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Perspectives on Partnership: Highlights of a Literature Review

Authors: Douglas Horton, Gordon Prain and Graham Thiele
Publication Date: April 2010

The Institutional Learning and Change (ILAC) Initiative seeks to increase the contributions of agricultural research to sustainable reductions in poverty. This paper, a summary of a wider literature review,  begins by outlining the fact that partnerships are now seen as essential strategies in mobilising resources and capacities toward innovation, knowledge generation and decision-making processes.

The literature review encompasses research studies, professional evaluation literature, practitioner-oriented literature, guidelines and assessment tools and CGIAR-related documents. The paper outlines the most common cross-cutting themes from the review, which include:

  • Partnering vs. Partnership
  • Incentives and other drivers for partnerships
  • Partnership dynamics
  • Types of partnership
  • Success Factors
  • Key role of Trust
  • Power and Equity

The article concludes that the application of systematic knowledge in the design and management of collaborative arrangements is still lacking and that the collection of knowledge and clarification of concepts is necessary to increase the effectiveness of partnerships in development.