Partnering has now become the leading mechanism for developing and delivering a wide range of services, generating social impact as well as humanitarian aid and sustainable development. But a key (and often neglected) feature of this rapid growth in partnerships is that many (perhaps most) partnerships operate with limited face-to-face contact and heavy reliance on technology.
What is ‘Remote’ Partnering?
“People from different organisations partnering to achieve a common purpose by undertaking pre-agreed activities on behalf of the partnership but having, for a range of different reasons, to operate long-distance rather than face-to-face.”
Partnering at a distance is often a matter of necessity – the result of cost considerations, reducing carbon footprint or inaccessibility due to challenges in the local context and, most recently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic – rather than choice. Not being able to meet face-to-face is often used as a reason for partnerships falling short or even failing, but our programme – with its focus on brokering / managing partnerships remotely – seeks to challenge and change that.
If you are a partnership practitioner operating remotely, you are eligible to sign up to our online 5-week course to: explore the issue; build insights and confidence; develop practical approaches suitable for your context and earn a CERTIFICATE in Brokering Partnerships Remotely.
The Remote Partnering Project was established three years ago by the Partnership Brokers Association working with a small group of founding partners to:
- Assess the situation (action research with front-line practitioners)
- Explore ideas for making remote partnering more innovative and successful and
- Pilot a new on-line course for practitioners working remotely.
As a result of this work, we believe that it is now entirely possible to see remote partnering as an opportunity rather than a problem – if we can use the challenges as drivers for breakthrough thinking and innovative practice.
Our first output Current Status of Remote Partnering makes for very interesting reading and confirms our ‘hunch’ that this is a critically important area for exploration. For access to all our research and findings go to Project Outputs.
A more recent product of this work is an online Tool Box developed in collaboration with the DEPP (Disasters and Emergency Preparedness Programme) and Action Against Hunger now available for practitioners worldwide on defyingdistance.org.
Our next publication The Remote Partnering Work Book – is a practical manual that builds on the accumulated knowledge, experiences and insights of partnership practitioners who are working remotely – is already seen as a key resource and is available here for free download.
Download: The Remote Partnering Work Book (pdf)
Download our comprehensive programme of learning / training opportunities for individuals, partnerships and organisations designed to build capacity for remote partnering across the globe.
Our staff and partners have benefited from tools, guidance and support on remote partnering and this has led to enhanced effectiveness. It is also already contributing to global learning and good practice in remote partnering.
INGO founding partner
Making our findings available and accessible to those who need them most is central to this project. The founding partners are all ‘mission-driven’ and feel strongly that what we learn and produce must be put into the public domain in an open-source model – hence this website.
There is a real need to continuously train professionals in remote partnering skills for only when remote partnering works effectively and centrally will partners be able to truly walk together to attain sustainable development – otherwise it will remain an unachievable dream.
Partnership practitioner working remotely
We warmly invite you to join this movement for change – contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original artwork by Maria Hayes, PBA Artist in Residence.