As part of our TPI Viewpoints series, we are delighted to share this blog written by Kaushalya Gupta following her first month with TPI. With work experience across multiple sectors, ranging from international organisations to working alongside local leaders in India, Kaushalya is an exceptional young leader that TPI has the privilege of learning from. She is currently boosting team capacity at the head office in Oxford as our newest Associate.
Responding to humanitarian crises with Oxfam India made me realise that natural disasters are often man-made in the absence of joined up policies. Public policy challenges are complex and straddle multiple sectors. From being a Campaigner with Oxfam Ireland, Researcher to a leading Member of Indian Parliament, to coordinating public-private partnerships for Private Sector CSR, I saw my role as one of a catalyst for partnering. Each one of these experiences has helped me to develop as a person and inculcate a strong sense of purpose, reinforcing my belief that we have to collaborate across silos rather than protecting our own turfs.
Prior to TPI, I had an enriching summer placement with the UK Government as part of my Master of Public Policy programme at the University of Oxford. I collaborated with the public, private, and third sectors to co-design a strategic plan for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports to scale up the Digital Skills Partnerships Program. My experience in working across sectors – INGOs, academia, private sector, and all working levels of government – helped me re-examine silos and make policy recommendations for effective partnering.
I was fascinated by TPI’s longstanding commitment to connecting organisations, supporting effective collaborations and partnering for sustainable development. In certain ways, TPI’s vision was ahead of its times. TPI’s comprehensive range of resources from over the years has impacted a wide range of sectors and geographies. Being a part of TPI and their ambitious mission, gives me the opportunity to combine my strength in research with my passion for hands on delivery. In my first month itself, I have gained perspectives from the TPI team, Associates and leading practitioners across numerous sectors.
At TPI, I have been able to contribute to many exciting projects. My first project involved building an online dashboard for maintaining a sophisticated searchable database of TPI Associates (to swiftly locate which Associate can speak Portuguese to where they are located and whom to contact for expertise on Water, or all three!). I have also had the wonderful opportunity to work with some of these Senior Associates who are Advisers for the Learning from Consortia programme, led by Anna Hirsch-Holland. The Health Check that we developed will enable consortium members to explore how to optimise the efficiency and effectiveness of their consortium.
The Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) project is addressing some of the most intricate partnering complexities to further the localisation agenda. My exposure to working with INGOs and Governments, both in the Global North (Ireland and the UK), as well as Global South, (India) helps me to empathise with the complexities at both ends of the spectrum. The two will have to work together more closely if value creation from limited resources is to be maximised. Recognition of collaborative advantages from effective partnering is imperative to make this happen. The Partnership delta (the extra value partnerships can create) will make all the difference.
TPI’s work culture, supportive environment and unique team with multi-sectoral expertise is truly inspiring, and I hope to receive valuable mentorship throughout my time at TPI. While COVID-19 means fewer in-person meetings, TPI has been a very positive environment (Zoom fatigue is unheard of here). I wish to thank each and every person in the team for welcoming and supporting me during my first month at TPI.
The Partnering Initiative in their pioneering effort is bringing together all stakeholders and creating the esprit de corps required for system transformation, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. I am really looking forward to working with TPI and their diverse network so that we can collaborate on international development in a sustainable manner.
If you would like to contribute to our new TPI Viewpoints series, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with TPI Viewpoint in the subject line.