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[ Contents ]

Organising local partnerships

Chapter 1
From programme management to the
coordination of local development

 



1.3 The same trend towards opening up

 

In all cases, the same trend towards opening the partnership to other types of partners can be noted, particularly in the long term. In other words, the general trend is to extend the partnership towards one comprising both private and public actors.

Several reasons are behind this will to open up:

  • the search for legitimacy (particularly if this involves an initiative of people or private institutions);

  • the search for consensus to avoid conflicts within the area;

  • the search to widen the field of skills and awareness. Diversity can in fact be a guarantee of success because it is from this that stem creativity, innovation and proliferation of ideas and solutions.

In actual fact, opening up the partnership is not left to chance: depending on where the initiators come from but also on other factors, the groups build a specific and suitable partnership. sometimes they are forced to open up to partners of different origins, and the action's objectives and content have to evolve or even change. This may eventually lead to a "variable geometry" of the partnership, depending on five types of concerns:

  • the usefulness in achieving the objectives that have been set;
  • the interest in the expected results;
  • the efficiency needed to successfully carry off the actions planned;
  • the motivation required to take charge of the projects;
  • adaptation to the developments imposed by the durability of the action.

In the long term, the successful partnership then appears as the dynamic aspect of the development approach, with the ability to mobilise local human resources, even though the forms it takes are impregnated with its specific origin and national traditions.

It therefore seems evident that in spite of these circumstantial factors (capacity of the initiator, local history, etc.), the partnership must progressively integrate in the course of its construction the needs of the development action that it underlies; it must therefore evolve and adapt to the different stages of this to guarantee its durability.

The following table summarises for each stage of the development action the characteristics encountered in practice at partnership level.

Necessarily schematic, this table must be easily adaptable to the different practical cases of which it is a synthesis. However, it shows that in spite of a specific entry for each type of initiator (a limited number of people initiate the approach), the public authorities become involved from stage 3 and the individual or collective project holders from stage 4. Gradually, therefore, the partnership expands under pressure from the needs of the development action and in order to respond to the five concerns previously mentioned (usefulness, interest, efficiency, motivation, adaptation).

 

STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
1
Initialise
Detect
Mobilise
2
Discuss
Position oneself
Propose
3
Validate
Schedule
Finance
4
Assemble
Carry out
Monitor
5
Evaluate
Adapt
Relaunch
N
A
T
U
R
E

O
F

T
H
E

P
A
R
T
N
E
R
S
H
I
P
Essential
partners
A limited number of people or organisations involved Institutional and professional representatives, people-resources from society Financiers and investors, Banks and managers, various government agencies Individual or collective project holders Direct and indirect participants from an area and from production networks
Form of
organisation
Informal organisation based on voluntary support Working parties based on objectives or themes Institutional dialogue based on agreement Personal commitment based on an obligation to achieve a result and on the contract Strategic group based on identifying and seeking the common good
Origins of the
dynamism
Militancy
usefulness
Cooperation
interest
Expertise
efficiency
Responsibility
motivation
Integration
citizenship
Curbs and limits
associated with
composition
Spontaneous initiative, sometimes taken badly by the institutions and/or the community.
Fragility due to the limited number of people involved
Corporatist pressures and takeover by the institutions or specific sectors of activity Limitation to institutional logics and financial constraints Suffocation in a project dynamic running out of steam Dilution of the action and lack of notable interest for global actions


      Phases 2 and 5 of development, essential to the maturity and durability of the action, are not, or are only rarely, entries because they are phases that are not directly productive whose value and necessity become apparent only with time and by preventing the pressure of "doing" from eclipsing the question "why are we doing this?": allowance for the time factor (long term) and the area (identity, culture), the need for a strategy (anticipation) and the value of evaluating and remobilising (appropriation) are all discoveries which are not immediately apparent but which form the ultimate value of the partnership and ensure its durability.


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Commission

Agriculture
Directorate-General