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Steering the Partnership Process: the Partnership Learning Loop

Workshop title: Steering the Partnership Process - the Partnership Learning Loop

Lead workshop facilitators: Rita Dieleman and Helga van Kampen

Function lead facilitator: Independent evaluator, accredited Partnership Broker

Institutions: RiDi Consultancy

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

The key focus of this workshop is on how to practically monitor and evaluate partnership processes in order to foster consistently high quality and effective collaboration, assess how the partnership as a whole is doing throughout the partnership and help guide steering and decision making with the aim to increase potential development value.

Workshop objectives and content:

The workshop objective is partly sense making; to address the need and relevance of not only steering partnership programs, but also partnership processes, because the partnership processes influences the quality of the programs. It introduces the Partnership Learning Loop as a potential steering instrument to monitor and steer partnership processes.

Partnership research findings unanimously point out that focus on the partnership process is needed in order to increase results (outcome and impact). An increasingly frequent question for partnership practitioners centers on how to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of (cross-sector) partnership approaches in terms of their impact. Are they making a difference? How can they be improved in terms of working operations and effectiveness? And what is the added value for each partner, for the partnership as a whole and for the beneficiaries?

Answers to these and other questions are of practical importance to those involved in the partnership, to funding the development and implementation of partnering approaches in business, government, international agencies and philanthropic foundations, as well as for those who are trying every day to prove and improve the partnerships in which they are involved.

The partnership learning loop is an online interactive tool that assesses the different layers of complex partnerships. It provides insight in how partnerships function in reality, whether it responds to needs and how the partnership evolves over time. It furthermore provides key information that helps to steer and strengthen the collaboration and recommends areas for further (strategic) improvements. It facilitates real-time (or close to real-time) feedback to people involved in a partnership in order to stimulate continuous development and learning.

Type of participant who would be interested in the workshop:

Everyone involved in partnerships, such as partners, donors, decision makers, PME-staff