IFAD partnership strategy

IFAD partnership strategy
Presentation to informal seminar of
Executive Board
12 December 2011
Background and process
Consultation document of Eighth Replenishment committed IFAD to prepare
partnership strategy
Strategic Framework 2011-2015 reconfirmed the importance of partnerships for
IFAD’s work – one of its ‘principles of engagement’
Initial work towards strategy – Information Note to Executive Board Sept. 2011, led
from NALO
Policy Reference Group for strategy established Oct. 2011, met twice to date
Interviews with staff and managers; meetings with Resource Mobilisation and
Partnerships Office (RMP), with CPM focus group; research and initial consultation
with IFAD partners; mapping of IFAD’s existing partnerships; review of key
documentation, including IOE work
The Partnering Initiative (TPI) – specialised NGO – supporting the in-house work
Presentation of preliminary ideas to Informal Seminar of Executive Board Dec. 2011
– for discussion and views
Sharing of draft strategy document for comments, and presentation of final version
to Executive Board in 2012
Partnerships are integral to IFAD’s work
IFAD works with many sorts of partners, in virtually all aspects of its work:
Member governments
NGOs / foundations
Civil society / farmers’ organizations
International organizations (RBAs, other
Bilateral/multilateral devt. organizations
Policy research institutions/universities
Regional organizations
Private sector
Resource mobilization, scaling up
Programmes and projects
Policy dialogue
KMI, lesson learning
Administrative efficiency
Institutional representation/
Partnerships exist at global/corporate, regional and national/local levels
Many officialised through MOUs, agreements; but also many less formal
IFAD also draws on its experience, reputation and networks to broker partnerships:
Between governments and RPOs/ private sector; for south-south learning
Growing role in increasingly complex and differentiated world
Offers scope to enhance IFAD’s value to governments and other stakeholders
So why an IFAD partnership strategy?
• A rapidly changing external environment:
– Complex development issues require broad or multi-sectoral expertise,
and new, knowledge-intensive ways of working
– Need for scalable solutions for substantial impact on rural poverty
– Evolving Aid Effectiveness agenda – Busan focus on partnerships
• In this context, partnerships can enable IFAD to:
– Focus on what it is mandated to do and does best
– Leverage external resources to complement its own programme of work
– Better achieve its strategic objectives
• Building on what IFAD already does, a more strategic approach to
partnerships can help the organization:
– To be more selective, and give focus, direction and guidance to
development and management of partnerships
– To maximise efficiency and effectiveness of partnerships in achieving its
strategic objectives
Definition of partnerships
Partnerships are defined here as:
Collaborative relationships between institutional actors that combine their
complementary strengths and resources and work together in a
transparent, equitable and mutually beneficial way to achieve a common
goal or undertake specific tasks. Partners share the risks, responsibilities,
resources and benefits of that collaboration and learn from it through
regular monitoring and review.
• Partnerships are not an end in themselves; rather a vehicle to achieve a
defined objective
• Not all relationships are partnerships:
– A contract is not a partnership
– Collaboration is not necessarily a partnership
– Some networks are partnerships, others may not be
• The definition includes elements that are useful for prioritising and
managing partnerships, less so for classifying them
• Some ambiguity will remain as collaborations develop and change
Partnership SWOT for IFAD
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats
 from research interviews, focus groups meetings,
views of external partners, and recent ARRI and
CLE evaluation data
• High level of co-financing in IFAD country
• Lack of common institutional
understanding / vision; ad hoc, nonstrategic development of partnerships;
and lack of explicit, coherent
management of partnerships
• Strong partnerships with many member
countries – particularly from Lists A and C
• Innovative partnerships – e.g. PPPs in
Uganda, Sao Tome; Spanish loan
• Unique partnerships with Rural
Producers’ Organizations – Farmers’
Forum, regional and country levels
• Lack of institutional visibility, and
inadequate outreach to potential
partners (branding, marketing)
• Partnerships with member states
uneven: e.g. insufficient attention to
• With long-term commitment to countries,
partnerships for List B / transforming List
IFAD trusted as partnership broker by
C member countries
• A limited number of IFAD partnerships
• Comparative advantage recognised by
perhaps bring limited benefits relative to
potential partners – there is interest in
their costs
partnering with IFAD
• Lack of country presence to sustain
• Good (and improving) rating from IFAD
country-level partnerships
• Learn from past successes and failures
• Lack of effective partnerships will limit
IFAD’s ability to achieve its strategic
• Build a common institutional vision and
develop pro-active strategic approach to
• Commitment to strengthening Resource
Mobilisation and Partnership Office
• Lack of partnership incentives at all levels
in some other institutions can make
partnering difficult
• IFAD unable to show others that it can be
a preferred partner for them – requires
results to be achieved, ‘IFAD brand’,
• Potential to expand partnerships with e.g.
partnership approach, as well as
the private sector, RBAs, List B/
marketing of all these
transforming List C member countries
• Competition from other IFIs and
• Global concern for agricultural production
development agencies
and food security
• Country offices create new opportunities
for partnership development
• Evolving Aid Effectiveness agenda leads
more RD stakeholders to explore
partnering options
Lessons from beyond IFAD
Benchmarking of good practices elsewhere – and in particular the approaches and
practices of IFIs – will provide lessons and shape IFAD’s strategic approach.
Preliminary lessons from other organizations about harnessing and managing
partnerships for strategic impact include the following:
– Strategy: Of the main IFI’s (WB and RDBs), only the AfDB has any form of
partnership strategy, though this is limited to a statement of objectives. AsDB has a
series of documents for specific partnership types. Elsewhere, partnership
strategies have been developed by UN agencies (UNICEF) and CGIAR centres (ILRI).
– Structure: All main IFIs have an office with responsibilities for formal, financiallybased partnerships and resource mobilization. Most large corporate players have a
dedicated partnership unit.
– Practice: WHO partnership agreements include a requirement to review the
partnership performance, its value to WHO, and continued demand
for/alternatives to it. UNESCO’s simple, compelling World Heritage Sites
programme has offered strong opportunities for partnerships with governments
and private sector. In corporate sector, strong brand management underpins
partnership efforts.
Rationale and objectives of a strategic
approach paper
The rationale
IFAD works with so many different partners, for so many different purposes, that
a single organizational strategy may add little value
Instead, a strategic approach paper would provide guidance for different types
of partnership, yet not seek to impose single partnership model
The objective of the strategic approach paper will be to assist IFAD to be
more selective in its partnerships, and enable managers and staff to develop
and manage partnerships more effectively and efficiently, so as to better
achieve IFAD’s overall strategic objectives. It will provide greater clarity
Why IFAD should enter into specific partnerships
What it wants those partnerships to achieve
Which organizations to partner with
How to develop and manage the partnerships
Who in IFAD is responsible for these activities
When partnership isn’t the right option
Proposed typology of partnerships
The strategic approach paper will use the following descriptive typology to
aggregate IFAD’s partnerships; activities will be prioritised under each type:
Partnership types
Levels of
Main partners
Programmes and
projects (CMR 1-3)
Private sector devt.,
climate change, KMI,
nat. level policy
dialogue, scaling-up
Member governments, RPOs,
NGOs, private sector,
development partners, UN
Global policy dialogue
(CMR 8)
Food price volatility,
CFS, Global Donor
Platform on RD, gender
International organizations,
research organizations,
member governments
Resource mobilization
(CMR 10)
Supplementary funds,
Spanish loan
Member governments,
efficiency (CMR 4-7)
RBA joint procurement, Corporate
UN joint pension plan
IFIs, UN agencies
Partnership types defined relative to IFAD’s Corporate Management Results,
considered critical to achieving IFAD’s overall strategic priorities
The paper will also highlight the following:
That while there are vastly different sorts of partnerships with a wide
variety of partners, under all four partnership types:
• Focus needs to be on development impact for rural poverty reduction,
as defined in the Strategic Framework 2011-2015
• Scaling-up is a priority: it will be central to expanded impact
• Issues of knowledge management and innovation – of learning – are
• IFAD can offer substantial value added acting as a broker/facilitator of
• There is need to review new and renewed partnerships for their
contribution to IFAD objectives, and discontinue those whose costs
outweigh the benefits
• It is important to strengthen IFAD’s capacity to effectively manage
Strengthening IFAD’s capacity to effectively
manage partnerships
The strategic approach paper will provide guidance to IFAD on how to
effectively manage partnerships, with attention given to the following areas:
Develop criteria for partnership assessment and selection
(shared objectives, clear agenda, capacity of partner, value
for money, etc.)
Define e.g. institutional responsibilities for developing,
managing, monitoring and reviewing partnerships; the role
of RMP; incentives for partnership development
Internalise partnerships in business processes, in e.g. project
design or HR competencies
Strengthen skills of key staff in partnership management,
partnership brokerage
Integrate review and capturing lessons from partnerships,
evaluating the strategy
Questions to Executive Board members
• What partnership experiences can you share that would be
helpful to IFAD?
• What do you see as the key challenges and opportunities of
partnerships for IFAD?
• Is the proposal to develop a strategic approach paper an
appropriate one?
• What do you see as its key elements?

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