Posted on August 22, 2019 by Karina de Souza
|Authoring Organizations:||Pacific Institute|
|Consulting Organizations:||Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)|
|Last Updated||Jan 27, 2023|
A strong partnership based on trust is important for project implementation and sustained success. Fostering local ownership and support for the partnership creates trust amongst project proponents and beneficiaries. A resilient, trust-based partnership can better address any challenges that arise over the course of the project, furthering the project’s long-term success. Though all partners may not be able to contribute the same amount of finance, a strong partnership will value many ways to contribute beyond monetary value.
When all partners trust one another, the partnership will be more likely to overcome any barriers encountered during the project. Building relationships among partners is worth the time and effort because trust is a crucial ingredient for a sustainable partnership. Trust is especially important should one partner leave the partnership. The other partners will be better able to continue implementing the project if they share a history of trust and clear communication.
A strong partnership requires:
Partnership implies reciprocity, but often partners’ contributions to water stewardship initiatives are not equal. A strong partnership structure values financial, technical and in-kind contributions to the partnership. This can be accommodated through documented partner agreements and ongoing discussions.
To secure stakeholder buy-in, it is often necessary to show progress on selected demonstration sites. These early “wins” foster a strong partnership for future implementation.
The uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership in Richard’s Bay, South Africa, is characterized by a large number of private sector partners and the high capacity of local public sector organizations. The partnership appointed a local partnership manager to coordinate the group. The partnership manager has been instrumental in fostering strong relationships among and between the private and public sector partners. The partnership manager’s independence and local familiarity has fostered trust in the partnership. As a result of its strength, the partnership has implemented many activities in a short period of time, including:
The uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP) is a river basin collaboration of business, government and civil society partners established to address water security challenges in the uMhlathuze region of South Africa. UWASP aims to play a transformative role in the … Learn More
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This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.