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Tool boxes for constructing effective partnerships

Tool boxes for constructing effective partnerships

What is the key to a successful partnership? The first workshop of the 2016 Peace and Sport Forum aimed to find out.

Partnerships come in many forms. Some involve an exchange of services or finances. Others involve a balance of complementary skills or knowledge. All are part of the sport and development sector's identity, and building connections between organisations and institutions is a crucial part of’s mission. 

The 2016 Peace and Sport Forum kicked off with a discussion of the topic.

Embrace failure
The first event of the 2016 Peace and Sport Forum looked at different forms of partnerships and what success looks like. Maria Bobenrieth, executive director of Women Win, opened proceedings by talking about some of her organisation’s relationships. Women Win pursues an “active learning agenda” through its partnerships, embracing “successful failures":

I believe that our task is so important that if we’re not failing every day, we’re not trying hard enough."

Balancing the interests of both parties is crucial in any successful partnership. Women Win’s priority is improving opportunities for women and girls. One of its partners, Standard Chartered Bank, has an interest in creating good customers. The topic of financial literacy was therefore identified as a mutual interest in their work together.

Use different approaches for different partners
Leandro Olvech, director of the development programme at the International Table Tennis Federation, (ITTF) also shared some experiences. The ITTF has worked with a range of partners including Peace and Sport and the International Paralympic Committee.

Olvech highlighted that different approaches are required for different partners. This year, the federation began implementing a project in Nepal to integrate people with disabilities into society. It is organised in collaboration with All Nepal Table Tennis Association (ANTTA) and the Nepalese Disabled Table Tennis Association (NDTTA), and supported by the United Nations Office for Sport for Development and Peace.

The UN system is larger than the ITTF, with more bureaucratic systems in place; the Nepali partners are much smaller. Different expertise and approaches are required for relations with the two types of partners.

Refine goals and build a powerful idea
Raphaëlle Desrousseaux, regional programme development officer at the Moby Group, told the story of how Afghanistan’s first football league was created. She asked the audience to imagine the sound of more than 15,000 Afghani football fans packed into a stadium, previously associated with violence under the Taliban, to watch their favourite teams play.

The Moby Group and the Afghan Football Federation created the league in 2012, using the “cathartic power of sport” to bring about nation building and social change. The Moby Group is the largest media broadcaster in the country. It saw the league as an opportunity to transmit positive messages. The average season sees 13.4 million people watching on television and 10 million tuning in via radio. Coverage has included the first female voice to be featured on the radio.

Desrousseaux urged the audience to refine goals and build a powerful idea. A partnership is like a marriage – you must focus on what each partner brings to the other.



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Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 18:01

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