A TPI Retrospective of 2014 and Preview of 2015
With their explicit inclusion within the post-2015 sustainable development goals to be announced in September, cross-sectoral partnerships have never been higher up both the international development agenda and the business sustainability agenda. In many ways, 2015 marks a turning point in the field: the case for collaboration has been made and almost universally accepted. The priority now is on making partnerships happen at a scale, quality and with an impact that will dwarf the current efforts. And that is exactly the focus of TPI’s major programmes and initiatives in 2014 and moving forward in 2015.
I am delighted to present some highlights and significant successes from our work in 2014 as well as to invite you to work together in 2015 through our collaborative programmes, through our training, through the direct support we can provide to you and your partnerships and through innovative new ideas we can develop together!
Wishing you a highly successful and collaborative 2015,
Making partnerships happen at scale
Launched by Justine Greening, DFID Secretary of State at the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation meeting in April 2014, for the first time, TPI’s seminal ‘Roadmap’ sets out an approach and set of milestones to fundamentally shift the nature of the relationship across societal sectors and systematically drive collaboration to achieve shared economic, societal and environmental prosperity. The aim is for countries to take the generic Roadmap and develop and implement their own blueprints for ‘unleashing the power of business’ as a partner in development.
With support from Sida, DFID and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2014 TPI launched the Business Partnerships Action Initiative, to build the essential ‘infrastructure’ required to scale up collaboration. BPD supports country-level ‘business partnership hubs’ that systematically make partnerships happen by: building awareness of, and capacity for, cross-sectoral collaboration; convening all sectors around development and business sustainability issues; facilitating creative conversations and directly brokering innovative collaborations that achieve value for all. Hubs are already operational in Zambia and Colombia with a third Hub starting shortly in Mozambique. Moving forward in 2015, with the expertise we have developed we plan to support other existing partnership platforms as well as growing the programme to other countries. In so doing we will continue to prototype, improve and codify what is becoming a critical, scalable approach towards mainstreaming country-level public-private collaboration.
To underpin the Hub work, TPI has just launched a new report ‘Platforms for Partnership: Emerging good practice to drive the systematic engagement of business as a partner in development’. The report, based on the experience of a wide range of partnership-catalysing platforms worldwide, sets out the essential building blocks for platforms to deliver high quality, impactful partnerships for development.
An exciting new development for 2015: With the Collective Leadership Institute we are convening the Partnering Alliance, a multi-sector group of partnership experts, businesses, NGOs, UN agencies and governments. The Alliance will collectively develop a common language and typology of partnership along with good practice reference standards for public-private and multi-stakeholder partnerships that can be adopted and used by organisations and partnerships globally. We see this as a potential game changer – breaking down misconceptions and miscommunication around the nature of partnerships and getting everyone on the same page, accelerating partnership development, ensuring quality and impact, and creating a pathway for continuous improvement. Join us!
Services and training
We continue to provide ongoing support to a number of international organisations with our ‘Fit for Partnering’ services. These help organisations build their institutional ability to gain the greatest value from partnership by: developing clear partnering strategies and reviewing portfolios of existing collaboration; building effective internal incentives, systems and process; and providing the tools and guidance and building staff skills and competencies to be able to partner effectively.
In 2015, we plan to expand our existing partnership brokering, troubleshooting and review services to also include secretariat or ‘backbone’ services to help run international multi-stakeholder partnerships.
On the training side, our flagship programme ‘Building Effective Partnerships for Development’ runs regularly both as an open training and tailored to specific organisations. Many participants go on to pursue our Certificate in Partnering Practice. With World Vision we are currently developing an advanced training course with a strong emphasis on negotiation that will be launched later this year.
Research and learning
We were pleased to launch the Partnering Agreement Scorecard, with the Partnerships Resource Centre. In essence the tool helps partnerships validate their partnering agreements, ensuring they contain all the essential elements to set up the partnership for success.
In 2015 we will expand our research on partnership review and evaluation, developing tools to help both prove and improve the impact of partnerships.