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Organising local partnerships

Chapter 4
The partnership matures


4.2 Gradually establishing an order of things


    4.2.2 Interrelation of functions and levels

Decision-making involves taking on board a range of opinions flowing from autonomous entities, i.e. each pursuing its own purposes.

Such opinions may help to answer 4 types of question

  • What do we want to do? (what is desired?)
  • What should we do? (what is desirable?)
  • What can we do? (what is allowed?)
  • What do we have to do? (what is inevitable?)

operating at different levels of concern:

  • the social and cultural level of wishes and needs (what is good/bad,?)
  • the political level of duty (what is good/bad for the area and the common good?)
  • the legal level of the law (what is permitted/prohibited?)
  • the technical level of obligation/constraint (what can/cannot be done technically, economically, etc.?)

and fulfilling functions underpinned by legitimised powers and necessary for development:

  • social function of mobilisation, discussion, proposals;
  • political function of arbitration and choice;
  • legal function of protection and guidance;
  • technical function of appraisal, preparation, financing.

In terms of its purpose and its utility, a partnership is put together, evolves and is sustained via this multiplicity of mediation, necessitating interrelations

  • between functions,
  • between levels.

The functions will interrelate within an organisational plan tailored to needs at the various stages of development and opening the door (see diagram) to:

  • discussion and proposals;
  • validation and hierarchy;
  • negotiation and decision;
  • appraisal and financing;
  • preparation and execution;
  • monitoring and evaluation.

Interrelation between levels should ensure:

  • effectiveness and guaranteed results;
  • a hierarchy of values.

Problems arise from the difficulty of effectively accommodating these various elements while preventing one level encroaching on another or one function being flattened by the rest.



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