Over the past few months, TPI has been involved in an ambitious initiative, alongside four other partnering organisations, to explore ways to increase the quality and effectiveness of partnering for the SDGs. Promoting Effective Partnering, or ‘PEP’, is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its co-chairmanship of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
TPI has been working to better understand the landscape for partnering on the SDGs, and to map out what the ‘partnering support system’ looks like in order to scale up the impact of collaborative efforts. This work will lead to the publication of a report: Partnering for the SDGs: Building the system of support to mainstream collaboration for sustainable development. We have produced a working draft document, which we are now throwing open for critique and comment and we need your input. The report explores two main ideas, which will be extensively explored in an upcoming blog series. The first idea is that in order for partnerships to be mainstreamed and effective there need to be five interlinked elements in place:
- Individuals involved in partnership need the right partnering skills, competencies and understanding of other sectors
- Organisations need to be institutionally fit to partner
- Partnerships need to operate to good practice standards
- Platforms need to be in place to systematically catalyse and professionalise partnerships
- System-wide, the right enabling policies and interlinkages across platforms and partnerships need to be in place
Similar approaches and knowledge are required across these five levels, which are often seen in isolation rather than as part of this integrated, nested framework. And the integrated agenda of the SDGs will require integrated approaches.
The second idea is that, in order to catalyse and spread knowledge and expertise about partnering effectively, and scale up impact, a ‘partnering support system’ is needed. This support system can reduce duplication of effort and help us learn from experience more quickly. The TPI report suggests that there are six identifiable categories within this emergent support system, which exists only in fragmented form. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to map the system:
- Showcasing / pledging initiatives, which raise awareness and build understanding of the role of collaboration for the SDGs, which may include calls for action / collection of pledges (often with focus on the private sector)
- Intermediary organisations, including platforms, initiatives and organisations that catalyse partnerships (multi-stakeholder initiatives, UN and other development agencies, NGOs, business or other membership organisations)
- Partnership facilitators / consultants, comprising skilled professionals able to take partners through a robust partnering process to ensure alignment of interests and robust, effective partnerships, including monitoring and evaluation of impact (individuals, consultancies, universities or intermediary organisations)
- Capacity building organisations, providing training in effective partnering for individuals; supporting organisational development (consultancies, universities, training organisations)
- Research and learning organisations, which draw out learning; communicate / share knowledge; and further knowledge on partnering (universities, knowledge institutes, consultancies, development agencies)
- Funding organisations, which financially or otherwise supporting the development of public-private partnerships (potentially by supporting intermediary organisations or platforms) and financial support for implementation (donors, foundations etc.)
The report draws on a round of expert interviews and extensive desk research, as well as building on earlier TPI work such as the Roadmap to unleash the power of business as a partner in development. We would be very interested in your thoughts. A feedback form is available here.
We are also creating a database of organisations, initiatives, and training courses that support partnership. If you would like to register your organisation as a partnership support entity, you can do so here.
Download the report.
We are asking for feedback by 13th July, and your input will be acknowledged in the report which will be launched later this year.