Drawing from research on multi-stakeholder initiatives in the international development space, authors Darin Kingston, Andrew Stern, & Joanne Ke of the Global Development Incubator ask the important question: when are partnerships (or in their parlance multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs)) not the right approach?
The article is a byproduct on a recent report they co-authored where they attempted to distill MSI best practices from research and interviews with more than 30 funders and implementers. As they discussed the research findings with their advisory committee they realized that they were getting ahead of themselves and determined that they needed to be able to answer one critical question: Before digging into the ‘how,’ Should you launch a partnership in the first place?
The piece offers three critical questions to consider before launching a multi-stakeholder initiative:
- Alignment: Are your objectives aligned with effective MSI goal areas?
- Suitability: Is a new MSI the best kind of intervention to address the mandate?
- Prospects: Is this MSI likely to succeed?
It also shares some alternative models and concrete examples that might prove more effective depending on the answers to the critical questions.