Scoping, activating, facilitating and evolving partnerships is often as complex as the issue being addressed. At the core of the Partnership Cycle (The Cycle) are the foundational skills needed by those working in partnership.
Divided into four key stages, The Cycle is an iterative process that provides the ‘how-to’ and allows for flexibility and revision throughout the life of a partnership. The Cycle supports partners to establish trust and transparency, shared understanding, and a common purpose.
New partnerships start at the scope and discover stage of The Cycle. Partners are identified and considered to be partner-ready. This stage develops relationships, explores shared goals, and clarifies contextual issues.
Plan and activate is the next stage in The Cycle and is an essential feature of quality partnerships. This stage identifies supportive structures and mechanisms to guide decision-making and partnership action. Commitment and leadership for the partnership is critical.
The foster, facilitate and reflect stage influences the collaboration throughout the life of the partnership. Partners need to be supported to reflect and acknowledge their collaborative contributions and adjust the arrangement as needed.
Lastly, review and evolve explores the future state of the partnership, whether it has come to an appropriate conclusion, will be sustained or to create new opportunities to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes.
The CEIH aims to build the capability of organisations to collaboratively tackle complex health problems and achieve common goals by providing tools and resources to guide partners through each stage of The Cycle.
Stay tuned — these resources will be available in the coming months.