The Partnering Function in Organizations

By: Lisa Burley  

There is much written across academic and practitioner literatures concerning the organizational challenge to adapt to an ever changing external environment. The same can be said for alliance building which is supported by a plethora of frameworks from practitioner contributions, and benefits from almost two decades of pro-partnership discourse, now fully embedded in the sustainable development goals. Only limited attention however has been given to the actual partnering function within organizations. The partnership function and its effectiveness can be seen as a fulcrum that balances on the one hand the efforts of the organization to sustain relevance within the external environment and on the other, internal organizational roles of specific individuals and task groups as well as policy, processes and sometimes simple precedence of how-did-that-work-the-last-time. This presentation will identify and discuss the challenges of the partnering function across levels as it relates to organizational strategy, climate and culture.

Partnering, Collaboration, Strategy, Sustainable Organizations, Capacity Development, Organizational Culture, Leadership
Organizational Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Lisa Burley

Senior Partnership Officer, Program and Partnership Branch, International Development Research Centre, Canada
Ontario, Canada

Organizational development has been a constant theme throughout my career of over 25 years where I have worked in almost 30 countries across South Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. My focus has been practitioner based through the delivery of organizational capacity building programs for think tanks, research institutes and NGOs. I have delivered numerous workshops on a variety of themes pitched at the individual, group and systems levels and almost always related to issues of organizational sustainability.