Seeds of learning

I have always been passionate about teamwork and network. Furthermore, I am an advocate of the need of methodologies to conduct more strategic work. So when I joined CAD, it was clear to me from the very beginning that I wanted to work with partnerships. In no way, could I have imagined the complexity of this concept.

“A partnership is formed when a number of organizations decide to get to work together on a specific goal within a specific period of time. Usually, partnerships include different sectors in which everyone works collectively to achieve a common goal. “

Throughout the years, I have been working in different partnership projects: from the design of a resource mobilization strategy for UNFPA or the research of the impacts of the mining sector in Tanzania and Madagascar for UNICEF. From each of these experiences I could draw conclusions that I have been able to put into use afterwards.

In October 2015, I had the chance to travel to Mexico within a project about training partnerships management in Chiapas and Yucatan. The assignment is aimed at 31 civil society organizations in the area who have formed five partnerships to work on food sovereignty and security through different approaches such as: agro ecology, improving livestock or agricultural production, recovering indigenous seeds or Mayan cosmology.

The visit provided further insights into each partnership, its territory and the people who form part of the training program, as well as its political and social realities. In such projects, the identification phase is essential to ensure the relevance and sustainability of the program. This process will require continued action and reflection with the 31 organizations to assist in the identification of needs and in developing the program. After this first phase, due to the uniqueness of each partnership, the project will include a constant process of communication and support.

The implementation of this project represents a great opportunity for content generation and strengthening CAD’s partnership methodology. It will also allow a community approach, opposite to the usual institutional approach, making it even more interesting. This is an opportunity to consolidate the knowledge acquired in participatory processes for local development, besides the facilitation of networking and partnerships. The knowledge exchange that will take place afterwards with the partnerships members in Chiapas and Yucatan will give way to the formulation of a useful and appropriate learning plan.

During the duration of the project, I will continue sharing my experiences on the blog and hopefully I will spread the passion and concern about what a partnership is and how to facilitate it.

Author: Lucía Bárcena, partnership consultant at CAD