Partnership for International Development: Rhetoric or Results?

Partnership for International Development: Rhetoric or Results?

Partnership for International Development: Rhetoric or Results?

Partnership for International Development: Rhetoric or Results?

Excerpt

We have entered a time when international development figures prominently among policymakers, in the media, and among the general public. The complexity posed by globalization, coupled with the continuing challenges of poverty, security, and political and economic instability, necessitates creative approaches and new institutional structures to address the simultaneous needs for technical expertise and participatory, democratic practices. These challenges are intensified by the need to embrace cultural identities in the process and outcomes of international problem solving. But resources remain scarce, and policymakers and the general public continue to seek to minimize the direct involvement and funding of government bodies. In every sector and service sphere, actors are looking for the most effective and efficient means to deliver services in an increasingly interdependent world. Partnership has become the buzzword used to describe many of these endeavors. However, rhetoric alone will not lead to solutions, but may only make things worse as it leads to cynicism and lack of trust, discouraging actors from pursuing partnership approaches.

In this book, I seek to clarify the concept of partnership, as well as its practice, to critique our understanding and practice of partnership in international development to date, and to specify partnership's defining dimensions. Implementation guidelines outline contextual factors, which inform the decision to partner and suggest strategies for maximizing and maintaining partnership effectiveness. A more nuanced understanding of potential actors and corresponding selection criteria can assist cooperating actors to be more strategic in who they partner with, as well as how they design and implement partnerships.

One of the greatest challenges of partnership work is maintaining the balance between a focus on desired programmatic results and the necessary emphasis on process. Organizations' existing structures, systems, and rules are rarely conducive to partnership work and often present substantial . . .

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