Civil society partnerships

Concluding the partnership

1. Discussion of the partnership’s conclusion and next steps

Where duration of the partnership has been clearly defined from the outset, it technically dissolves once it has achieved its original objectives. However, termination of a formal agreement does not necessarily signal the end of a relationship between UNICEF and a CSO. The partners should ensure continuity of the relationships, capacity development and trust cultivated during the course of the partnership. Ultimately, realizing children’s rights relies on long-term sustainability of the good efforts carried out through partnerships, even after the conclusion of a formal agreement. To ensure continuity of the benefits of collaboration, UNICEF and CSOs should continue to consult periodically, providing updates on their work, changing policies and priorities, etc.

2. Final evaluation of partnership

UNICEF offices are encouraged to formally evaluate long-term and recently completed civil society partnerships. Efforts should be made to focus on the quality of the partnership, including the programmatic results achieved. The evaluation process should be participatory, with partners and stakeholders informed about and involved in relevant phases of assessment.

Once the assessment is complete, those who contributed to the evaluation should be briefed on key findings and engaged in dialogue on lessons learned and recommendations for future initiatives.

3. Sustainability of outcomes

Practical suggestions for sustaining a partnership’s outcomes include:

  • Give public recognition to the partnership for its achievements;
  • Place agreed information in the public domain;
  • Identify individuals or spheres of influence that could help sustain the partnership’s impact over the longer term;
  • Remain engaged with partners, inviting them to participate in relevant consultative processes and keeping them abreast of the latest developments within the organization;
  • Ensure that the capacity of local actors is adequate to sustain the results of the partnership once it has ended.

4. Early termination of the partnership agreement

Sometimes early termination of a partnership might need to be considered, due to unforeseen circumstances, organizational challenges, changing contexts or other factors. For this reason, regular communication and monitoring measures should be put in place from the outset. This allows for any challenges to be addressed in a coordinated way. However, if it becomes clear that little or no progress has been made towards achievement of the objectives, corrective actions should be agreed upon and documented, along with a timeline for implementation and any necessary modifications to the budget. Responsibility for corrective actions should be clearly assigned. The partners should make every effort to provide support to ensure that corrective actions are taken as effectively and efficiently as possible.



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