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“Co-production! Collaboratively! Co-creation! Equally!” These are some of the words you hear when talking about partnership. But what do they actually mean? How can we maintain strong and effective relationships with our partners? What happens when things go sour? How do resolve conflicts? We live in complex societies where project implementation and policy frameworks that are in place often fall short of providing satisfying solutions to a growing number of problems. In the search for institutional models that can deliver more and better development outcomes, partnership is arguably among the most popular solutions proposed. But the evidence of partnerships’ contributions to actual performance has been for the most part anecdotal. Historical legacy and the history of the sector means that higher-income countries carry more power than low/middle-income countries. Organisations from high-income countries have more influence on the partnership than those from low/middle-income countries. Partly because they control the “purse strings” and therefore hold the power but also due to the historical formation of the sector. As we decolonise our sector and disrupt the traditional power imbalances, what should partners at both ends of the dynamic do to make sure that their relationship is equitable and benefits everyone involved? This shared learning event is for development practitioners, students, researchers and those interested in the decolonisation of the development and solidarity sector. It aims to provide a space for discussion on what works and what doesn’t work in partnerships and provide tools for development organisations to use when working with partners.


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