIPS online course for front-line practitioners – enrolling NOW and starting in mid-May. Find out more from www.remotepartnering.org.

New paper: Managing dual roles as a partnership broker

Before many of us dive into the festive season break next week, we are presenting you with a new edition of our knowledge sharing initiative Stories from Practice.

Mary Frankham from New Zealand is sharing the insights of her PBA Accreditation learning journey as a partnership broker for the North-West Wildlink Partnership Group. In her role Mary explored the dynamics of being the project manager of a partnership, while also having the remit to represent a voice that is independent from any of the partners involved, a dual role of sorts.

There has been a lot written about the many functions of a partnership broker, but few discuss how to balance these demands with day-to-day expectations. Some brokers are required to coordinate and manage partnership projects, and brokering is expected to happen on the side. There are positive and negative aspects to one person being both, project manager and partnership broker. Most importantly, this person must step in and out of each of their roles at the right moment, articulate these dual responsibilities to the partnership, and mitigate negative consequences such as partner dependency.

Read Mary Frankham’s paper here. If you would like to share your comments with the author or us, please email learning@partnershipbrokers.org, or tweet about your views and experiences using #partnershipbrokers

New paper: Intuition as an art of partnership brokering

In September we launched a new knowledge sharing initiative – Stories from Practice – publishing compelling papers which examine the realities of partnership brokering, and how practitioners navigate these to help partnerships progress and achieve transformation. These papers have been created by alumni of the PBA Accreditation Programme as part of their learning journey.

Continuing the launch theme of the art & science of partnership brokering, we have invited PBA Accreditation alumni Kate Hayes to share her paper which reflects on intuition as the art of brokering.

This paper argues that partnership brokering can be strengthened through both a science and an art orientation and explores how creative discernment – intuition – has been critical to the author’s art of brokering.  Throughout the partnership process the broker is responsible for shape-shifting from coach to facilitator to mediator to challenger to finisher. This shape shifting requires active and rational discernment. At key transition points in the partnering process, however, the author also learnt the value of ceding the rational and the scientific to allow her intuition to instruct and to inform.  Two case studies are provided that illustrate how at certain times a different way of seeing and discerning – an intuitive way – can lead to surprising and positive outcomes for the partnerships at hand.

Read Kate Hayes’ paper here. If you would like to share your comments with the author or us, please email learning@partnershipbrokers.org.

FSG and PBA webinar recording

You can now access the recording of the webinar with FSG Managing Director Adeeb Z. Mahmud and PBA Associates from Australia and Canada, Michelle Halse, Julie Mundy and Jocelyne Daw on how partnerships can maximize shared value business strategies for transformational results. The discussion was held on 7th November 2018 with nearly 50 participants. The recording is available here.

‘Shaping Sustainable Change’ is published

PBA is delighted to announce the publication of Shaping Sustainable Change: The role of partnership brokering in optimising collaborative action. The idea of writing the book was first discussed in 2014 and, a year later, was given impetus by the positioning of multi-actor partnerships as central to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, increasing attention was being paid to the role played by individuals and organisations who acted as ‘boundary spanners’ and ‘bridge-builders’ for these relationships. Shaping Sustainable Change aims to make the case for partnership brokering and share information on this emerging profession. In order to offer a useful blend of theory and practice, the book combines the knowledge and experience of PBA’s international network of associates and alumni with perspectives from wider literature and the academic arena. The first section explores the profile and key activities carried out by partnership brokers, and the skills and competencies required to undertake this role. This is followed by examples of partnership brokering practice in relation to different contexts, sectors, themes and partnering phases. The process of compiling the publication has involved a committed group of authors, peer reviewers, editors and proofreaders to whom we are immensely grateful. We hope that the book does justice to the work of partnership brokers everywhere and reinforces the importance of their contribution to building transformational collaborative arrangements for a more equitable and sustainable world.

You can purchase your copy here.

 

London PBT course, 23-26 October

Our next Partnership Brokers Training course in London, UK, will be held on 23rd – 26th October 2018. Please go to our training programme page for the course brochure and application form.

WEF to host another PBT course in Geneva

Following the success of last year’s Geneva PBT course, the World Economic Forum will host the PBT course once again on 30-31 October and 1-2 November 2018. The course brochure and application form are available on our training programme page.