Partnering from a community perspective: the greatest impact

Exploding brain

Impact17 believes that multisector partnerships that genuinely involve stakeholders are the most effective. We know that community engagement is not easy. However, it is vital to engage with the communities from the very beginning to ensure that their opinions, knowledge and experience are determining factors on decisions that affect them. 

Sadly, we still need to encourage other organisations and institutions to respect communities in this way and to protect their rights and needs by including them in decision making. Community participation in the ‘governance’ structure of partnerships should give them the freedom to express views and to own their future. 

“It is vital to engage with the communities from the very beginning on decisions that affect them.”

Whether communities affected by partnerships are included from the beginning or not, their perspectives of the impact of partnerships are crucial. We should strive to find out what those perspectives are and to inform decision making. 

Impact17 is working with the Brand Experience Group (BXG) and an Advisory Group of international and sectoral experts to collect and assess community perspectives of partnerships, and to promote this as a priority action. 

BXG uses a unique Market Contact Audit (MCA) approach with an Impact Metric model that allows organisations to monitor and assess individuals’ engagement, contribution and mobilisation in sustainability topics. 

Impact17 is calibrating this approach for partnerships seeking to create a better world, whether they are related to the Sustainable Development Goals or humanitarian emergencies. The tools and processes will eventual help to measure and evaluate the impact of partnerships for more effective decision making. The objective is to encourage partnerships to include communities they affect from the earliest stage of a partnership. 

Impact17 is hosting a session at the United Nations’
Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW),
Geneva, 10 May, 2022:
Humanitarian Impact from a Community Perspective

Register here

We are hosting a session during the UN’s Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) in Geneva on May 10th, 2022 and we invite you to join us and share experiences in our session; Humanitarian Impact from a Community Perspective. The outcomes will inform Impact17’s Advisory Group that has been tasked too address three priority issues: 

  1. Translate the Impact17 partnering framework to calibrate BXG’s methodology.
  2. Develop a business model that will make the process affordable for those that need it.
  3. Promote the need and value of evaluating partnerships from a community perspective.

In all three areas, we need to define who the relevant stakeholders and audiences need to be, how to effectively connect and interact with them, the communities, and the partners to influence, engage and motivate them to work towards this common goal. In the same way, BXG encourages comparative analysis to understand the individual perspectives by segmenting them based on their behaviours, preferences and needs, both as citizens and consumers, prior to the assessment of their perceptions. 

It is our privilege at Impact17 to promote and support multi-sector partnerships that deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and improve humanitarian preparedness and response. We actively map multi-sector partnerships, looking at who is working with whom, on what, where, and how to help organisations make partnering choices. We share perspectives on partnering and calls to action to encourage positive impact, and work with our partners to train and develop tools that support partnering. We also create, broker, and evaluate partnerships and partnering strategies. Without the perceptions of the communities affected by partnerships, evaluating their impact will not be possible.

Our call to action to you is to help us help others make effective partnering strategies a core business consideration.

Andy Andrea

Andy is Director of Alliance4Impact, Founder & CEO of Impact17, and Chair of the Board of the Sustainable Impact Association, all dedicated to supporting and building partnerships for social good.

Penny Christodoulou
Penny Christodoulou
Partnership Researcher at Impact17 | Website

Penny is passionate about building societal resilience and fostering community engagement. She believes that the complexity among social systems, ecosystems and timeframe requires synergies, awareness and creativity. Penny is based in Greece. She holds a MA in Leadership for Sustainability from the University of Malmö and a BA in Foreign Applied Linguistics from the University of Montpellier. Penny is researching partnerships that promote the protection of oceans from marine debris and encourage circular economy principles. She aims to explore the connection between SDGs 6,8,14 and foster the conservation of water quality, marine life and the values of social innovation.

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