The Partnering Initiative, DESA Launch Guidebook on Maximizing Value of Partnerships for SDGs
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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A guidebook released by The Partnering Initiative and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs outlines how partnerships can maximize their value-add and contributions to the SDGs.

The document articulates eleven ways in which value can be created both for organizations and for society, and features three case studies.

13 July 2018: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and The Partnering Initiative (TPI) have published a guidebook titled, ‘Maximising the Impact of Partnerships for the SDGs,’ which aims to support organizations, governments and businesses in building effective partnerships, particularly across sectors and stakeholder groups.

Launched at the Partnership Exchange, taking place alongside the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the guidebook works at two levels: 1) the broader partnering journey of two or more institutions, to maximize the value that the partnership is creating; and 2) at the level of individual partner institutions, such that each maximizes the value of their being in the partnership. Working at each of these levels, two tools – a partnership value creation tool and an individual partner value tool – are featured as annexes.

The goal is to ensure that partnerships are greater than the sum of their parts.

Looking at the partnership as a whole, the guidebook defines collaborative advantage, or the power that partnership can bring to an issue or set of issues. This advantage yields a “partnership delta,” defined as the difference that a partnership can make compared to a single-actor or single-sector approach. The goal, TPI Executive Director, Darian Stibbe, noted, is to ensure that partnerships are greater than the sum of their parts.

Looking at value creation from the perspective of a participating institution, the guidebook distinguishes achievement of an organization’s mission – be it direct or indirect impact – from the value gained as an organization, which can include increases in funding, boosts to reputation, and capacity building, among other benefits.

The guide articulates eleven different ways in which partnerships create value, including but not limited to: bringing together complementary resources; sharing risk; shifting norms or raising standards; and scaling up across geographies. Illustrating the benefits and lessons, three case studies spanning energy, data, gender and health highlight key steps taken throughout the partnership cycle and the multiple value adds delivered.

The guidebook was developed with colleagues from World Vision. [Publication: Maximising the Impact of Partnerships for the SDGs (Working Version)] [Publication Landing Page] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on HLPF Partnership Exchange]


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