Partnershipmatters.org is a new website for anyone who is interested in sharing resources and experiences with a view to improving Partnership Practice in International Development work.
It also has the intention of helping people and organisations improve the way that they work in partnership, particularly with partners in other countries and in understanding what makes these types of relationships more effective.
Development research has for many years questioned the practice of donors and INGOs. It has suggested that whilst increasingly using a rhetoric which prioritises partnership working, usually with local organisations, many practitioners have not paid sufficient attention to what ‘good partnership working’ actually entails. Instead much emphasis has been placed upon approaches to the Planning and Management, borrowed from the corporate sector, with little proven impact on social change. As a result, many relationships between what are known as ‘Local Partners‘ and INGOs and Donors are in reality more like those between a subsurvient contractor and a powerful dominant party whose whims and policy changes have a largely unexplained impact on individuals and organisations overseas.
This website seeks to play a small part in challenging practice which perpetuates these subservient power dynamics. To help achieve this the website will share reports, ideas and resources in an effort to make positive, transparent, equitable partnership a more common reality. In doing so it will challenge some of the existing practice in the International Development Sector and offer alternative approaches.
About the Creator
My name is Mary Ann Mhina and I have worked extensively as an International Development practitioner in East Africa dealing particularly with issues of equity, diversity, disability and mental health. I became interested in, and have tried to build, more open and equitable relationships in my work with overseas partners. As an anthropologist, writer and facilitator I am also interested in exploring relationships, power and development. In the UK I have been involved in the governance of charities supporting both vulnerable women and migrants. My intention is that the site will become an open space for exploring research, good practice and learning in this field. If you are interested in support with improving the way that you or your organisation work in partnership please use the ‘Get in Touch’ form.
Partnership Matters: A Reflective Guide is now available here.
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