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Approaches to track how a partnership is doing as a partnership and the correlation with impact on the ground

Workshop title: Approaches to track how a partnership is doing as a partnership and the potential link
with impact on the ground

Workshop facilitator: Joost Guijt

Function workshop facilitator: Management team member

Institution: PPPLab

Relevance of the workshop for the conference theme ‘Partnering for Success: how M&E Can Strengthen Partnerships for Sustainable Development’:

In general PPPs design their Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) systems around the business and development outcomes of the partnership, with little attention given to the partnership itself. This despite extensive experience that partnerships must be consciously built and nurtured, as they are constantly changing. Our hypothesis is that partnerships that are deliberately dynamic, open (also for conflicting issues) and adaptive are more efficient and effective. In other words, a partnership where there is the trust and the process to address challenging topics and deal with internal conflict can deliver better on hoped for change and growth. A business partnership that does not invest in good working and adaptive processes can absorb large amounts of time and energy with little return on investment.

We suspect that a lack of understanding of the value of, and ways to track the partnership process and maturity of a PP partnership leads to neglecting the partnership-building dimension. This workshop will help bring focus to the partnership processes per se as well as delivering tangible outputs for participants to work with beyond the workshop. The findings will be used in ongoing research work by the PPPLab.

Workshop objectives and content:

The PPPLab is developing a general approach to assess the process of collaboration within a partnership. The focus is on the way the partnership itself functions: recognition of the need to partner, clarity of the purpose, commitment and ownership, trust, governance and decision making, internal communication, adaptive processes, etc. During the workshop we will present a first draft of PPPLab’s Partnership Assessment Tool. We will explain the internal logic of this tool, and its different types of use. We will present you with one or two examples of fictitious partnerships to give you an impression how this e-tool can be used to assess how different partners think about their partnership.

What we hope to receive from the audience is feedback on several questions:

  • What are the current gaps and needs in evaluating the performance of your partnership process?
  • How useful could this e-tool be for different types of partnerships, especially those that belong to FDOV and FDW?
  • What would be the best way for you to work with this e-tool in your partnership? Which conditions need to be in place for you to be able to use this tool? When would you like to use this tool?
  • Feedback on the different parts of the tool: how easy is it to fill in? Are the different statements clear? How easy is it for you to analyse the results?

Type of participant who would be interested in the workshop:

  • Partnership members who are in a decision-making position and want ways to assess and improve internal processes.
  • M&E/learning system leaders within PPPs
  • Researchers interested in the effectiveness of PPPs