Multi-Akteurs-Partnerschaften Success Factor 2 Cooperation management

Cooperation management

Involving relevant partners

Involving stakeholders from different areas of society in multi-stakeholder partnerships is not an end in itself, but should be about producing effective solutions to complex challenges. The aim of forming a multi-stakeholder partnership is not necessarily to involve as many stakeholders as possible, but more importantly to reach those partners who contribute to achieving the partnership’s objectives. It is therefore crucial to begin by identifying the resources and knowledge required to realise these goals and the groups directly affected by the issue. Once the relevant stakeholders have come to the table, multi-stakeholder partnerships have enormous potential to bring about change by combining the core competencies of various sectors of society. On the other hand, the credibility of a MAP can suffer if key stakeholders are not involved.

Respectful communication

The way partnerships function is often decided at the personal level. Only when people are able to work together constructively can formal relations between organisations be established. A key resource in partnerships is therefore the trust between those involved. Although this resource is not a precondition for initiating a partnership, it has a considerable impact on the long-term success or otherwise of the partnership. While trust can be developed through mutual respect and by dealing with each other on equal terms, it is quickly lost if there is no constructive and respectful culture of discussion. Since each stakeholder entering a partnership is aware of the common benefits of the partnership, it should be in the interests of all stakeholders to remain open to the views and approaches of the partners.

Establishing a common ‘language’

Partnerships involving organisations from the same societal groups are often already complicated. So in multi-stakeholder partnerships the challenges facing the cooperation system are even greater. Partners in a MAP often come to the table not only with different sets of aims and problems, but also with a different organisational framework, identities, operating logic, terminology, etc. It is important to recognise and discuss these differences in culture and language in order to arrive at a common vision and shared understanding of the problem to be solved.