The Partnering Toolbook offers a concise, step-by-step overview of the essential elements that make for effective partnering. The toolbook was written by Ros Tennyson and produced by The Partnering Initiative in co-operation with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Partnering Initiative uses the term partnership to specifically to describe a formal working relationship between organisations from different sectors of society (business, government and civil society):

“…Partnership is a cross-sector collaboration in which organisations work together in a transparent, equitable and mutually beneficial way. The partners agree to commit resources, share the risks as well as the benefits to work together towards a shared goal.”

The benefits to partners derived from successful partnerships can include:

  • Access (to knowledge): mitigating risk and reducing potential conflict by greater understanding of the operational context;
  • Innovation: developing new ways of addressing old issues and complex challenges as well as maximising new opportunities;
  • Effectiveness: creating better suited products and services;
  • Efficiency: achieving reduced (or shared) costs and better delivery systems;
  • Access (to people): drawing on a wider ‘pool’ of specialists, technical expertise, experience, skills and networks;
  • Human resource development: enhanced professional skills and competencies in the work force;
  • Reputation and credibility: improved organisational reputation and credibility;
  • Long-term stability: greater ‘reach’ means more development impact a direct objective of government and civil society, but it is also critical to the sustainability of business.

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© The Partnering Initiative, a global programme of International Business Leaders Forum in association with The University of Cambridge Programme for Industry.