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Assessing partnership performance
Understanding the drivers for success
Given the importance placed on partnership constructs to deliver on sustainable development goals and the time, energy and funding put into them, practitioners are beholden to articulate the effectiveness of their partnerships more concisely. Whilst there is much guidance on evaluating outputs, practitioners find it difficult and often inconclusive to clearly gauge how effective and efficient are the processes of the partnerships in which they are engaged. Assessments need to provide clear evidence that a partnership is a more appropriate and worthwhile choice than alternative means like a contract or transaction, which might present more straightforward ways of achieving the same outputs. The partnership assessment process should be treated, first and foremost, as a conversation between the partners with an emphasis on constantly improving the ability of partners to work together effectively. Giving consideration to partnership drivers is central to this. Without a clear understanding of the incentives and obligations for partners to meet their commitments and contribute to decision-making, it is highly unlikely that a partnership will perform effectively and fulfil the potential that collaborative working offers. BPD's aim through this work is to provide partnership practitioners with guidance that is simple enough to apply but comprehensive enough to tell them whether the effort was worth it or not. The document (see link below) is designed to prompt partnership practitioners into discussion, particularly around areas that partners should agree at the outset and then review on a regular basis.