Commitment 5.3 We invest in the effectiveness of our collaborations and partnerships.

Compliance Indicators

Compliance with the Commitments will be assessed against the following Compliance Indicators. All of the applicable Compliance Indicators must be met by every ACFID Member to be considered compliant with the Code. Each of the Compliance Indicators has one or more compliance Verifiers. Verifiers are the description of evidence that is required to substantiate compliance with each Compliance Indicator. Guidance is also provided. 

5.3.1 Members support mutually identified capacity- strengthening strategies with their partners.


Development and humanitarian initiatives consistently show evidence of mutual learning and supporting and building capacity of partners.           


There will be many variations on how Members show evidence of building the capacity of their partners. It is important that strategies are identified mutually, so that they respond to the priorities of partners.  Examples might include providing training, mentoring, engagement in communities of practice, support to develop policies or systems, support for new innovations, or financial support.

Download and read ACFID's Collaboration guidance note from the resources section below for some guidance on the different forms that collaboration may take. You may also wish to download and read ACFID's guide to developing and managing partnerships for some practical tools and guidance to use in identifying and working with partners, and the different lifecycle stages of a partnership

5.3.2 Members assess their collaborations and partnerships.


Documented evidence of the periodic and joint review of key collaborations and partnerships.


Partnerships need to constantly review their purpose, goals, and effectiveness. There are many variations on how members might work with their partners to undertake these reviews. For example, they might be facilitated by an external consultant, assessed through a survey, undertaken in an annual roundtable, or simply undertaken informally through discussion. There are some helpful questions for evaluating and monitoring partnerships in the ' Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together' tool which can be found in the Resources Section below.

You may also wish to download and read ACFID's guide to developing and managing partnerships for some practical tools and guidance to use in identifying and working with partners, and the different lifecycle stages of a partnership

Good Practice Indicators

The following Good Practice Indicators describe a higher standard of practice than that set out in the Compliance Indicators. While Members do not need to meet the Good Practice Indicators to be considered compliant with the Code, they will self-assess against these indicators once every three years. This provides a clear pathway for Members to strengthen and improve practice over time.

  • Capacity strengthening plans are developed in collaboration with partners.
  • The effectiveness of capacity strengthening initiatives are periodically reviewed.
  • A formal process is used to enable partner feedback on the members performance and the partnership itself.


Good Practice Guidance

Here are some practical suggestions for your organisation to further deepen and improve practice over time. 

Capacity Strengthening

  • Build and maintain robust relationships throughout the development process with partner organisations, local people and other stakeholders, and invest the required time to do so
  • Ensure relationships and partnerships reflect the principles of equality, mutual respect and transparency
  • Invest time to learn about your partner’s philosophies, objectives and approaches and share yours with them to build mutual understanding and respect
  • Ensure a clear shared understanding of the roles and responsibilities of your organisation and your partner
  • Establish agreement on the essential elements of an effective partnership and how this can be jointly monitored with performance indicators and targets
  • Develop plans and budgets with corresponding reporting processes to enable transparency and accountability
  • Jointly define desired successful outcomes and indicators of progress and how they will be assessed and measured. This could involve clearly defined indicators and targets or could be done in a more open-ended manner.
  • Hold events or create opportunities with communities, partners and other stakeholders to share results and progress.

Assessing Effectiveness

  • Jointly with partners, define what partnership effectiveness will look like and develop processes to assess this periodically. Allow partners to lead this process.
  • Ensure such an assessment process is undertaken periodically and this is well communicated with partners so they know they will have regular opportunities to provide feedback.
  • Invest time and resources into periodic meetings or workshops with partners, and other external stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of partnerships
  • Invite partners to reflect on the effectiveness of your organisation and share the findings of this with staff and other stakeholders.