Collaborative Action Research on Impacts of Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships
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.
The MSPs that participate in the action research project are:
- German Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (D-EITI)
- Alliance for Integrity (AFIN)
- Land for Life, Welthungerhilfe
- 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
- Improving non-academic training in pharmacy (ITRAP) in Tanzania, Action Medeor
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.
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 envisaged direct result of the project being a set of developed 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.
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What does MSP impact mean and how can MSP’s assess it? This document provides answers as well as tips from practice and research:
Tips and tricks on Impact and Impact Assessment of and in Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships
Platforms for MSPs offer support services such as incubating partnerships, facilitating knowledge exchange, peer learning and generally strengthening MSPs. The special role of MSP Support Platforms requires elaborate tools of impact assessment, which differ from those of MSPs or projects:
Impact and Impact Assessment of Multi-Stakeholder Partnership (MSP) Support Platforms
Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC):