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
™ 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.