Getting partnerships right: Tips from DFAT's Business Partnerships Platform

 What makes a good partnership? And what breaks a partnership? Photo by: rawpixel / CC0

CANBERRA — Partnerships are at the core of Australia’s aid program, with the Business Partnerships Platform a key example of how the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade aims to encourage diversity in partners and ideas in overseas development, enabling a greater impact within developing countries. But what makes a good partnership? And what breaks a partnership?

As the BPP enters its third round of funding through an India-focused round, closing on April 12, a wealth of learning on partnerships has been established. DFAT and Palladium, the managers for the BPP, are using this evidence base to better inform, prepare, and support partnerships — and even to facilitate better partnerships between DFAT and Palladium.

Julie Mundy, partnerships advisor with the BPP and director of training for the Partnership Brokers Association, has had eight years of experience in supporting partnerships. She first saw the need in this area during her three decades in international development, including as CEO of Marie Stopes International.

“I completed the flagship partnership brokers training in 2005 while CEO of Marie Stopes and it really resonated with me that partnerships were an invisible factor causing issues in a lot of the international development programs I was involved in,” Mundy explained to Devex.

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About the author

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    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.