Cooperation arrangements and networks

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GIZ’s management model provides for limited-term cooperation arrangements that can be used to effect complex social change.

In international cooperation projects, governments of donor and partner countries work with civil society and private sector organisations. Together, they aim to initiate complex social changes for which lasting forms of cooperation must be established in the partner countries. However, the projects are always of a limited duration, intervening on the basis of a ʻtemporary cooperation system’. This cannot be adequately documented and described using conventional management models.

In the context of sustainable development, the interplay between social responsibility, ecological balance, political participation and economic capability is fraught with conflicting interests and objectives. Only by engaging in ongoing negotiations can participants reach workable compromises.

GIZ has systematised its management knowledge and made it available in the Capacity WORKS model. This is designed to help all those involved in cooperation systems – whether as managers, executives, consultants or advisors in business, governance, public administration or the non-profit sector.

The ʻCooperation Management for Practitioners – Managing Social Change with Capacity WORKS’ manual contains a detailed description of the five key areas of action, the ʻfive success factors’, and a variety of useful tools that can be used for planning and implementing complex projects.

The success factors for professional cooperation management are as follows:

  • Strategy: Agreement on a joint strategy
  • Cooperation: Negotiation of cooperation formats, clear division of responsibilities
  • Steering structure: Agreements on the basis for decision-making
  • Processes: Clarity on effective forms of service provision
  • Learning and innovation: Individual capacity development

Private sector companies are an important partner in many international cooperation projects. Development partnerships with the private sector harness the interests and individual strengths of the respective partners, with a view to ensuring that all sides benefit from the cooperation.

Multi-stakeholder partnerships are becoming increasingly important. The number of stakeholders can vary greatly, as can the topic areas to be addressed. The focus is often on cross-border challenges or public goods. Partners must negotiate on an equal footing. This frequently results in project management problems. The advice provided by GIZ, on the basis of the success factors described in Capacity WORKS, can help diagnose and resolve such problems.

Networks in a development context are open, flexible, voluntary, temporary alliances of equal partners intent on achieving a common goal. The objectives and member groups can vary greatly depending on whether the emphasis is on agenda setting, coordination, reconciliation of interests, setting standards, mutual learning or enabling alumni to remain in contact. GIZ plays a numbers of roles within networks: as a participant in the formation of networks, as a secretariat, implementer of standards or co-financier or simply as a member.

Additional information