Quality Principle 5:
Development and humanitarian responses are optimised through effective coordination, collaboration and partnership.
Quality Principle 5 recognises that the complexity of creating development change demands multiple actors working together in different ways, and that quality collaborations are based on mutual respect, transparency and understanding. Accordingly, this Quality Principle places a strong emphasis on mutuality and accountability in partnership. Understanding of partnership principles and partnership practice has evolved considerably in recent years, and the Code’s Compliance Indicators have been crafted to emphasise the importance of joint negotiation, shared goals, and effectiveness in partnership approaches.
The partners of Australian NGOs have also become significantly more diverse, with more development actors in many developing countries. To achieve social change, it is imperative to build coalitions. In response, the structure and nature of partnerships have also evolved and become more diverse. The partners of development organisations include individuals, affiliated groups, organisations, governments and universities. All of these can collaborate with signatory organisations to achieve mutually agreed objectives.
Partnerships of all types are critical to achieving effective development outcomes and investments must be made to ensure they are effective. A healthy partnership needs to understand the context in which partners are working, and recognise and respond to unequal power dynamics. For collaboration to work effectively, organisations must invest in developing the quality relationships with implementing partners that occurs over time, and ideally through spending time together.
In response to a changing political and security landscape, Compliance Indicator 5.1.2, requires Members to assess the due diligence and capacity of organisations with whom they formally collaborate, i.e. those with whom they have an agreement in place and provide funding. This is considered particularly relevant given the increasing breadth of new partner types with whom Members are collaborating, including networks, universities, social entrepreneurs, and the private sector.
Quality Principle 5 is implemented through three Commitments by ACFID Members.
We respect and understand those with whom we collaborate.
We have a shared understanding of respective contributions, expectations, responsibilities and accountabilities of all parties.
We invest in the effectiveness of our collaborations and partnerships.