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Organisations optimised for effective partnering

As the demands for collaboration grow, most large organisations are finding they are not set up and operating optimally to be able to deliver on the partnering demands. Internal barriers to collaboration – whether it be a lack of incentives, insufficient partnering skills, unhelpful systems and process or a lack of clear strategy – are preventing organisations from delivering far greater impact through partnership.

TPI pioneered the concept of organisational Fit for Partnering, initially working with UNICEF both to develop their private sector partnering strategy and understand what organisational change was required to implement it. TPI has since developed a complete framework and methodology for analysing an organisation to determine the degree to which it is currently institutionally optimized for collaboration and to develop a Roadmap for building the institutional capability required. TPI then works with an organisation over a period of time to support them through a journey of organisational change.

Since then, TPI has worked with multiple international organisations to analyse and build their institutional capacity to partner effectively – from developing partnering strategies to creating new legal agreements, from supporting processes to building skills. Organisations with whom we’ve worked include the UN: WFP, FAO, IFAD, PAHO, UNESCO; NGOs: World Vision, Care International, Counterpart International,, Heifer; Foundations: J&J, Z Zurich; Donors: Millennium Challenge Corporation; Companies: BG Group, Microsoft, Novo Nordisk.

Case studies


With Unicef wishing to transform from pure fundraising to more strategic collaboration with business, TPI undertook a full assessment of the potential opportunity and of Unicef’s Fitness for Partnering. TPI’s report was the basis for Unicef’s private sector engagement strategy, and its recommendations for structuring and building capacity were accepted and implemented. Over many years TPI has continued to work with Unicef on staff capacity building, developing processes, and creating tools for assessing the value of their collaborations. 

United Nations Rome-based agencies 

TPI has worked for many years with the food and agriculture-focussed Rome-based UN agencies, supporting them as they undertake the organisational change required for them to partner with excellence. Support has included developing corporate partnership strategies, undertaking Fit for Partnering analyses, system and process development, creation of tools and guidelines and capacity building programmes. 

World Vision International

TPI has worked extensively with World Vision to help them build their institutional capacity to partner within their national offices. This has included undertaking or contributing to Fit for Partnering analyses in 15 country offices. As a pioneer in this area, World Vision and TPI published their experiences to date in the report: Partner of Choice: World Vision’s journey to becoming institutionally Fit for Partnering


TPI tools, frameworks and knowledge have been assimilated into organizational processes. Of the nearly 100 organizations that have worked with TPI since it became an independent entity in 2013, almost all attribute TPI’s services and training to improvements in pro-partnership culture, organizational processes and strategy development. 91% of survey respondents agree that engaging with TPI has helped their organisation be more effective at developing and managing partnerships. A notable benefit for organizations was being better at knowing when to enter into a partnership and when to not, whilst some are taking steps to make partnerships more transformational and finding evidence of impact.

Our indirect impact is also becoming more and more widespread. For example, in February 2023, the Australian state of Queensland’s Department of Children adopted TPI’s Fit for Partnering framework and approach as the basis for its targeted work to optimize its institutional partnering capability.

“TPI has been our most important thought partner through those 15 years on partnering… [their] impact on World Vision has been huge”  – Impact Survey Response

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