East Devon District Council

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Policy Partnership policy

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7. Appendix A - questions be ask before setting up a new partnership

Questions to ask before setting up a new partnership:-

  • Is there already a partnership tackling a similar issue, whose remit can be extended?
  • Is the problem that the prospective partners want to solve one that needs a partnership approach?
  • Do the prospective partners have a clear and shared vision of the benefits that the partnership is indeed to achieve?
  • Is this vision realistic in the light of:

- the resources and opportunities likely to be open to the proposed partnership? 

- the issues that partnership working is particularly suited to address?

  • Will the anticipated benefits outweigh the likely costs (direct and indirect) of a partnership? How will the costs and benefits be measured?
  • Could all the benefits be achieved in a simpler or more cost-effective way?
  • Are the partners all willing to devote the necessary time and effect to make the partnership succeed?
  • Do the partners all know what role they will play, what resources they will contribute and how they will account for the success of the project?
  • Are the partners willing to consider changing their other activities to fit in with the partnership’s objectives, where this is appropriate?
  • Does the partnership share the council’s basic requirements on balance, consultation, equality, transparency, probity, safety and community benefit.
  • If a formal partnership is proposed, have the partners considered the steps which need to be taken to ensure proper governance and accountability, in line with the council’s formal partnership procedure rules?

And what if some of the answers to these questions seem to be ‘no’

Factors indicating that a new partnership is not appropriate:

  • the answer to one or more of the questions above is ‘no’;
  • the topic proposed is primarily the responsibility of one agency, with others having only a marginal interest or role
  • agencies have no shared objective in relation to this topic
  • agencies have a history of poor relationship and have not made a commitment to change this
  • agencies want to pass costs or blame for problems on to one another – or there is a hidden negative agenda
  • partnership is merely a means of giving the appearance of action on a difficult topic