The case for action

Growing numbers in all sectors and fields are recognising the importance of skilful partnership brokering in ensuring partnerships have maximum impact on the critical issues of our times. But we still have a lot of convincing, engaging and influencing to do. And as a decentralised organisation – with our core team, associates, alumni network, host and partner organisations operating in many different locations across the world – we already have significant global reach.

Partnership process management / brokering needs support in terms of both recognition and investment – we firmly believe it should be mainstreamed not side-lined and seen as central not optional to transformative partnering practices. We seek to do promote the value of partnership brokering through our learning, training and supporting work…
…but this is not enough. We need to have impact at a strategic and systemic level and we do this through a mix of gap-filling new initiatives and through active movement building. Please see below for information about our current initiatives:


Remote Partnering Programme

Programme Curator: Catherine Russ –

Many – perhaps most – partnerships have to operate largely or wholly long-distance and, till now, there has been very little attention paid to this as a key partnering challenge. A number of international organisations – Act Alliance; Action Against Hunger; British Red Cross; Care International; Humanitarian Leadership Academy; Oxfam; Partnership Resources Centre; PAX for Peace and Save the Children crowd funded the design and pilot of an online certificate in Remote Partnering Practice. Outputs include:

Funders as Partners

Programme Curator: Rafal Serafin –

This project aims to explore the crucial role that donors have in supporting (or inhibiting) multi-stakeholder collaboration. Essentially it aims to understand the realities for donors in getting the balance right between exercising due diligence and giving space for the innovation and risk so necessary for transformative and impactful partnering. How can donors invest better in building robust and effective partnerships? Working with a number of entities including the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy, Open Society Foundations and UNHCR as well as key individuals a number of exciting initiatives are under development. To learn more:

Animating Alliances

An important output from work PBA has been doing with the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy (GACP) is some cutting edge thinking about the nature of ‘alliances’ and what it takes to make them effective and transformative.

Partnering under Pressure

Programme Curator: Ros Tennyson –

The latest in our portfolio of new initiatives under discussion with a number of lead agencies in the global humanitarian sector – looking to create a comprehensive support programme for those struggling to create effective partnerships in contexts of high risk, disaster relief, conflict or other fragile contexts.

Building a global movement for change

Network Stewardship Group Chair: Joanna Pyres –

We aim to broker relationships with other entities to strengthen efforts across the globe that are dedicated to transforming collaborative practice.  We are helping to build and shape a movement that:

  • Engages with others working in parallel initiatives including: Presencing Institute, Art of Hosting, and Shared Value
  • Leverages our global networks of trained partnership brokers to help them to challenge and change out-dated partnering practices
  • Makes the case to decision-makers for mainstreaming partnership process management
  • Ensures that we all challenge and change on the basis that, like everyone else in the partnering space, we don’t know what we don’t know
Connecting change practitioners:

Art of Hosting and PBA jointly hosted an inquiry for UK, Ireland and Scotland collaboration practitioners “How do we as individuals, organizations and networks, play our part in building a peaceful and sustainable world?”. Read the report here.


Part of that plan involves PBA hosting a series of webinars, where we invite key change practitioners for an online exchange.

2020 – Global Dialogues on Partnership:
2018 webinars:
Learning Papers:

If you are interested in what partnership brokers do, which issues they grapple with, and how they navigate the often complex dynamics of multi-stakeholder collaboration browse through this collection of Learning Papers by Partnership Brokers. Each contributing to a colourful, diverse, and ever-growing mosaic of what partnership brokers do to achieve real transformation.

Promoting Transformational Partnerships

From our survey with partnership brokers operating in different contexts, we have created a list of ‘tips’ for those striving for partnerships that are truly transformative.  This was presented to a large audience of international NGOs and donors at the Start Network’s annual conference in May 2016:


Transformation matters!

We warmly welcome others to join this movement for change.

You can also provide support through PBA’s Opportunities Fund, to provide seed funding for the early stages of exploring new ideas or issues.