This Policy Briefing Paper presents the findings from the first of INTRAC’s research ‘Promoting Effective North-South NGO Partnerships’ and draws out the implications for NGOs.
Partnerships between NGOs based in the North and the South have become a key part of international development processes. Whilst NGOs are drawn to the concept of partnership as an expression of solidarity that goes beyond financial aid, few development concepts have been the subject of such heated debate.
The findings presented in this paper illustrate the complex and varied nature of partnerships between NGOs. The NGO staff interviewed held a generally realistic view of partnerships, and were aware of the difficulties inherent in cross-cultural, inter-organisational relationships. It is important for both (or all parties) to be clear about the purpose of the partnership, the mutual expectations and responsibilities. Furthermore, given the tendency of funding processes to dominate North-South partnerships, it is critical for Northern NGOs to develop a more systematic approach to’good practice’ in partnerships.