Creating Value through Partnerships - Guidebook

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A new guidebook focussed on value creation within partnerships has recently been developed by The Partnering Initiative (UK) in conjunction with UNDESA. It sets out to demystify the concept of ‘added value’ that partnerships can bring and provides a process and tools to help maximise value for all. Here we review the new guide and highlight some of the key messages.

In this new guidebook titled, ‘Maximising the impact of partnerships for the SDG’s: a practical guide to partnership value creation’, we see a more in depth analysis of the various partnering relationships in practice, with a focus on ‘value created’.

While the main aim of the guidebook is on delivering greater impact from the SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) the principles outlined and tools warrant consideration for other partnering contexts.

The new text unpacks the various types of partnering relationships and most importantly sets out to differentiate between the ‘value add’ to the partnership as a whole and the value to each partner individually. 

When looking at the partnership as a whole two new concepts are proposed:

  • Input added value – The Collaborative Advantage

Defined as the intrinsic value of why a partnership approach can deliver solutions and impact beyond that of a single actor, or actors working independently

  •  Output added value – The Partnership Delta (DeltaP)

The Partnership Delta is defined as the extra value a partnership delivers compared with single actor approaches, as a result of the Collaborative Advantage. 

DeltaP = (Results of a partnership approach) – (Sum of single actor approaches)

DeltaP includes all the impact of the partnership – on individuals, organisations, sectors, systems and norms

After expanding on each of these concepts the guidebook raises the very important issue of costs and the need for each partner to assess the net individual value of a particular partnering initiative – i.e. will the net value gained outweigh the opportunity cost from applying the resources in another way.

The guidebook illustrates the points through some excellent case studies and reinforces the need to maximise value throughout the partnership development. Also included are a number of tools to assist in assessing value creation at both the partnership and individual level.

While this new guidebook is a working version for consultation, it provides some valuable insights and concepts to help partners assess partnership value more effectively and to endeavour to gain maximum value from these types of multi sector arrangements. 

You can access the full report here 

The authors are seeking feedback from practitioners and we would encourage you to test out the concepts and tools within this guidebook and send your comments and suggestions to

If you would like to participate in an upcoming webinar on this new guidebook you can register here