Identifying the added value of partnerships

This tool is part of our How to Strengthen Collaboration toolkit for civil society organisations. PDF and Word checklist versions of this individual resource are available for download at the bottom of the page.

This checklist can be used:

  1. By an individual organisation to determine what they expect or hope to achieve from partnerships (e.g. as part of the partnering policy formation process)
  2. Between potential partners at the scoping and building stage, in order to identify the value each partner is bringing to the table and how this combines to address a certain issue or achieve impact; this can also promote transparency about expected individual organisational benefits from the partnership
  3. Between existing partners to review and revise their partnership, in terms of the value and benefits it is creating – seeing if anything needs to change to maximise value

These are the ways in which a partnership between different organisations helps to achieve shared goals for impact in the world.

  1. Complementarity: Bringing together different kinds of resources (e.g. expertise) to provide a complete solution that could not be achieved without all those resources
  2. Critical mass: Creating collective legitimacy and knowledge to enable the development and promotion of new norms and policies, which raise standards or create a level playing field in a given sector
  3. Innovation for effectiveness: Combining different expertise and experience together to develop new, innovative solutions/interventions/services/advocacy (etc.)
  4. Holistic response: Bringing together actors from across societal sectors to address multiple interconnected issues
  5. Shared learning: Raising the level of knowledge, expertise and capacity to raise the quality, and therefore impact, of interventions/advocacy
  6. Scale: Ability to reach more people or wider areas through coordinated or combined delivery
  7. Higher quality, faster emergency response: Leveraging and combining resources that allow a timely, more effective response to emergencies

These are the ways in which partnership can benefit individual partners. These benefits are often intrinsically linked to the collaborative advantages listed above.

  1. Accessing in-kind physical resources: e.g. materials/supplies, staff, workspaces, vehicles, IT equipment
  2. Accessing in-kind non-physical resources: Technical knowledge and expertise, publicity, capacity building/training, data and information
  3. Accessing additional funding/financial resources: e.g. for a specific program/initiative, for capacity development/training of staff, for the publication of reports or guidelines, for staff salaries
  4. Enhanced credibility, legitimacy, and influence: By association with well-known or well-regarded entities or initiatives and/or as a result of extra impact achieved through the partnership
  5. Access to new connections and peer-to-peer learning: Partners give access to networks and contacts not previously accessed
  6. Improved staff performance and morale: Through working with counterparts from other organisations and achieving impact together

This tool is available for download in English:

You can also view and download the full How to Strengthen Collaboration toolkit, which is available in English, French and Spanish.

This resource was developed by GNDR and The Partnering as part of the Initiative Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development project.

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