‘Partnership’ has been a buzzword in sustainable development for many years. Over time, however, it has become increasingly clear that these multi-stakeholder collaborations, while being energetically promoted, have been struggling to achieve their ambitious goals. Indeed, many struggle simply to become partnerships – in any meaningful sense of that word. The role key individuals play in shepherding or ‘brokering’ partnerships through a process of development is essential.
Understanding this vital role, in 2003 the International Business Leaders Forum in collaboration with the UK’s Overseas Development Institute developed a formal professional training for partnership brokers.
Since 2003, some 700 individuals have completed the basic partnership brokers training course with more than 250 going on to qualify as accredited partnership brokers. Several organisations have sent significant numbers of their staff through the course – including AusAID, CARE International, Nike, Rio Tinto, Shell and World Vision. Other organisations have commissioned partnership brokers training for their employees and / or partnerships, including: Africa Development Bank, GTZ, Microsoft, Newmont, and the government of Newfoundland & Labrador.
The momentum of this work has grown exponentially, and to meet the growing demand, the Partnership Brokers Association has been launched to promote partnership brokering and support partnership brokers worldwide.
Building from the Partnership Brokering Project (run by TPI on behalf of the International Business Leaders Forum since 2008), the new Association provides information about partnership brokering; a range of professional training courses for those operating as partnership brokers and a programme of action research and advocacy.
TPI’s Director, Darian Stibbe says:
“The creation of a professional association marks how far the work has come in pioneering what is genuinely a new profession. It is excellent news for all those working to make multi-stakeholder partnerships maximize their potential and meet global needs. We at TPI are proud to have played an integral role in the development of the Association, and look forward to working closely with the Association in future.”
For more information about partnership brokering and the Partnership Brokers Association www.partnershipbrokers.org