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TPI’s support to partnerships

TPI has nearly two decades of experience supporting partnerships at all stages to help them deliver the highest levels of innovation and impact: from scoping and facilitating a partnership, undertaking evaluation and review, troubleshooting challenging collaborations, providing expert secretariat services and the guidance of example case studies. 

The services we provide directly to partnerships help a wide range of collaborations to transform into strong, efficient and highly effective mechanisms that are yielding benefits well beyond their original objectives. 

Scoping and Facilitating a Partnership

We work with partners to take them through a carefully facilitated process of partnership development that helps them to maximise their collaborative advantage (delivering more than the sum of their parts) and put in place the essential building blocks of effective collaboration. As well as supporting the partnership negotiations, we help each individual partner along their own internal journey to get them to a point where they are confident to sign a partnership agreement. 

The full process can involve: stakeholder mapping and potential partner identification; collaborative relationship building and developing partnering skills to speed up the process; facilitating a series of meetings of the partners to build consensus and alignment and develop the specifics of the partnership, with progress made through further developing the ideas and documenting progress between the meetings; developing a partnering agreement; designing an initial governance and operational structure; creating documentation for the partnership. 

Gain / HarvestPlus: Throughout 2019, TPI supported the implementation of a major new global partnership around biofortification of staple supply chains, between GAIN and HarvestPlus, two leading global players in the nutrition space. TPI’s role involved brokering the relationship, building partnering knowledge and capacity, and developing structures and operating guidelines. This included facilitating global meetings, supporting individual partnership managers and conducting a mid-year partnership ‘health check’. The project was completed with a tailored partnership and governance manual setting out all aspects of how the partnership will operate going forward.

Partnership Health Check

Undertaking regular ‘health checks’ of a partnership helps to ensure that it is running as efficiently and effectively as possible, that the relationship among partners remains strong, and that the partnership is able to fully deliver its ‘Collaborative Advantage’ to create maximum value for all. It also allows arising issues, challenges and tensions to be brought up in a non-threatening way and discussed by partners before they become a crisis for the project or damage relationships. 

Health checks should be conducted regularly throughout the life of the partnership and become part of the culture of collaboration. TPI’s health check tool supports partners to examine the degree to which each of the building blocks of effective partnerships is in place, and then take action. 

It can be used quite informally and often, to check in among partners and keep an already well-functioning partnership well optimized. Or it could be used more formally, preferably with the support of a trusted, neutral facilitator, to systematically identify (sometimes quite sensitive) issues which would then be worked through together. 

TPI provides a range of health check services, from one-off health checks based on a survey and a workshop, through supporting partnerships work through challenging issues, to building health checks systems into the partnership operations and culture. 

Learning from Consortia (LfC) programme: in collaboration with Bond and an Academic Advisory Board, the programme was an opportunity to support, and learn from, the experiences of UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) funded consortia. The team conducted partnership health checks on twelve of the consortia, and published a Health Check Report, presenting some over-arching findings on how effectively the consortia were functioning, as well as exploring whether and in what ways the Health Checks helped them.

Evaluation and Review

TPI can help a partnership design and implement its evaluation process to assess both impact and what the value add of a partnership approach has been. 

Evaluation and review should not just be considered in the final stages of the partnership, and ideally there should be a review process during a partnerships lifetime. In addition to the achievement of a partnership’s objectives, TPI’s review framework examines

  • the partners’ relationship
  • how efficiently it is set up and operating
  • the balance between costs and benefits from each partner’s perspective
  • the value-add of partnering.

Our reviews – and resulting set of recommendations – can range from a simple ‘health check’ to a 360 degree comprehensive evaluation. 

Partnerships for Green Growth and the Global Goals (P4G): Since 2018, P4G has conducted four annual calls for pioneering market-based partnerships to build sustainable and resilient economies, and provides catalytic funding to selected applications with great potential for impact and replication. TPI and GlobalCAD have acted as independent advisors in assessing the call for partnerships for the three years since 2019. Through each cycle, the joint team conducted an independent evaluation and selection of shortlist partnerships. The review and evaluation were undertaken through a combination of a review, scoring of proposal materials, desk-top research and interviews with the partnerships. The evaluations aim not only to provide an objective assessment of the partnerships applying for P4G but further to draw strategic and forward-looking recommendations and lesson-learned to strengthen the selected scale-up partnerships in the future.

TPI Learning Case Studies

We can support you to develop case studies both to profile success and to draw out extensive learning around the process of partnering, the challenges faced and how they were overcome, and the key success factors. 

SUN Business Network (SBN): Working closely with colleagues at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and SBN country teams, TPI developed a set of four case studies to draw out learnings and showcase innovative approaches to engaging business for improved nutrition, at National level, through the SBN country networks. The four case studies explored different approaches and types of programmes to illustrate the range of possibilities, and challenges encountered, focusing on initiatives in Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Secretariat Services

This entails acting as the first point of contact of a multi-stakeholder initiative, and supporting its daily activities. This means coordinating meetings, communication, outreach, election processes, accountancy and finance. It can also involve helping to define and create the strategy, action plan, governing structure and bylaws. 

Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies: In September 2022, TPI and African Monitor, an NGO based in South Africa, were appointed to manage the secretariat of the Global Forum. The secretariat supports members and strategic partners and provides mechanisms and advice to help for members engage with each other and  share learning. Its role is also to grow the network and encourage national governments to recognise the value of members’ activities and advice. The initial focus has been on internal communications, network coordination, and setting up Communities of Practice. These bring Global Forum members together to share their experience on a range of topics which they have selected.

Taking Partnerships to a New Level

Working with partners to identify new avenues for collaboration, innovative approaches to an under-achieving partnership working through its challenges, assisting in developing the story to build awareness of the partnership within the partner organisations. 


Partnerships are complex and will inevitably experience pitfalls and barriers along its lifecycle. TPI can assist partnerships to identify the issue(s) and work to resolution. 

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