The real key to your success when building a community will be your collaborative relationships. Bringing partners together fills the pool with knowledge, resources and funding to create the best conditions for effective responses.
The major obstacle to partnerships is the time required to build an understanding between stakeholders with differing priorities. However, the positive outcomes for communities make that time and effort worthwhile.
A solid working partnership needs to include:
- a good broker/facilitator to build relationships
- the right decision-makers at the table with a commitment to contribute
- a clear purpose
- good process
- ongoing motivation through champions and evaluation.
Source: Pope J and Lewis JM (2008,) Improving Partnership Governance: Using a Network Approach to Evaluate Partnerships in Victoria. National Council of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 443
Some good examples of how partnerships are effective for community building can be found in the best practice guide.