Building Effective Partnerships for Sustainable Development was TPI’s flagship open course between 2014 and 2019. The course was offered in Oxford, New York and Washington D.C. and ran 14 times during that period. The training aimed to develop the essential skills, understanding and knowledge, and to provide a complete set of tools, for effective cross-sector partnering. Course content continued to be regularly updated, and was fully revised in 2018, capturing TPI’s latest thinking, including new frameworks such as Partnership Value Maximisation and the Collaborative Advantage. (See our guidebook, Maximising Partnership Value Creation)
In 2020, following the publication of the SDG Partnering Guidebook, a new course was designed to integrate the key material from the existing course with the most cutting edge partnering knowledge and theory, using the guidebook as its basis. In the context of Covid-19, the course has been reformatted as our first open online training, Effective Partnering for Sustainable Development, with the option of either a 1-week intensive, consisting of five 2-hour seminars, or a 5-week course with one seminar a week.
About the course
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and many of today’s societal, environmental, business and humanitarian challenges are so complex and interconnected that they can only be tackled by different sectors working together. From local NGO-business collaborations to global alliances, governments, business, civil society, and development agencies are joining their resources and competencies to stimulate innovation, ensure sustainability and create maximum value for all.
However, effective collaboration between stakeholders with different missions, interests, cultures and even vocabularies is difficult to achieve. It requires common understanding across partners; collective leadership; a collaborative mindset and a key partnering skill set; and both strong relationship management and output-focussed project management. With these critical elements in place, partnerships can achieve real impact. Without them, partnerships are likely to under-perform or fail altogether.
TPI’s flagship course aimed to develop skills, understanding and knowledge for partnering, balancing core knowledge with highly interactive, experiential learning through role play, ‘serious games’ and peer-to-peer exchange.
“TPI taught me that good partnership starts with forceful initiative but what makes it great is strategic reflection and constant adaption with an open mindset.” Participant from the World Bank.
Aims of the course
- Understanding of the rationale for, and risks of, partnering and when, and when not, to partner;
- An approach to predict and assess the value of prospective partnership;
- Appreciation of the drivers, societal roles and mindset of each sector;
- Clarity over what constitutes a ‘transactional collaboration’, what is a ‘genuine partnership’ and where each may be appropriate;
- An understanding of the essential processes of partnering;
- Appreciation of the ‘guiding principles’, challenges and success factors behind effective partnership;
- Understanding over what it takes to be a ‘good’ partner, and development of the skills and mindset required to partner well;
- Appreciation of the different types of leadership required to partner well;
- Gain access to a range of tools to develop and manage partnership;
- Understanding how to create agreements, implement, manage & review partnerships successfully;
- Familiarity with the ‘Partnering Cycle’, a framework for the development and management of partnership.