Start Network Assembly 2021: Quality partnerships from the perspectives of local and national actors
21 December 2021
Takeaways from the 2021 Start Network Assembly Explore session: Quality partnerships from the perspectives of local and national actors This interactive session explored what quality partnerships could look like between Start Network members and local partners. It explored what local partners perceive to be important values, and how to achieve these, especially trust, flexibility, and transparency. The session included a presentation of main findings from the survey, a panel discussion, and breakout rooms with participating INGOs and L/NNGOs. The panellists were local partners: Nanette Antequisa (ECOWEB, the Philippines) Muleneh Tesfaye (Caritas Ethiopia) and Lynn Walker (Tree of Life, Zimbabwe). The session was facilitated by Lola Gostelow (an independent humanitarian and associate of the Partnership Brokers Association). The session was based on a survey of 98 local organisations and their experiences working with Start Network members, or directly with Start Network.
Calls to action from the session: 1. Invest in quality partnerships Invest in building trust through long-term engagements and providing space to listen in a human-cantered way. 2. Challenge perceptions and change language around accountability View funds as belonging to local organisations/ communities with whom they have close relationships, and change language away from downward accountability to focus on the value of positive impacts. 3. Support local partners to be transparent about gaps and needs Start Network needs to support local partners to be transparent about challenges, areas for improvement and needs without fear of damaging relationships and loosing funding. 4. Recognise differences and value strengths Accept and recognise differences and accept and value these. Recognise their value of close community connection and let capacity strengthening be led by local organisations and/or consider capacity exchange. 5. Keep the conversation going Keep talking about this, learning from each other, building a community of practice around quality and equitable partnerships.