Working in partnerships can lead to better outcomes than working alone. Successful partnerships strengthen the capacity of projects and services to broaden their reach, engage more stakeholders and achieve shared objectives.
Partnerships may be either strategic and concerned with the broad program concept, scope, direction or planning; or operational and concerned with resources, incentives, engagement and communication. Partnerships can be formal or informal and one-off, short-term or ongoing.
Partnerships can achieve greater outcomes than individuals or organisations working alone; they share expertise, skills and resources.
Partnerships are good for working in health promoting ways because they:
- Help to reduce service gaps.
- Make systems easier for our community to understand and access.
- Share resources, workloads, ideas, information, skills and knowledge.
- Increase the number of people we can reach.
- Increase what we can do.
- Can improve the quality of programs.
- Involve people with different strengths and perspectives to improve planning, implementation and evaluation processes.
- Empower communities to achieve their well-being goals.
- Promote a shared approach to addressing areas that impact on health (see Determinants of Health).
- Foster the sharing of resources, differing ideas, experiences, and strengths.
- Give our work a stronger voice.
- Allow us to better understand our community’s needs and how we can better support them.
- Help us be more creative and implement diverse strategies.
- Produce outcomes that are often more sustainable and long-lasting.
- Are a proven way to work with hard to reach groups by working with agencies they already trust.
- Help us work better with other services building understanding and trust.
- Improve referral processes.
Successful Partnerships require:
- Honesty and open communication.
- Respectful negotiation.
- Clear purpose and agreed expectations.
- A welcoming and supportive space so all partners can contribute to shared goals respectfully
- Commitment and respect for the partners involved
Health Promoting Partnerships occur when we:
- Work in a person-centred way with consumers, their families and carers.
- Meet to plan coordinated strategies
- Support the work of communities to achieve their health and well-being goals.
- Welcome and include consumers views and contributions in planning, delivery and evaluations.
- Work as a team either within our service or across services.
- Have informal or formal arrangements with other agencies around sharing resources, knowledge, data or referrals.
- Formalise relationships and goals in memorandums that agree how to work together e.g. contracts, referral protocols, project plans and terms of references.
- Network with others to stay up to date and invest in building improved relationships.
- Come together to achieve a project, set-up a new service, or lobby for change.
- Share information and knowledge about our work and our communities’ needs.
- Share skills and resources across teams and organisations.
- Coordinate our health promotion activities so we can add value to the work of others.
- Collaborate to combine our effort to reach shared goals.