In May 2020, Partnerships2030 and the Partnerships Resource Centre at the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University) have joined forces and started a collaborative action research project on impacts of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (MSPs) together with eight MSPs. First results are available to be used by interested MSPs.
The objective is to develop actionable knowledge that can directly help MSPs to better monitor, enhance and communicate their impact. Participating MSPs and the wider MSP community will gain a better understanding on the impact of individual MSPs as well as MSPs more broadly. In addition, the research project explores how backbone organizations can support the MSPs to maximize their impact.
The MSPs that are participating or have participated in the action research project are:
- German Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (D-EITI)
- Alliance for Integrity (AFIN)
- Land for Life, Welthungerhilfe (until February 2021)
- The Sustainable Tuna Partnership (STP), WWF Germany
- German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO)
- PREVENT Waste Alliance
- New Energy – New Opportunities for Sustainable Development of Donbas, Germanwatch and Ecoaction (until February 2021)
- Improving non-academic training in pharmacy (ITRAP) in Tanzania, Action Medeor
- Sector Dialogue Automotive Industry (since May 2021)
An integrated view of what impact is and how it is achieved is vital. The action research project identified key concepts and developed a conceptual framework: The impact narrative. In capturing the impacts of an MSP, two elements can be distinguished: (1) an impact pathway that documents the steps from activities and outputs through to impact and (2) five impact levels, ranging from the individual and organizational to the societal level. Taken together, the impact pathway and the impact levels form a narrative of the MSP for establishing impact which allows for a richer, deeper understanding of not just what change happened to whom, but also why it happened and the implications of this.
Via a series of workshops impact narratives for the participating MSPs have been developed. Through tailor-made processes each participating MSP receives active support by the research team to further enhance their monitoring and capturing of impacts with the project currently supporting the development of a set of indicators for measuring impact at partnership level.
A scientific reference group advises the research project and provides valuable reflection and feedback loops to continuously strengthen the research approach.
Impact Narrative Visual
Example of a workshop design to apply the Impact Narrative Visual and Tool
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Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC)