Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships: Building Blocks for Success

This report provides an evidence-based assessment of the performance of multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development concluding that the overall performance of partnerships is mixed at best, and discussing factors that increased the likelihood of partnerships being successful and effective. 

Tiina Pasanen's pictureThis resource and the following information was contributed to BetterEvaluation by Tiina PasanenOverseas Development Institute (ODI). The information below was provided by Tiina Pasenen and Alice Macfarlan.

Authors and their affiliation

Ros Tennyson – author. Development Director, Partnership Brokers Association. Emily Wood – research & design. Manager, Partnership Brokers Association.

Year of publication


Type of resource

Discussion paper

Key features

This report summarises existing scholarship on multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development, aiming to identify the building blocks for successful and effective partnerships.

It then describes, discusses and prioritises nine building blocks that increase the likelihood of a successful partnership: leadership, partners, goal-setting, funding, management, monitoring, meta-governance, problem-structure and socio-political context.

Finally, it ends with a call to action for designing and implementing successful multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development. 

Who is this resource useful for?

  • Evaluators
  • Commissioners/Managers of evaluation
  • Other (those designing or implementing MSPs)

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

This report can be a useful starting point in researching partnerships. The authors have surveyed the existing literature to present a partnership typology and elicit the central themes that occupy researchers, including effectiveness and legitimacy.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

The discussions and the results of the study are based on an extensive literature review and supported by six in-depth case studies including Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (CCAC) and the German Food Partnership (GFP).


International Civil Society Centre (2014) Multi-stakeholder Partnerships Building Blocks for Success. Retrieved from:

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A special thanks to this page's contributors
Resource Suggested By
Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute.
United Kingdom.


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