A partnership is the establishment of alliances between two or more entities for the purpose of achieving common goals. The alliance stems from collaboration between the organisations. The resulting relationship is based on sharing of resources, information, assets and risks. It is a mutual relationship with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

In the humanitarian sector these types of relationships are common between local and national governments, NGO’s, relief organisations and more recently with the corporate social responsibility part of the private sector.

Objectives/Expected Results

Conduct a comprehensive review:

Developing Partnerships

Successful partnerships are dependent on all things remaining constant. Effective partnerships rely on equitable participation, decision-making, taking and accepting responsibility. Such relationships contribute to achieving shared/common goals and are the key to the transition from emergency to rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Areas of Partnership

Hints to identifying and negotiating partnerships

Selecting a partner organisation

Potential pitfalls of INGO: local NGO partnerships

Aspects of an effective partnerships

Humanitarian Sector/ Private Sector Collaboration

The private sector and humanitarian sector are driven by different motivators. The commercial sector is driven by profit and the humanitarian sector driven to meeting the needs of vulnerable people. However the emerging trend of corporate social responsibility policies in commercial entities and the desire to maximise limited resources, has brought a common focus to alleviation of poverty and suffering. The two sectors working together to find ways of collaborating to meet this objective.

Why should the humanitarian sector partner with the private sector?

Opportunities for collaboration, from a logistics perspective some of these would be:

See Logistics Cluster topic.

What can you do to promote effective partnerships? Tips and practices


Humanitarian partnerships are critical for effective emergency response as no single individual or group is capable of sufficiently responding to any crisis. Collaboration, consultation, building local knowledge and capacity strengthens preparedness and response to disasters of any type. Ignoring local capacity and local knowledge creates a risk of responding in ways that are inefficient and ineffective and which contribute to future dependencies and vulnerabilities.

Additional Information