ACCESS Partnerships is committed to helping businesses and community organizations in a given area increase their abilities to partner based on needs they define. That said, research we have conducted since 2004 indicates that businesses and community organizations worldwide need help to address the same three needs: build trust, build knowledge on how to partner, and build skills to partner. For this reason, we include resources in collaboration with practitioners that address these needs.
Building trust is the foundation for successful partnerships.
The mechanism we developed in Indonesia, the members-only Partnership Forum, was designed to build trust because this was the obstacle most frequently cited by businesses and community organizations we consulted.
The Forum evolved into a mechanism to increase knowledge and skills after participants asked that the mechanism be used to help them learn how to partner in addition to build trust. We quickly realized that the Forum could be used to help them learn from each other as so many already had valuable knowledge and experience to share. We also realized that helping them learn from each other further increased trust.
A key factor contributing to the success of the Forum in Indonesia has been the set of guidelines participants adopted to ensure an atmosphere of mutual respect. Organizations must sign the guidelines to join the Forum. Four sessions are held off-the-record each year. Marketing, media, or PR are not allowed during these sessions. As a result, participants enjoy open and frank exchanges, listen and learn from each other, and continue to build trust.
ACCESS Partnerships fosters peer-to-peer learning on how to partner across sectors. To advance this process we document and communicate information on partnerships to improve community well-being.
The information we have documented to date has been on partnerships in Indonesia. We are now broadening our scope to include partnerships operating at the local level throughout the world. We welcome information about additional partnerships. If you have partnerships you would like us to document, please contact us.
ACCESS Partnerships increases the skills of businesses and community organizations to communicate across sectors. We help organizations prepare presentations on their partnerships to share their experiences with their peers. We also help them develop case studies based on their presentations to share knowledge about how to partner more widely. We convene brainstorming sessions for practitioners on how to address specific partnership challenges. We summarize these discussions to serve as tools on how to partner. We use the case studies and tools for interactive courses for individuals and organizations to learn from practitioners how to partner across sectors.