Lecture 1 9
Phase 1: Prepare
Objectives of the Prepare phase
Through different consultations and joint dialogue, the partnership begins to define a common objective and parameters for action. The initiator should aim to obtain a general understanding of:
- Stakeholders to engage
- How each stakeholder is affected by the issue
- Potential scale of intervention
- Issues that must be addressed to mitigate the risk and achieve the objective
Elements and overview of the tools of the phase
- Identify stakeholder and markets: In this step, the partnership identifies stakeholders (including markets) that affect or are affected by the issue and forms a plan to engage these stakeholders. Through desk studies and pre-consultations, different expectations and concerns from the range of stakeholders are understood in order to plan tactics for engagement and communication.
- Understand the major influential groups and interests that should be involved in the partnership (See Tool 1: Stakeholder/Institutional Analysis (must)). To create local ownership of projects or partnerships, understand the needs of related stakeholders and beneficiaries. While basing a project design on multiple perspectives may take longer, this approach fosters ownership of the project work by local stakeholders who are often the key to long-term project sustainability.
- To plan for private sector engagement, identify relevant companies that influence the resource of focus, their risks and catchment locations (See Tool 2: Market Scan Tool (must)). The private sector holds useful assets and skills related to project work. By amending their operations, companies may be able to reduce risks to natural resources.
- Draft a process for balanced stakeholder engagement (See Tool 3: Determine stakeholder representation (must)). A balanced representation ensures legitimacy and credibility and avoids capture of measures and results.
- Identify potential past unethical behaviours by any participant (See Tool 4: Participants due diligence investigation (nice to have)). Ensure that stakeholders participate for the right intentions and avoid greenwashing.
- Share problems and recognize interests: To bring stakeholders on board, present collective action tailored to each type of interest. In this phase, initial discussions begin identification of issues, interests, capacities and resources.
- Assess risks, including their causes, effects, and impacted groups (see Tool 5: Problem Butterfly (must)). Begin engaging stakeholders one-on-one and conduct in-depth consultations with key decision makers. The initiator should achieve a balanced understanding of risks and interests to ensure that the needs of beneficiaries, communities, and vulnerable groups are considered as the partnership forms.
- To create buy-in around a common vision, explain the benefits of collective action to each stakeholder (Tool 6: Value Proposition Tool (nice to have)).
- Prepare road map: Based on consultations and input from the different stakeholders a set of initial actions that will be taken to shape the partnership are agreed through a road map by initiators.
- Clarify the mandate and scope of the partnership (Tool 7: Project action plan (must)). Jointly map the major steps for the partnership to achieve its desired outcomes and the required resources to implement them. Begin planning the partnership’s governance, sustainability, and communication. Ensure that all levels of stakeholders are included in the design of the roadmap, this aids in the partnership’s transparency, delivery and accountability.
- Once outcomes and activities are agreed upon, define roles and responsibilities for all partners (Tool 8: Assign suitable roles and responsibilities (must)). Ensure that partners with the right capacities assigned to perform the appropriate roles in the partnership. Avoid conflict of interest.
- Identify and acknowledge the key understandings to form the basis of a formal agreement through a letter of intent (Tool 9: Letter of interest (nice to have)). A formal agreement ensure commitment, builds trust, and promotes accountability.
Transition key questions checklist
These key questions will help indicate that your partnership is ready to continue to the next phase.
- Do you understand the major influential groups and interests that should be involved in the partnership in order to make the partnership a success and to balance different interests towards serving the public good?
- Have you identified all relevant companies that rely or influence on the resource of focus (water, a specific crop, wood, etc.) their risks and catchment locations in order to plan for their engagement?
- Have you built enough legitimacy and credibility, and avoided conflicts and capture through balanced stakeholder engagement?
- Have you identified potential past unethical behaviour by any participant, in order to determine proper next steps and avoid conflicts?
- Do you have an overview of the risks, including an analysis of their causes, effects and affected groups?
- Have you ensured the needs of beneficiaries, communities and/or vulnerable groups are addressed during project implementation?
- Can you explain what benefits does your partnership provide to different stakeholders and how it performs uniquely well?
- Have you mapped out the initial steps/activities for the partnership to achieve its desired outcomes, including the required resources to implement them?
- Have you set measures in place to ensure clear and continued communication among project partners and stakeholders?
- Have you ensured the right people are performing the correct roles in the partnership in order to offer value and avoid conflict of interest and illicit practice?
- Have you facilitated the start of the partnership by identifying and acknowledging the key understandings that will form the basis of the future formal agreement?
Key tools and case studies for this phase
Tool 1: Stakeholder/Institutional analysis (Must)
Tool 2: Market scan tool (must)
Tool 3: Determine stakeholder representation (must)
Tool 4: Participants due diligence investigation (nice to have)
Tool 5: Problem butterfly (must)
Tool 6: Value proposition (nice to have)
Tool 7: Project action plan (must)
Tool 8: Assign suitable roles and responsibilities (must)
Tool 9: Letter of Intent (nice to have)