Forming And Sustaining Successful Partnerships

Presenter: John M. Mutsambi, Community Liaison/Educator with University of Zimbabwe and University of California San Francisco Collaborative Research Programme (UZ-UCSF)

Introduction
Community based HIV Prevention studies e.g. HIV Prevention and Trials Network Studies, require community-wide support in order to succeed. Partnerships, coalitions and collaborations are some of the key strategies for promoting health and delivering social services associated with scientific research.

a flatter and more egalitarian organization. The primary organizational concern is linking or bringing people together in mutually beneficial relationships and figuring out if individual responsibilities and contributions blend to produce extraordinary creative results. no institutionalized fear. .What is partnership? Partnership emphasizes gender equality.

.Genesis Of Partnership Failure of existing efforts to address the problem ( need for innovation) Scarcity of resources Competition for clients Recognition of mutual needs or purpose and shared responsibility for the problem as well as the solution etc.

.How To Establish Partnerships COMMUNITY MAPPING Community mapping/needs assessment is a crucial step in the process of forming community partnerships.

Community Mapping (continued) The community mapping process includes: Defining the community in terms of its location General characteristics Relevant demographic features of residents Documenting community resources and services currently available .

barriers to service. barriers and alternatives Community members’ perspectives on service delivery. community resources and needs Once all this information is gathered. . it is important to disseminate it to community members or opinion leaders.Community Mapping (continued) Inventorying assets and resources that might be useful Documenting needs.

It provides information that mobilizes agencies and community members . It facilitates recruitment of study participants It facilitates involving community members’ actively in planning. .Importance Of Community Mapping It establishes a base of information for creating and adjusting implementation strategies for measuring success.

This is crucial because stakeholders should feel a since of ownership of the research project if they are to support it. community mobilization may follow: Community mobilization process involves engaging a wide variety of community members and agencies to participate in the research process. Building community commitment is a process which takes lots of time and energy.Community Mobilization Once a needs assessment exercise has been conducted. .

Partners may include: Prominent community members and political leaders Representatives of businesses. education and health Human services sector Religious communities Youth serving organizations .Community Involvement And Membership Recruitment Diversity of membership is essential in partnership success.

Do your homework. 1. Assess readiness. Have an idea of what you are looking for from your partners. Form you community plan.Process Of Partnership Development The following steps are important to partnership building efforts. .

Process Of Partnership Development (continued) 2. . such as sharing of information. This organization also places high value on the success of the community. Look for the right organization. this is an organization that values partnership behaviors. Successful partnerships are based on trust and shared interest. Typically.

This person should be an advocate for your project. . The most effective person is someone who is community-based and enthusiastic about the research project. Find the right person.Process Of Partnership Development (continued) 3.

Process Of Partnership Development (continued) 4. . Having formed the plan. Be open to other ideas. be prepared for potential partners to bring other ideas to the process.

preferably in writing. If all partners have formally agreed on their expectations for partnerships. .Process Of Partnership Development (continued) 5. Make clear agreements. there will be less possibility for disagreements later on.

Advantages Of Community Partnerships Partnerships pool resources. needs and resources. professions and groups can be pooled allowing a more complete understanding of issues. Allow maximum use of resources. In partnerships the expertise of different individuals. . share risks and increase efficiency. improving the capacity to plan and evaluate and allowing for development of more comprehensive strategies. Partnerships eliminate duplication.

Partnerships integrate and coordinate services. By including diverse perspectives partnerships can develop a more comprehensive vision. Partnerships bring together larger and more diverse constituencies than single organizations. resources and approaches.Advantages Of Community Partnerships (continued) They provide access to and permit development of more talents. increase accountability and achieve a wider base of support for efforts. .

making better use of more limited resources. Partnerships build communities. allow members to specialize in their functions. . eliminate duplication. These benefits improve efficiency. partnerships can develop comprehensive plans.Advantages Of Community Partnerships (continued) By coordinating service providers. link and integrate partners’ activities.

Difficulties Associated With Community Partnerships Partnerships take a long time to establish. Skilled staffing and support are needed to manage a successful partnership. It is quite challenging and takes time to establish true community consensus on community issues/problems . Later on energy is also needed to maintain partnership. In the early stages of partnership considerable energy is needed to build the partnership itself .

Committee leadership reflect partnership diversity. . Regular and frequent meetings for all participants are held for example quarterly stakeholders meeting and an Annual research day workshop. At the Harare site partnerships utilize a committee or task force structure organized around identified community sectors. Committees include members from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.Sustaining Successful Partnership: Governance Processes-a Case Harare Site Partnerships utilize different internal administrative structures.

. Decisions should be made in a participatory manner. with agendas minutes etc.Sustaining Successful Partnership: Governance Processes (Continued) Meetings should be orderly and clearly directed. Member led decision making reduces obstacles and facilitates agreement in some partnerships.

. the greatest challenge is to create equality and satisfactory working relationships. races. Allowing time at the start of partnerships for members to learn about each other is crucial. Partners need to develop mutual respect. genders and cultures.Sustaining Successful Partnership: Governance Processes (Continued) Since partnerships involve members from different disciplines. understanding and trust in order for the association to develop.

. Creating relationships of equality between community members and professionals is a major challenge.Sustaining Successful Partnership: Governance Processes Cultivating patience and a willingness to learn and compromise are also important. For partnerships to succeed professionals should identify with the ordinary community member.

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