CIVIL SOCIETY: What do you understand by an effective donor-grantee partnership? When civil society leaders are asked what, in their experience, distinguishes the most effective donor-grantee partnerships, they invariably cite the same three characteristics: clear communications, consistent expectations, and a sense of mutuality and respect.
In essence, they are saying, “Treat us the way you’d want to be treated if our situations were reversed”. It sounds simple, but in reality a lot can get in the way, even when there is a single donor decision maker. When there is more than one, the chances for confusion and miscommunication increase exponentially.
Nothing in life is static, and donor-grantee relationships are no exception to this rule. Even when donors and grantees have created the basis for an effective partnership-through careful mutual selection and by “right-sizing” a grant (resource it right)-it will require continuing care and vigilance to remain effective. It will also require a commitment on both sides to share the “brutal facts”. Why? Because the goals that the donor and grantee jointly agreed to will likely evolve over time as the strategy is implemented and evolves.
Consequently, the more clarity there is, the better:Clarity about the funding strategy and goals;about how and when go/no-go, decisions will be made about milestones and expected outcomes;about application and reporting requirements.
Birungi K. Desiderius
077 2 426 607
Better World Uganda
P. O. Box 406, Hoima-Uganda