Launching "Building Effective Partnerships" Course

By Darian Stribbe, Executive Director, The Partnering Initiative

In September, the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals will present their report to the UN General Assembly. While the exact details on the specific goals, targets and indicators are still being finalized, one aspect is clear: public-private or multi-stakeholder collaboration will be essential to achieving those goals. And this will be required at a scale, and with a focus on impact, that will dwarf current partnering efforts globally.

As we have noted previously, delivering at scale will require a collective and coordinated effort to drive the systematic engagement of business as a partner in development. This includes putting in place the structures that can systematically broker collaboration and building the capacities of all societal sectors to be able to partner much more effectively.

Right now, too many existing partnerships are not delivering fully on their potential. Whether down to poor design, a lack of sustained commitment, insufficient overlap of partner interest, or poor implementation, many are inefficient or ineffective. And in many cases, new partnerships are not being developed to good practice standards with too much reinvention of the wheel and with transaction costs simply too high.

There is no question that partnering across sectors is challenging. For it to happen efficiently requires all partners to appreciate what partnership really means, to understand the essential process of partnering, to appreciate how other sectors think and work, and to know what good looks like so they can collectively strive to achieve it. This is why the building of individuals’ partnering competencies is so essential. People are at the heart of partnership and it is their professional skills that will make or break partnerships.

In a previous blog, we set out the four most essential areas of competencies based on TPI’s 11 years of experience: understanding of other sectors, technical knowledge of partnering, people and relationship skills, and finally a mindset for partnering.

In collaboration with Business Fights Poverty (BFP), we are launching the ‘Building Effective Partnerships for Development’ course, a new 2-day programme that develops essential skills, understanding and knowledge within these four areas of competency. The course is aimed at individuals charged with developing partnerships or are representing their organisations within partnerships. It balances core content with highly interactive, experiential learning through role play, ‘serious games’ and peer-to-peer exchange.

The course may also be tailored and run within an organisation for their staff and partners, or used by all members of a partnership to ensure collective understanding and to progress the partnership by continuously relating the learning directly to their own partnership in real time.

As complement to the course, participants can optionally submit for the ‘Certificate in Partnering Practice’ for which they must demonstrate the contextualisation of partnering knowledge to their own circumstances and are provided feedback, tips and advice on their professional situation.

The next course will take place on October 9th and 10th in Oxford, UK. Click here to register.

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