About PEP

What is PEP?

The PEP Facility is inspired by the following inquiry: ‘What will it take to unleash the partnering potential for the SDGs?’  It aims to promote better access to proven partnering knowledge and expertise; and to identify and fill gaps in knowledge and expertise.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed in September 2015 by the United Nations. The 17 goals with their 169 targets aim to function as a plan of action for the world’s sustainable development.

Implementing the SDGs calls for partnering and multi-stakeholder collaboration between business, CSOs, government, the UN and communities at a scale and quality that goes far beyond the current efforts.

Existing knowledge and expertise about the quality and impact of partnering is both fragmented and insufficiently shared. A systems view is too often missing and individual partnerships are not seen in relation to each other or the impact they have on the wider context. PEP has developed 17 effective partnering factors to help fill these gaps.

How does PEP link with GPEDC?

The PEP Facility, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as co-chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Cooperation, has committed to building the quality and effectiveness of partnering efforts worldwide.

This online environment seeks to provide an accessible entry point to the partnering community and significant ongoing work in a range of other contexts, including through facilitated meetings and workshops, and alignment with other complementary online and offline initiatives. Contact us with your comments and feedback.

More information

Who is behind PEP?

The PEP Initiative has been developed by five organisations, each with an established track record in partnering. Their directors (Ken Caplan, Petra Kuenkel, Darian Stibbe, Ros Tennyson and Rob van Tulder) are pioneers in capacity ­building and collaboration­ strengthening as well as in partnership brokering, collective leadership, platform­ building and system change.

Each partner entity brings its knowledge, networks and unique vision to this endeavour. By working together, they aim to model the necessary move from competition to collaboration and invite other organisations and practitioners to join forces. The five initiating partners are listed at the bottom of this page.

Who is this site for?

The site has been developed with the following three user groups in mind:

  • Reluctant partners: operational managers within organisations having to partner for financial and political reasons; need facilitated access to proven approaches. Archetype: experienced business or NGO manager who is new to partnering and is being required to work collaboratively. E.g. member of NGO private sector team or business sustainability unit.
  • Existing partners: managers within a formal or informal partnering structure; need to connect with others doing similar things to share learning and address common challenges. Archetype: experienced partnership practitioners facing the need to connect with others to strengthen partnership efforts. E.g. member of a mature collaborative entity, probably at a later stage of partnering lifecycle.
  • Partnering advocates: practitioners and theorists with a passion for partnering; want to help co-create new partnering thinking and action in order to advance the field. Archetype: experienced partnership practitioner seeking to bridge partnering theory and practice. E.g. member of initiating organisations, others whose ‘core business’ is to promote partnering.

What do we mean by partnering?

The SDGs cannot be addressed by organisations working in silos; they require collaborative approaches, or partnering, between organisations. Partnering refers to the range of processes, methodologies and structures through which organisations come together to achieve a shared goal – for the benefit of the organisations themselves, as well as for the common good.


How is PEP different to other SDG platforms?

PEP seeks to facilitate better access to proven partnering knowledge and expertise, and to identify gaps where such knowledge and expertise does not yet exist. While some of the material on the site has been produced by the five initiating partners, resources may come from any organisation, if they are effective.  Similarly there is no expectation that the five initiating partners will be able to fill all the gaps in partnering knowledge and expertise but this site may help identify those who may be able to undertake this work.

There are many existing online platforms seeking to do something similar to PEP, and a number of ‘alignment’ conversations are taking place to minimise the risk of duplication of effort. In order to help define the gaps in existing partnering platforms, one of the founding partners, The Partnering Initiative, conducted a landscape analysis. The findings report is available here.

Who is paying for PEP?

  • The PEP Facility has been funded to date by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as part of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co­operation. The five initiating partners have also contributed extensive pro­bono time as well as considerable intellectual property and access to their original materials and networks.Funding is secure until November 2016 and other funding partners are being actively sought.

Why partnering?

The PEP Facility asserts that the SDGs cannot be addressed by organisations working in silos; they require collaborative approaches between a multitude of organisations and sectors to energise and generate new thinking and practices.

The term ‘partnering’ refers to the range of processes, methodologies and structures through which organisations come together to achieve a shared goal.

Partnering can be highly challenging. Many partnering arrangements fall short of meeting needs, expectations and hoped-for goals. It is therefore vitally important to learn from what has not worked and to focus on working together more effectively in order to improve performance.

In addition, knowledge about the current quality, practices and impact of partnering tends to be fragmented, relatively superficial and often not easily accessible to practitioners. As a result, partnering mistakes might be repeated and hard-won lessons duplicated needlessly. Read more.

Collective Leadership Institute

The Collective Leadership Institute is an internationally operating non-profit organisation located in Potsdam (Germany) and Cape Town (South Africa) with focus on educational programs in the area of Leadership and Stakeholder Dialogues.

Partnership Brokers Association

The Partnership Brokers Association is the international professional body for those managing and developing collaboration processes.

Partnerships in Practice

Partnerships in Practice (PiP) provides advisory, research and training services to strengthen partnership approaches for sustainable development.

Partnerships Resource Centre

The Partnerships Resource Centre is an open centre for academics, practitioners and students to create, retrieve and share knowledge on cross-sector partnerships for sustainable development.

The Partnering Initiative

TPI builds country-level platforms to catalyse partnerships; undertakes action research; develops individual and organisational partnering capacity; and directly supports partnerships around the world.