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partnerships:azp:a-z [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +An A to Z of partnerships and networks
 +======================================
 +
 +[[_TOC_]]
 +
 +This is a revised version of an [A-Z originally developed in
 +1994](AZP). See also the [Guide to Effective
 +Participation](../​guide/​index) which also includes an A-Z with a
 +focus on community involvement. [](../​part/​links)If you want to use
 +any of the material, please contact me. David Wilcox
 +\<<​david@partnerships.org.uk>​\>​
 +
 +## Accountability
 +
 +The lowest level of Government is the individual.
 +
 +Accountability means knowing who is answerable to whom - often difficult
 +in a partnership or network where paid staff have different employers,
 +and activists a range of allegiances. To clarify accountability in
 +practice consider:
 +
 +• Who can stop someone doing something?
 +
 +• Whose permission is needed for someone to act?
 +
 +• Who pays them?
 +
 +Think of accountability through a process of community involvement as
 +well as representation,​ and in relation to specific projects as much as
 +structures. See Terms of reference.
 +
 +## Action plans
 +
 +Ideas won't keep, something must be done about them. Alfred North
 +Whitehead.
 +
 +Action plans answer questions of: what do we do next? who does it? with
 +what resources? Action minutes after meetings should ensure something
 +happens, and clarify accountability.
 +
 +## Activists
 +
 +Activists is used here to mean those people active in local
 +organisations and/or developing projects for community benefit, but who
 +are not paid workers. While clearly key people to involve in
 +partnerships and networks, there is a danger of the same faces
 +dominating and being seen as a clique. To avoid this, and involve more
 +people, do some networking and run workshops.
 +
 +## Agendas
 +
 +It might be termed the Law of Triviality. Briefly stated, it means that
 +the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion
 +to the sum involved. C. Northcote Parkinson.
 +
 +Agendas are the traditional means of planning a formal meeting,
 +circulated with back-up papers. Workshops need a different approach,
 +with charts, posts-its and other ways of stimulating interaction. See
 +also Outcomes, Team building, Vision.
 +
 +## Agendas - hidden
 +
 +The different interests in a partnership or network will have different
 +aims, and agendas for achieving them. Success comes from finding where
 +these agendas overlap. Conflict develops from lack of understanding or
 +disclosure. The question is: 'What are we trying to achieve - together?'​
 +Finding the answer usually requires a process to develop trust, projects
 +with priorities - and recognising that communities are not uniform but
 +include many different interests
 +
 +## Aims and objectives
 +
 +Aims are a written description of what a group or organisation is trying
 +to achieve, and the objectives are the methods by which they may do
 +that. The different interests in a partnership will all have their own
 +aims and objectives - so focus on where these overlap. See also,
 +Outcomes, Purpose, Vision.
 +
 +## Allies
 +
 +You will need some in forming a partnership - to provide personal
 +support and act as a sounding board; offer advice; host meetings;
 +champion your ideas.
 +
 +## Asset base
 +
 +If partnerships are to sustain their activities beyond a few years, they
 +need to plan how to generate revenue after initial grants ends.
 +Development Trusts general aim to create an asset base of land or
 +buildings which may provide rental or other income.
 +
 +# Attitudes
 +
 +Some of the main barriers to participation and partnership lie in the
 +attitudes people bring to the process. Residents may lack confidence or
 +feel action is not their responsibility. Officials may see getting the
 +job done quickly as a top priority, even if it doesn'​t meet the needs of
 +all concerned. Councillors may feel their power is eroded by sharing
 +decision making with local people. Non-elected representatives may be
 +uncertain of their roles. Help people to get to know each other and
 +broaden their ideas through workshops, and socials.
 +
 +See also Commitment, Ownership, Stakeholders.
 +
 +## Barriers to partnership
 +
 +These may include
 +
 +• Differences of philosophy and ways of working.
 +
 +• Lack of communication.
 +
 +• Unequal and unacceptable balance of power and control.
 +
 +• Unclear, hidden or incompatible agendas.
 +
 +• Some partners brought in late.
 +
 +Address these through a process to build trust. See also Agendas,
 +Control, Communication,​ Partnership building.
 +
 +## Beneficiaries
 +
 +Partnerships are generally formed with the expressed intention of
 +providing some wider benefit… but there is always a danger that they
 +become inward looking. Who are the intended beneficiaries?​ Do they get a
 +say through community involvement or representation?​
 +
 +## Benefits
 +
 +The benefits of forming a partnership for the partners may include
 +bidding for funds otherwise not available; pooling skills and
 +experience; getting a new angle on a problem. Does this outweigh costs -
 +and does it also benefit the intended beneficiaries?​
 +
 +## Bids for funding
 +
 +Funding bids are probably the main trigger for partnership formation. In
 +preparing bids:
 +
 +• Treat the bid as the start of business planning, if you are forming a
 +new organisation.
 +
 +• Aim for a mix of funding - not just one source.
 +
 +• Think through aims and objectives independently of the bid. Meet your
 +own purpose as well as your funder'​s.
 +
 +• Place the bid in a partnership-building process.
 +
 +## Brainstorming
 +
 +*Think sideways! Edward de Bono*.
 +
 +Brainstorming is defined as 'a means of getting a large number of ideas
 +from a group of people in a short time'. It is one of the most widely
 +used workshop techniques, and useful when partnerships are trying to
 +shape their agenda and tackle problems creatively.
 +
 +## Brainstorming
 +
 +After you have defined the problem or question:
 +
 +• Throw up every idea you can. Don't discuss or reject any.
 +
 +• Record ideas on a chart - one idea may spark off another.
 +
 +• When ideas dry up, cross off those agreed as ludicrous.
 +
 +• Look for common themes and possible solutions.
 +
 +• Draw up an action plan.
 +
 +## Business planning
 +
 +Any partnership which aims to keep going in the long term needs a
 +business or development plan. For a non-profit organisation the plan
 +will balance the costs and income of three parts of its operation:
 +
 +• The projects, products or services provided by the organisation.
 +
 +• The core staff, premises and equipment.
 +
 +• Any fundraising.
 +
 +The business plan should cover at least three years and show how
 +fundraising and any income earned from projects covers the core costs.
 +
 +See also Companies, Constitution,​ Fundraising.
 +
 +## Champions
 +
 +Partnerships work because of people. You will need to find people
 +prepared to champion the idea within potential partner organisations and
 +in the wider community. Value these allies, and bring them together in
 +socials as well as more formal events.
 +
 +## Change
 +
 +Partnerships usually involve change: seeing things from other people'​s
 +point of view, respecting into other people'​s ways of doing things and
 +changing your own. This can be threatening,​ but it can also be
 +enormously creative. It can painful, but it can also be fun. Either way
 +it takes time, which is why creating partnerships should be seen as
 +process, not a structural fix.
 +
 +## Charitable status
 +
 +A charity is not a particular form of organisation,​ different from a
 +company or community group. Both may be charities, if they are accepted
 +and registered as such by the Charity Commissioners. (In Scotland and
 +Northern Ireland registration is directly with the Inland Revenue). To
 +be registered as a charity an organisation must have appropriate
 +objects.
 +
 +Charitable status adds credibility to an organisation,​ provides some tax
 +benefits, and enables it to apply to large charities for funding. In
 +general charities can only make gifts to other charities. There are,
 +however, restrictions on trading and members of any management committee
 +have substantial additional responsibilities as trustees. Consulting a
 +solicitor or organisation specialising in charity law will save you a
 +lot of time and possible confusion.
 +
 +## Charts
 +
 +These may be flip charts - pads of large paper used with an easel - or
 +simply lining paper tacked to the wall. They are an essential tool of
 +partnership-building,​ because they help you break out of committee mode.
 +Committees need agendas and minutes - workshops need charts. In using
 +charts:
 +
 +• Stick charts up as you write them, so people can see early work.
 +
 +• Offer the pen to others in the group.
 +
 +• Keep charts or photograph them as a record.
 +
 +
 +## Cliques
 +
 +Two complaints are often heard in community-based organisations:​ those
 +on the outside maintain a small clique of people decides everything, and
 +no-one else can get a look in. Those on the inside complain they are
 +overworked and others are apathetic. To avoid this, if you are inside
 +aim for transparency,​ and practice community involvement. Think about
 +other people'​s agendas as well as your own. If you are outside, look for
 +some positive ways to engage… go for practical collaborations.
 +
 +## Commitment
 +
 +The centre line of partnership-building is gaining commitment. It
 +depends on developing a shared vision, and some ownership of the ideas
 +which are to be put into practice.
 +
 +## Committees
 +
 +What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to
 +do the unnecessary. Richard Harkness.
 +
 +Committees of partnership organisations can pose particular problems
 +because almost inevitably people come from different background, and
 +probably haven'​t worked together before. In order to overcome this, run
 +workshops and organise socials to complement formal events
 +
 +## Meetings checklist
 +
 +To improve your committee meetings, get members to agree to:
 +
 +• Read papers beforehand and bring them to the meeting.
 +
 +• Check what they don't understand and research background.
 +
 +• Turn up at the right time and stick to the agenda.
 +
 +• Think before speaking and listen to other people .
 +
 +• Seek decisions on which all can agree.
 +
 +• Record what needs to be done.
 +
 +• Read the action minutes and take any action necessary.
 +
 +## Communication
 +
 +Information is giving out; communication is getting through. Sydney J.
 +Harris
 +
 +Effective communication involves considering how your message will be
 +received as well as how you send it: the meaning of any communication
 +lies in the response you get. Obvious barriers are:
 +
 +• Lack of clarity about what you want to get across.
 +
 +• Jargon.
 +
 +• Hostility to you or your organisation.
 +
 +• Lack of credibility in the message or the person giving it.
 +
 +## Community
 +
 +Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their
 +tastes may not be the same. George Bernard Shaw
 +
 +Community is a term so widely applied that it is in danger of losing any
 +meaning, like '​members of the public'​. Aren't we all? It is more useful
 +to think of a large number of over-lapping communities distinguished by
 +the characteristics of their members, and the common interests which tie
 +members together and give these characteristics a shared significance.
 +Because individuals may belong to many different communities at the same
 +time, different allegiances may people pull in different directions.
 +There are likely to be competing and conflicting interests within
 +communities. See also networks.
 +
 +See also Stakeholders.
 +
 +## Community forum
 +
 +A community or neighbourhood forum is a regular meeting of community
 +activists and interest groups which may also involve local business,
 +political, religious and social organisations. It may be useful for
 +discussion of issues of concern to local interests, and for stimulating
 +contacts and networking. A forum is not so good for turning discussion
 +into action, where some complementary 'do it' organisation like a
 +Development Trust may be needed.
 +
 +## Setting up a community forum
 +
 +• Avoid domination by any one interest group.
 +
 +• Consider splitting meetings into small groups so people have more
 +chance to contribute.
 +
 +• Seek an independent widely-respected chair.
 +
 +• Make any servicing of the forum - developing agendas, recording
 +discussion - as independent as possible.
 +
 +• Don't make the forum the only channel for communication.
 +
 +See also Networking, Small groups, Structures.
 +
 +## Community Involvement
 +
 +Partnership bodies can be just as inward looking and autocratic as
 +larger bureaucracies. In planning community involvement:​
 +
 +• Think beyond 'the community'​ to different interests.
 +
 +• Consider the level of participation which may be appropriate. Be
 +explicit about how much '​say'​ and involvement people may have.
 +
 +• Meet people informally.
 +
 +• Use a range of participation methods - print, events, workshops - if
 +you are aiming for more than basic information giving.
 +
 +Involve partners, and treat them as communities in their own right, and
 +run internal workshops to gain commitment.
 +
 +## Companies
 +
 +A particular form of company, the company limited by guarantee, is
 +increasingly popular as an organisational structure for partnerships.
 +Companies limited by guarantee do not have shareholders - instead their
 +members agree to pay a nominal sum, often only £1, if the company fails.
 +The rights of these members to appoint members of the governing body -
 +the Board - are defined by the constitution - the Memorandum and
 +Articles of Association. The company does not distribute surpluses as
 +profits, but reinvests them in the company. If the members of the Board
 +are unpaid, and the company has appropriate objects, it can seek
 +charitable status.
 +
 +See also Development Trusts and structures
 +
 +## Constitution
 +
 +A constitution sets out governing rules for an organisation. For a
 +company it is the Memorandum and Articles of Association. Constitutions
 +are important at the beginning, when a body is being set up, and when
 +there is an argument about control. Generally:
 +
 +• Clarify aims and objectives, vision, and an action plan before
 +drafting the constitution.
 +
 +• Avoid using the constitution to resolve disputes.
 +
 +• Consult a solicitor with experience of non-profit organisations if you
 +are forming a company.
 +
 +Constitutions should come after you have decided what the partnership is
 +going to do. In the meantime, you may need some interim arrangement to
 +guide the start up process, like a steering committee.
 +
 +## Consultants
 +
 +*A consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time,
 +and charges you by the minute to do it*.
 +
 +Consultants may be most helpful for partnerships if:
 +
 +• They act as '​process consultants'​ to help groups through the
 +partnership-building process, and/or
 +
 +• They act as independent facilitators during that process
 +
 +• They have clear briefs for specific project studies.
 +
 +• They provide support and training around key issues.
 +
 +It is a mistake to ask consultants to design partnership structures or
 +programmes unless they work closely with all the key interests.
 +
 +## Consultation
 +
 +Consultation is the level of participation at which people are offered
 +some choices on what is to happen, but are not involved in developing
 +additional options. As such it is not a level of partnership.
 +
 +## Control
 +
 +Control in partnerships tends to lie with those who have the money,
 +skills and administration - however well intentioned they may be in
 +seeking to involve others. For that reason partnerships formed around
 +existing organisations may seem very unequal to other participants. Ways
 +around this include:
 +
 +• Checking whether '​partnership'​ is the right label for what is being
 +attempted. Would consultation or contract be more appropriate?​
 +
 +• Being explicit about accountability and terms of reference.
 +
 +• Setting up formal partnerships when the aim is to share control.
 +
 +• Dispersing control by creating a network structure around projects.
 +
 +See Networks, Power, Structures
 +
 +## Costs
 +
 +Partnerships do cost time, money and commitment if they are to work.
 +Creating the partnership can take up to a year in the case of a formal
 +structure like a development trust. They will need volunteer or staff
 +time, and resources for projects. Will the costs outweigh the benefits?
 +
 +## Definition
 +
 +It is difficult to provide a single definition for partnerships,​ which
 +can vary considerably in structure and purpose. However, they generally
 +bring together interests from different sectors towards a common aim;
 +share risks, skills and resources; and seek to achieve mutual benefit
 +and synergy. Partnership is more than loose cooperation,​ coordinating
 +separate activities - or contracting for services.
 +
 +## Democracy
 +
 +Incorporated partnerships like Development Trusts which aim to
 +regenerate neighbourhoods may face challenges over their accountability
 +to local people, and calls that their governing bodies - the Board -
 +should be democratically elected.
 +
 +Some trusts do hold elections, either within the community as a whole,
 +or among local organisations. However, there may be tension between this
 +desire for representation and the need to appoint Board members who have
 +the confidence and competence to run a company, and possibly also act as
 +trustees. It is possible to have a mix of appointed and elected Board
 +members. Plan effective community involvement to ensure some
 +participative democracy.
 +
 +## Development trusts
 +
 +The Development Trusts Association defines Development Trusts as:
 +
 +"​Community-based organisations working for the sustainable regeneration
 +of their area through a mixture of economic, environmental and social
 +initiatives. They are independent,​ not-for-profit bodies - often
 +registered charities - which are committed to the involvement of local
 +people in the process of regeneration and aim to be locally accountable
 +in the work they do."
 +
 +They should not be confused with community trusts, which are fundraising
 +and grant-making bodies. Development Trusts are usually incorporated as
 +a non-profit distributing company with several paid staff to work on
 +projects. They often aim to develop an asset base to ensure their
 +sustainability.
 +
 +## Director
 +
 +The term director may have two meanings in a Development Trust: first, a
 +member of the Board who is a director under company law, and probably
 +unpaid; second, the chief member of staff, perhaps termed the executive
 +director. He or she will probably not be a member of the Board, and
 +certainly cannot be if the Trust is a charity.
 +
 +## Electronic forums
 +
 +Email or World Wide Web makes it simple (for those online) to engage in
 +collaborative working or discussions without having to be in the same
 +place, or on the phone, at the same time. Forums can be another tool of
 +community involvement - but are no substitute for '​real'​ meetings.
 +
 +## Email
 +
 +Email transforms partnerships in two ways: first it enormously increases
 +efficiency of operation through easy one-to-one messaging, and
 +many-to-many electronic forums. Second, it challenges hierarchies and
 +makes it easier to operate through equal-status teams. Since anyone can
 +communicate with anyone else anytime, decisions don't have to wait on
 +committee meetings.
 +
 +## Events
 +
 +Partnerships are built as much through the relationships of people as
 +formal structures; and the way to build relationships is by bringing
 +people together. Events are the milestones in the process of creating a
 +partnership;​ whether formal events like steering group and Board
 +meetings, presentations or launches, or informal events like breakfast
 +briefings, lunches or socials.
 +
 +## Face-to-face
 +
 +As opposed to face-to-screen…. F2f is used particularly by online people
 +to remind themselves that sometimes the best way to communicate is to
 +put one head in front of another, preferably in a convivial environment.
 +
 +## Facilitation
 +
 +Facilitators are to workshops what chairpersons are to committees. They
 +use charts, post-its and other techniques like brainstorming and SWOT to
 +help groups establish priorities and develop action plans - rather than
 +work through a formal agenda. You need both in partnerships.
 +
 +## Factors for success
 +
 +These include:
 +
 +• An agreed need that a partnership is necessary
 +
 +• An agreed strategy with clear objectives
 +
 +• Respect and trust between different interests.
 +
 +• Compatible ways of working, and flexibility.
 +
 +• Being effective at managing and delivering.
 +
 +• Time to build the partnership.
 +
 +## Five Ws plus H
 +
 +The simplest questions are the hardest to answer. Northrop Frye
 +
 +A simple checklist to help you think of issues:
 +
 +**What** are you trying to do, decide, explain?
 +
 +**When** must you start and finish?
 +
 +**Why** is it necessary?
 +
 +**Who** needs to be consulted, involved?
 +
 +**Where** is it happening?
 +
 +H stands for **How**, which follows the Ws.
 +
 +## Fundraising
 +
 +In planning any fundraising consider:
 +
 +• What do you need the money for, and how much? Do a budget.
 +
 +• When will you need it? Produce a Time Line.
 +
 +• What will you do if you can't raise the total you need?
 +
 +• Who is likely to fund you, and why should they support you?
 +
 +• Will you need more money later when initial funds are used up?
 +
 +## Governance
 +
 +Governance is the issue of 'who is in charge - ultimately'​. In an
 +organisation or company it is clearly the management committee or Board.
 +Governance and accountability is less clear in a network, which may
 +raise concerns if the network is dealing with public funds and community
 +concerns. This may be dealt with by transparency,​ community involvement
 +and participation.
 +
 +## Joining up
 +
 +Increasingly partnerships are formed to 'join up' the activities of
 +different agencies. Government is a strong advocate of '​joined up
 +thinking'​. The test of effectiveness is whether a partnership can go
 +beyond joined up writing (of bids) through joined up talking and
 +thinking to joined up delivery. See projects and teams.
 +
 +## Launch
 +
 +A launch can be useful both externally internally:
 +
 +• It provides a formal start line if used at the beginning, when you can
 +outline the overall process and your stance to others.
 +
 +• It is a good time to attract media coverage.
 +
 +• It is an opportunity for social contacts.
 +
 +• It is a deadline for making decisions and preparing materials.
 +
 +## Legal advice
 +
 +Consult a solicitor if you are forming a company and/or seeking
 +charitable status. However, do choose one who specialises in this field…
 +it can be a false economy to take '​free'​ advice.
 +
 +## Management committee
 +
 +The management committee is the governing body for an organisation,​ to
 +which staff are accountable. In a company it is the Board of directors.
 +It is important to strike a balance in composition:​ little will be
 +achieved if everyone on the committee has to learn how to manage an
 +organisation. However, a committee which has no representation of key
 +interests may well find itself in difficulty. Networks may operate as
 +'self governing'​ groups, in which case community involvement and
 +participation will be particularly important.
 +
 +## Media
 +
 +*News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is
 +advertising. Lord Northcliffe*.
 +
 +The media is mainly in the business of interesting and entertaining its
 +users, and of selling itself or advertising. It is not there as a public
 +service to promote your ideas or project. Journalists judge what is news
 +against 'news values'​ which generally include:
 +
 +• Conflict (where'​s the row).
 +
 +• Hardship (how many hurt, who is in danger).
 +
 +• Oddity (that'​s unusual).
 +
 +• Scandal (sex, corruption).
 +
 +• Individuality (what an interesting person).
 +
 +• Disclosure (we can reveal).
 +
 +Local journalists have a more relaxed view than Lord Northcliffe,​ but
 +you do need to consider what's in the story for them. In producing a
 +press release, make sure you have answered the Five Ws plus H.
 +
 +## Meetings
 +
 +Meetings are at the heart of partnership building processes, whether
 +social get-togethers,​ committees, workshops, or public meetings.
 +
 +## Meetings checklist
 +
 +For effective meetings, consider:
 +
 +• Style of the meeting. If it is to be a creative workshop rather than a
 +committee, make sure people know that in advance.
 +
 +• An accessible venue (public transport, disabled access).
 +
 +• Child care (crèche, financial assistance).
 +
 +• What information and notice is appropriate beforehand. Provide papers
 +with options for formal meetings, but only an outline for a workshop so
 +that people are spontaneous.
 +
 +• Any aids you will need: charts, projectors etc.
 +
 +• The layout of the room, and scope for breaking into small groups.
 +Avoid a platform and lecture-style seating
 +
 +• Good management of the meeting itself, and follow-up: see Action
 +plans, Committees, Public meetings, Workshops.
 +
 +## Membership
 +
 +Partnership organisations may have wide (public) or limited membership,
 +which may or may not have rights to elect the management committee or
 +Board. If you do plan a membership, consider what benefits you will
 +offer and the costs of providing any services.
 +
 +## Money
 +
 +Any partnership undertaking substantial work has to consider whose banks
 +account holds funds, and who can sign the cheques. This consideration,​
 +more than any other, is likely to determine the structure of a
 +partnership. The account could be with an existing organisation,​ or that
 +of a new partnership company. '​Networky'​ partnerships may be able to
 +manage by different team using different organisations as fund holders.
 +
 +## Networks
 +
 +We are all members of networks - of friends, family, work, acquaintance,​
 +hobbies - and communities can be seen a lots of interlinked networks.
 +Online communication makes it much easier to develop and sustain
 +networks, and richness of connections they offer. Because of this,
 +partnerships are becoming more '​networky'​. Networks place more emphasis
 +on connections between individuals than partnerships formed by bringing
 +different groups or organisations together. One model for a '​networky'​
 +partnership is linked project teams.
 +
 +## Networking
 +
 +Networking is the important business of making informal contacts,
 +chatting, and picking up further contacts. It is the way to learn:
 +
 +• What issues people consider important.
 +
 +• The sort of ideas and language they find familiar.
 +
 +• Who are the key people and organisations - the stakeholders.
 +
 +Networking is important before other more formal information-giving like
 +producing leaflets, staging exhibitions and holding meetings. National
 +networking organisations may also be able to provide you with local
 +contacts, and similar projects elsewhere. Online communication has added
 +another dimension to networking because it is possible to keep in touch
 +more easily and cheaply.
 +
 +## Not invented here
 +
 +The opposite of ownership, and one of the most significant barriers to
 +participation and partnership. People are far more likely to participate
 +effectively in partnerships if they play a part in developing ideas and
 +action plans. Networks may enable people to maintain their own
 +territories - but still require some shared commitment.
 +
 +## Online
 +
 +Online is where you are when you are connected to the Internet…. a
 +global network of computers enabling you to use email, World Wide Web
 +and other tools increasingly essential to partnerships. See email, WWW ,
 +virtual teams and networks for why. The UK Government has set targets
 +for all citizen dealings with Government to be online by 2005. That
 +means all inter-organisational dealing are likely to be online too. If
 +you are not online, you will be out of the loop.
 +
 +## Outcomes
 +
 +Outcomes is used here to describe those general results of plans and
 +actions which you are seeking to achieve. Thinking in terms of outcomes
 +which you may see, hear, feel as well as the more abstract aims and
 +objectives should help clarify what to do to achieve what you want. For
 +partnerships to work well, the outcomes sought by different parties must
 +dovetail to some extent.
 +
 +## Outputs
 +
 +Outputs are the measurable results of projects or programmes - homes
 +built, people who have completed training - and are dear to funders who
 +want to know what they are getting for their money.
 +
 +## Ownership
 +
 +*The more you let yourself do, the less others let you do. Friedrich
 +Nietzsche*.
 +
 +The stake that people have in an idea, a project or an organisation is
 +fundamental to their commitment. For that reason, early brainstorming
 +workshops, where everyone has a chance to contribute ideas, are
 +important.
 +
 +See also Control.
 +
 +## Participation
 +
 +Participation is used here to describe a process by which individuals,​
 +groups and organisations are consulted about or have the opportunity to
 +become actively involved in a project or programme of activity.
 +
 +## Partnership
 +
 +*All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
 +George Orwell*.
 +
 +Partnerships are formal or informal arrangements to work together to
 +some joint purpose. In my view:
 +
 +• Informal partnerships work best when the project is specific and
 +clearly achievable.
 +
 +• Where the task is complex and long term it may be necessary to create
 +a more formal structure for decision-making .
 +
 +• It is difficult to tackle a wide range of issues through an informal
 +partnership. It is better to treat this as consultation,​ or form a
 +network where different groups tackle different projects.
 +
 +• Simply setting up a partnership structure doesn'​t solve the problems.
 +You still need to clarify joint purpose, values etc.
 +
 +Partnerships do not have to be equal - but the various parties do need
 +to feel that they are involved to an appropriate degree.
 +
 +## Partnership building
 +
 +Partnerships,​ like relationships,​ take time to develop. Are partners
 +after the same thing (outcome)? Do they have the same idea of what is
 +important (values)? Do they trust each other? It may be helpful to think
 +of developing a partnership as a four-stage process:
 +
 +• Initiation: something triggers the idea of a partnership.
 +
 +• Preparation:​ the initiator plans how to involve others.
 +
 +• Action: the partnership is formed.
 +
 +• Continuation - or separation.
 +
 +## Post-it notes
 +
 +A great technical aid to collective decision-making,​ and an improvement
 +on basic Brainstorming. When running workshops give people pads of
 +Post-its to write their ideas on, then stick them on a chart and move
 +them around into groups.
 +
 +## Power
 +
 +Issues of power and control are central to the development of
 +partnerships. For example:
 +• Do all key interests have an equal ability or opportunity to
 +participate in developing in the partnership if they wish?
 +• Who designs the partnership building process; to whom are they
 +accountable?​
 +• Who sets the timetable and controls the funds?
 +• Who makes the final decisions?
 +
 +The rhetoric of partnership can often be used to disempower people
 +if it is used - consciously or unconsciously - to mask these
 +fundamental questions. Partnerships should aim to increase the
 +'power to' of partners while avoiding imbalances of 'power over'
 +that are unacceptable to some partners.
 +
 +## Practitioner
 +
 +Used here to mean paid workers involved in local organisations and/or
 +projects for community benefit.
 +
 +## Priorities
 +
 +One effective means of clarifying the purpose and values of a
 +partnership is to brainstorm project ideas, and then as a group to
 +prioritise what is most important, and what has to be done first.
 +
 +## Private sector
 +
 +Businesses, large or small, are as much part of any community as local
 +residents and are key partners for partnerships like Development Trusts
 +for several reasons:
 +
 +• Trusts need business skills among both staff and Board members.
 +
 +• Companies may be able to offer help in kind of premises, equipment and
 +staff time. Occasionally they may offer funding.
 +
 +• The private sector will be an important partner in developing Trust
 +projects and programmes.
 +
 +• In the long term local businesses are the key to local prosperity and
 +a healthy local economy.
 +
 +## Public meetings
 +
 +It is a general error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public
 +to be the most anxious for its welfare. Edward Burke.
 +
 +Although widely used, public meetings are not the most effective method
 +of involving people. While they may be useful giving information,​ and
 +gaining support around a clear-cut issue, they are poor vehicles for
 +debate and decision-making. Classic public meetings with a platform
 +party can easily be dominated by a small number of people, and become
 +stage sets for confrontation.
 +
 +## Checklist
 +
 +If you do hold a public meeting:
 +
 +• Ensure good preparation and publicity.
 +
 +• Research and focus on local concerns.
 +
 +• Keep any presentations short with opportunities for response.
 +
 +• Consider breaking into small groups for some of the time.
 +
 +• Choose someone independent and locally respected as chair.
 +
 +• Ensure the venue is easily accessible.
 +
 +• Build on the results and report back on progress.
 +
 +• Make a public meeting the last thing you do in a process - not the
 +first - after networking and workshops.
 +
 +## Process
 +
 +The creation of a partnership should be seen as a partnership building
 +process - not simply formalisation of a structure. During that process
 +partners have to work on a multitude of practical tasks, and also
 +develop trust in each other and a shared style of operation.
 +
 +## Projects
 +
 +Projects are what partnership do in order to achieve their desired
 +outcomes. In order to turn the statements of purpose into reality,
 +concentrate on developing projects ideas, prioritising and forming teams
 +to carry them out.
 +
 +## Purpose
 +
 +'If one does not know to which port one is steering, no wind is
 +favourable.'​ Seneca.
 +
 +A statement of purpose is a summary in a sentence or two of your
 +intention - your aims and objectives. Statements of purpose may start
 +out as broad intentions like 'we aim to create a better place to live
 +and work'. They become meaningful when the aim is followed with
 +statements of how: for example 'by providing advise and support for
 +practical environmental projects'​. There may be a number of these 'how
 +to' statements which are objectives. If they are measurable, they become
 +targets.
 +
 +See also Aims and objectives, Outcomes, Vision.
 +
 +## Representation
 +
 +The conventional way to address accountability is to elect or appoint
 +people from different interest groups to the partnership or other
 +structure. This may not be appropriate where the focus is on delivering
 +a number of short-term projects through a network approach. Instead aim
 +for community involvement to ensure those interested havea say and/or
 +play a part.
 +
 +## Rhetoric
 +
 +Unfortunately there is often an inverse relationship between the extent
 +to which organisations say they want to work in partnership,​ and the
 +extent to which they practice what they preach. In order to challenge an
 +excess of rhetoric, ask exactly how interested parties can participate.
 +Is there any shared control? Does power to act lie with only one
 +partner? Who benefits? One advantage of a constitution is that it makes
 +these issues explicit.
 +
 +## Scope
 +
 +Partnership consultant Drew Mackie offers the acronym SCOPE as a way of
 +summarising criteria for choosing a structure
 +
 +**Sustainability:​** will any inititative be able to keep going long
 +enough to do the job.
 +
 +**Clarity**:​ is it evident to all just who is doing what and why.
 +
 +**Purpose**:​ is that clear, and does it have general support.
 +
 +**Ownership**:​ will any new arrangements command the support of
 +communities,​ local organisations and the agencies.**Effectiveness**:​
 +will the new arrangement get the job done.
 +
 +Use **SCOPE** to review any proposed structure.
 +
 +## Small groups
 +
 +Large meetings and committees are usually unsatisfactory for working
 +through difficult issues. Take some time to break into groups and report
 +back. Keep the group between 3 and seven or eight in size. Avoid formal
 +group leadership…encourage all to participate,​ with someone recording
 +ideas on a chart.
 +
 +## Socials
 +
 +Among the committee meetings and workshop sessions allow time for social
 +events where people can get to know each informally. Celebrate success,
 +keep each other cheerful during tough times.
 +
 +## Stakeholders
 +
 +Stakeholders are those with an interest, because they will be affected
 +or may have some influence.
 +
 +Stakeholder analysis
 +
 +In order to think through the role of stakeholders:​
 +
 +• Consider who the key stakeholders are.
 +
 +• Put yourself in their shoes: how are they likely to react ?
 +
 +## Steering committee
 +
 +Steering committees are groups, often with wide representation,​
 +responsible for the direction of a project. In order to ensure all
 +parties play a part:
 +
 +• Clarify accountability and terms of reference.
 +
 +• Run some sessions as workshops, rather than formal committee meetings,
 +and develop agreed action plans.
 +
 +Consider whether you need a committee to '​steer'​ others - or whether
 +to go for a flatter self-governing structure. If you want to bring in
 +more people, they may be better seen as advisors.
 +
 +## Structures
 +
 +Successful partnerships are not created solely by choosing the right
 +structure, any more than marriages are made just by marriage vows.
 +Partnerships should be founded on a clear purpose, trust, and
 +appropriate projects - and that takes a partnership-building process
 +over time. If you are planning a big programme where a number of
 +interests want a real stake over a long period, go for a company. If
 +you are planning a number of short term projects, consider working
 +through an existing organisation. Bear in mind
 +
 +• Whoever holds the cheque book controls the project or programme.
 +Should this power to lie with an existing organisation,​ a new one - or
 +several project-related groups?
 +
 +• Staff will ultimately follow the directions of whoever pays their
 +wages.
 +
 +• Information is power, and whoever produces papers, agendas and writes
 +the minutes controls formal meetings. Reduce this problem by running
 +workshops with independent facilitators,​ followed by more formal
 +decision-making
 +
 +The acronym SCOPE (sustainability,​ clarity, ownership, purpose,
 +effectiveness) should help you make a choice on structure.
 +
 +## Style
 +
 +How things are done can be as important as what is done in partnerships.
 +Are operations transparent,​ or do things seem to be run by cliques? Are
 +meetings formal committee style, or is there a flip chart in the room
 +(and used)? Being open doesn'​t mean being ineffective… but nor does
 +'​everyone must have a say' achieve results. Strike a balance.
 +
 +## Sustainability
 +
 +Forming a partnership may not be easy - but keeping it going may be
 +tougher. For that reason Development Trusts, and other formal
 +partnerships that employ staff, properly put a lot of emphasis on
 +business planning and creating an asset base. In order to achieve their
 +social objectives they need first to create a viable non-profit
 +business. There is, of course, a danger that the desire for a
 +sustainability overshadows the original purpose…. and the partnership
 +expands its activities simple to stay in business. In some circumstance
 +it may be more appropriate to plan for a time-limited initiative working
 +through existing organisations.
 +
 +## SWOT
 +
 +SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It's
 +a good technique to start planning a partnership.
 +
 +Using SWOT
 +
 +When you are clear what your aim is:
 +
 +1 Brainstorm issues under each heading. Strengths and weaknesses relate
 +to internal matters for the group or organisation,​ opportunities and
 +threats to the external. Divide up a chart, and ask people to fill in
 +and stick on Post-it notes.
 +
 +2 Draw up a summary and discuss how to build on your strengths, do
 +something about your weaknesses, make the most of the opportunities,​
 +avoid or eliminate the threats.
 +
 +3 Turn these conclusions into project ideas and prioritise for an Action
 +plan.
 +
 +## Synergy
 +
 +One of the main reasons for a partnership is to make 2 + 2 = 5. This may
 +come by getting more funds or other resources than partners can alone;
 +matching skills; or creating innovative ways of looking at problems.
 +
 +## Take stock
 +
 +At the start of a partnership-building process take stock by carrying
 +out a SWOT analysis, identifying stakeholders and clarifying your aims
 +and objectives.
 +
 +## Team building
 +
 +Team building is the process of helping a group develop shared aims and
 +objectives, values and a plan to put them into action. People working
 +together are better able to get to know each other than, for example,
 +members of a management committee meeting every month or two - so
 +team-building workshops can be particularly important for partnerships.
 +I suggest, if possible, bringing in a trainer who specialises in team
 +building to plan a programme. If not, an 'away day' with a facilitator
 +to work on simple techniques like Brainstorming and SWOT can achieve a
 +lot.
 +
 +## Teams
 +
 +Instead of creating lots of sub committees, consider setting up project
 +teams with a mix of appropriate skills and a team leader to chase
 +progress. If the teams include people from different organisations or
 +groups, and then network together, you have a '​flat'​ partnership.
 +Someone has to coordinate - but that can be done by running workshops
 +and online discussion with team leaders.
 +
 +## Terms of reference
 +
 +Any committee, group or team needs clear terms of reference covering:
 +
 +• The purpose and membership of the group.
 +
 +• Who services it.
 +
 +• How often it meets - and for how long.
 +
 +• The topics or issues the group covers.
 +
 +• The powers of the group to make decisions.
 +
 +• What funding it has, if any
 +
 +The outcomes expected.
 +
 +• To whom it reports.
 +
 +## Timeline
 +
 +It takes time to save time. Joe Taylor.
 +
 +Everything takes longer than you think - even when you know it does.
 +Drawing a timeline is a simple technique to set priorities among
 +activities and events that must be completed in creating a partnership
 +or carrying out programme.
 +
 +• Draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper.
 +
 +• Graduate it into appropriate blocks of time (days, weeks, months). The
 +first mark is NOW, the last the completion date.
 +
 +• Think of all the tasks to be completed.
 +
 +• Place the tasks on the time line in the order of when they have to be
 +done, and which are the most important to do at a particular time.
 +
 +## Trading company
 +
 +Charities cannot engage in income-generating trading unless it is
 +pursuit of their objectives. They can, however, set up subsidiary
 +trading companies which covenant profits back to the charity. If you are
 +considering this type of arrangement consult a solicitor and an
 +accountant experienced in the field. While the option may appear
 +attractive, many charities have found trading companies problematic.
 +Unless well run, they can cost more than they earn.
 +
 +## Transparency
 +
 +If partnerships and networks are using public money and/or aiming to
 +work in the public interest, their activities should be open to
 +scrutiny… they should be transparent except where matters are
 +necessarily confidential. This may be achieved through planned community
 +involvement and participation. The move towards online communication
 +will increase demands for transparency because it is so easy to
 +disseminate information through email and Web sites.
 +
 +## Trust - confidence
 +
 +Trust is an essential foundation for all aspects of participation and
 +partnership. It comes from working together and through that discovering
 +shared values and ways of doing things. In order to develop trust:
 +
 +• Draw out and deal with any suspicions from past contacts.
 +
 +• Be open and honest about what you are trying to achieve - and about
 +any problems.
 +
 +• Be prepared to make mistakes - and admit them.
 +
 +• Meet people informally.
 +
 +• Deliver what you promise.
 +
 +## Trust - holding in trust
 +
 +Trust is a term rather loosely used for different types of
 +organisations. When lawyers use '​Trust'​ they may mean a legal
 +arrangement created through a Trust deed in which trustees are bound to
 +use funds provided by a benefactor to assist beneficiaries. Trust is
 +also used in the title of various partnership organisations like
 +Development Trusts and community trusts. Here it does not a have a
 +strict legal meaning, but usually implies that the organisation is a
 +charitable company or has charitable purposes.
 +
 +## Trustees
 +
 +If a Development Trust or other partnership is a charitable company, the
 +Board of directors will also be trustees - that is, they will have
 +responsibilities under the Charities Acts as well under company law.
 +These responsibilities are wide ranging, and trustees should be well
 +briefed and offered training in their role.
 +
 +## Values
 +
 +In any assembly the simplest way to stop the transaction of business
 +and split the ranks is to appeal to a principle, Jaques Barzun.
 +
 +Values are statements of what we consider important. Since they may be
 +emotive, political, and difficult to express, they are frequently
 +hidden. However it is difficult to understand each other or reach
 +agreement if we are unclear about values. For example, council officers
 +faced with a tight project timetable may be frustrated by a community
 +group which insists on numerous meetings, held in the evenings, leading
 +to the appointment of a representative steering group. The officers
 +value cost-effective delivery of '​product'​ acceptable to their political
 +masters and the Government; the group values openness and democratic
 +process. In groups where there may be underlying differences of values
 +it is often most productive to concentrate first on what there is in
 +common by discussing outcomes - what you would like to happen at the end
 +of the day - and how you can get there.
 +
 +## Vision
 +
 +You see things; and you say '​Why?'​ But I dream things that never were,
 +and I say 'Why not?' George Bernard Shaw
 +
 +The idea of a vision of the future seems to me rather broader than
 +purpose , because it places more emphasis on values and approach - how
 +you do things as well as the result you achieve. Vision may be a helpful
 +term if you are using participation techniques that encourage people to
 +create pictures of what they want, or develop models. Partnerships need
 +vision - and visions.
 +
 +## Virtual teams
 +
 +Once people are online it is possible to form virtual teams - that is,
 +groups who work together through the use of email and other Internet
 +tools as well as phone and face to face.
 +
 +## Workshops
 +
 +Workshops are meetings at which a small group, perhaps aided by a
 +facilitator,​ explore issues, develop ideas and make decisions. They are
 +the less formal and creative counterpart to public meetings and
 +committees.
 +
 +See also Brainstorming,​ Charts, Post-it notes, Small groups.
 +
 +## WWW
 +
 +WWW = World Wide Web, which is the means by which pages of text,
 +pictures, sound, video can be displayed anywhere in the World using the
 +Internet. The Web means that even small organisations can have a
 +presence online. Increasingly,​ organisations will be expected to use the
 +Web to make all key information available to their client groups,
 +thereby increasing their transparency.
 +
  
partnerships/azp/a-z.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)