The undefined path to a career in partnerships

Do you have what it takes to forge a successful career at curating partnerships? Photo by: inertia NC / CC BY-NC-SA

Cross-sector partnerships are key to reducing poverty and tackling social and environmental challenges around the world. Their success depends, in large part, on those meant to bring such unions to fruition: the partnerships professional.

To create a partnership, all parties involved must understand one another’s objectives and priorities — not always easy when one party is, for example, focused on nothing but improving maternal health while the other is taking a hard look at what a proposed solution might mean for its bottom line. A partnership, though, must be built from a foundation where all parties feel they can succeed and meet their objectives.

A partnerships professional, then, must be part advocate, part negotiator, part listener and part decision-maker. Simply put, for a partnership to get off the ground well, someone will need to make decisions based on an understanding of the impact those decisions could have on each stakeholder, according to Mark Fitzgerald, principal in KPMG’s International Development Assistance Services practice.

READ: Where partnerships are taking global development

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About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.