Partnerships and collaboration

The systemic 'silo' of humanitarian action and its fragmented organizational landscape has been steadily giving way to working partnerships and collaborations. Humanitarians have no choice if they are to succeed in addressing the mounting challenges and expectations of crisis response. Key areas of partnership and collaboration involve major international agencies working together in consortia, agencies working in partnership with local organizations, and efforts to partner/collaborate with government, academic and business institutions. Partnership must be viewed as more than a contractual division of responsibilities and resources or tackling a common goal; it touches upon power relationships, leadership and organizational culture.

Man and woman happy to be working together

Photo: EU/ECHO/Pierre Prakash

Key references

Principles aiming to make humanitarian partnerships more equal, constructive, and transparent during partnership inception, development, implementation, and review

Guide aiming to enhance academic-humanitarian partnerships, and share lessons learned from such partnerships

Analyzing partnership approaches to emergency work and its challenges, with examples from emergency contexts, including India, the Philippines, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Malawi and Burma, and a detailed case study on Haiti

Issue focusing on partnerships in the humanitarian sector, including unequal power relationships in partnerships, cross-sector partnerships, and the Principles of Partnership (PoP) in practice

Key actors

Global initiative of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) creating a collaborative platform for humanitarian expert networks and partnerships. Organizes the annual Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW).

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