Building Partnerships

What is the purpose of the partnerships? What makes a good partnership? Access information on the guiding principles and the partnering process as well as useful steps that will help you put your idea to practice.

Useful information and steps to take when building partnerships with civil society actors.

What is a good partnership?

A good partnership is one that achieves more than any single organisation could do. It is one where the mission of all partners is enhanced and where impact is either wider or deeper, or both.

A partnership involves two or more organisations or groups and a good partnership is one where there is equality between the partners. Even if some organisations may be larger or more resourceful than others in the partnership, there is an agreed equality. In a good partnership, the partners treat each other with respect. A good partnership does not start with the question “What is in it for us?” but with the question “What is out there for our mission?”.

Equity & Mutual Respect

Equity is about fairness in the partnership, it demands partners to respect each other’s institutional mandates and independence. Mutual respect and equity is important as MSF acknowledges that power imbalances may affect the partnership. MSF acknowledges that all contributions are equally vital to achieving the shared purpose.

Partnership Processes

Each project, and each partnership, will be unique and need to find their own path adapting to the circumstances. There are however some general steps that should be considered in the process. Some of these may be obvious, others may seem overly bureaucratic, and it is important to consider these even if each step is not followed. In that way, the partnership process is intentional and not happenstance.