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Theory of change

TPI’s theory of change is the heart of why we do what we do and how it leads to the ultimate goal of widespread, systematic, effective collaboration.

The core of TPI’s theory of change is that to scale up and systematise the use of partnerships, the following enablers must be in place:

  1. Individuals must have the professional partnership competencies to be able to build effective partnerships. These include the appropriate mindset, understanding of other sectors, human relationship skills and technical partnering knowledge;
  2. Organisations must be institutionally ‘fit for partnering’ with the right leadership and strategy, systems and process, staff competencies and support, and the right culture in place, in order to partner with excellence
  3. Partnerships must be set up to follow best practice standards to maximise their chances of delivering impact and provide strong return of investment to funders and partners
  4. An ‘infrastructure’ for example, multi-stakeholder platforms, must be in place that can systematically convene different societal sectors and broker collaboration for widespread transformative action.
  5. Supportive international and national policies must be in place to encourage the use of collaboration and, in the case of government, the regulations and legislation that allows governments to enter and support partnership approaches;

Complete theory of change

The ultimate, final impact TPI desires to achieve is thriving, resilient, equitable societies underpinned by healthy environments and prosper0us, inclusive economies; in other words, to achieve sustainable development. Multi-stakeholder, multi-actor partnerships are an essential pathway towards achieving sustainable development.

The intermediary impact we work towards is a new era of collaboration where partnerships are developed far more systematically, in far greater numbers, and to be far more effective and efficient, thereby leveraging all societal resources, and optimally contributing towards transformational change.

To achieve the intermediary impact, TPI works directly and indirectly towards the outcomes of the five key enablers described above. It does this through four interconnected activities:

  • Best practice and policy influence: we develop and disseminate opensource best practice guidance and policy papers and directly input into international policy forums;
  • Services and Training: we offer professional capacity development, as well as direct support to organisations and to partnerships to ensure they thrive and deliver maximum value
  • Pathfinder Programmes: we conduct longer term, cutting-edge research and practice programmes to develop the very latest theory and good practice on specific partnering issues and topics and influence sector practice
  • Global Impact Initiatives: we lead long term initiatives with other partners, taking proven approaches to building individual and organisational capability and delivering them at significant scale

Our work is underpinned by continuous learning and the ongoing development of pragmatic, evidence-based good practice reference standards. We also aim to significantly increase our indirect impact through helping to develop the partnerships support infrastructure: the set of actors of all kinds (whether organisations, initiatives, platforms, individual consultants etc.) that together makes accessible the necessary support, catalysis, systems leadership and capacity building at the appropriate level to drive widespread development of collaborative action.

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