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.