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									F         A       C         T
                                Experience in Action: Community Programming for Healthy Aging
S     H       E       E     T
Fact Sheet 3 in a series of 9                                                                         April 1997

Renewed Interest in an Old Tradition
Before “partnering” became              ™ Generally, there are three         T increase access to programs for
a catch phrase, seniors’                  reasons for partnering.              seniors
                                          Organizations or groups may        T collaborate to create a new
organizations often found
                                          want to partner because it is a      organization (e.g., seniors
partners out of necessity or              strategic element of effective       council or council on aging,
out of principle. Seniors                 community development; they          multi-faceted service centre)
groups found ways to                      may need to partner because less
                                                                             T carry out a joint project, foster
collaborate, exchanging                   resources are available; or they
                                                                               the continuation of a project
their gifts and talents.                  may have to partner because a
                                                                               and ensure its sustainability.
                                          funder insists on it.
 Atlantic Seniors’ Networking Forum
Why Have Partners?                      ™ When groups want to partner,
                                          the capacity of a partnership is
                                          often more than the sum of its
The information in this fact            ™ Partnership means different
sheet comes from a cross-                 things to different people.
Canada process designed to                Partners may
gather valuable learnings from          T share resources (space, staff,
seniors’ community projects                volunteers, funding and in-kind
funded by Health Canada.                   services)
Nine fact sheets share what             T exchange information and share
was learned about practical                networks
ways to deal with issues that                                                Partner With Whom?
affect seniors’ health and well-        T reduce duplication and cut costs   ™ Identify partners with similar
being.                                  T learn from each other                concerns and issues. Learn
                                                                               who does what in your
                                        T enhance each other’s power,
The fact sheets were produced                                                  community and create links
                                           credibility and recognition for
by the Centre for Health                                                       with similar groups. Build on
                                           fund raising, lobbying or
Promotion, University of                                                       existing networks and links. Be
Toronto with the participation             advocacy
                                                                               ready when the opportunity for
and support of the New                  T complement each other’s              a partnership arises. Remember,
Horizons: Partners in Aging                activities, deliver more            it is difficult to form
program, Health Canada.                    comprehensive services and          partnerships when in crisis.
Permission is granted to                   refer clients to each other
photocopy if the source is
P2                                               April 1997                                      Partnerships

™ Establish relationships with       T Involve partners early so they        Pay attention to both people
  key individuals in different         gain a sense of ownership and         and paper—written plans are
  sectors of the community, e.g.,      commitment.                           useful for staying on track, for
  housing, transportation, media,    T Take the time to build trust          evaluating progress and in
  business, service clubs,             and agree on the basics. Be           writing proposals. Develop
  churches and potential funders.      sensitive to each other’s needs.      mechanisms for dispute
  Develop relationships among          Ensure open, honest and clear         resolution. Use an outside
  seniors’ groups and with             communications. Share each            facilitator to help at the
  trusted persons whom seniors         other’s vision and develop a          formative stage, if appropriate.
  respect. Inter-generational          common vision, goals,
  partnerships offer many benefits     objectives and work plans for
  for seniors and the whole                                                 Partnerships cannot be
                                       the partnership. Partnerships
  community.                           formed gradually on the basis
                                                                            forced. Successful
™ Network and form coalitions          of a shared desire are more          partnerships need time,
  of seniors groups locally,           likely to succeed than those         patience, flexibility and
  regionally, across a province or     formed quickly as a                  listening to partners’
  territory and nationally to          requirement for funding.             concerns.
  support each other’s causes.       T Recognize and work with                        Quebec Regional Forum
™ Encourage funders to form            differences. Acknowledge that
  partnerships and to clarify and      partners have their own
  coordinate their financial roles     individual priorities.
  and responsibilities.                Acknowledge unequal power           Key Messages
                                       and resources and take the time     ™ Partnerships are an essential
                                       to negotiate needs and                element of community
                                       expectations. Respect                 development. They may involve
Effective partnerships                 limitations and be flexible.          information exchange,
were often the key to                  Identify available resources for      collaboration on a specific
sustaining a project after             joint action. Be willing to take      project and strategic activities
the funding ended.                     risks and share resources.            around common goals.
          British Columbia/Yukon       Resolve any hidden motives or       ™ Partnerships bring benefits to
                  Regional Forum       control issues.                       the partners and the
                                     T Have a clear picture of how           community.
                                       the partners will work              ™ Effective partnerships are based
                                       together. Ongoing                     on honesty and take time to
What Makes Partnerships                communication is critical to          develop. Approach potential
Successful?                            effective partnerships. Establish     partners openly. Take the time
T Approach potential partners          a structure devoted to                to build trust and agree on the
  openly. Understand their role        managing the partnership, e.g.,       basics. Recognize and work
  and position in the community.       a committee where all partners        with differences, and have a
  Suggest an important issue of        have an equal voice and               clear picture of how the
  common interest. Be prepared         opportunity to participate in         partners will work together.
  to illustrate the value of           decision-making. Define clear
  partnering and how each              roles and responsibilities and                      ˜
  partner can benefit. Check with      ensure each partner has a
  others whether additional            particular function. Agree on       Related Fact Sheets and sources
  partners should be included.         how power will be shared and        of information are listed in Fact
                                       how decisions will be made.         Sheet #9, Sources and Resources.

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