During the COVID crisis, we’ve seen an increasing importance placed on partnership work at a local level. Following the “Everyone In” call from Government in March 2020, existing partnerships were re-purposed and new partnerships were created to respond to one overriding concern, to protect life. Many different stakeholders came together to adapt and continue delivering their support in an incredibly short time frame.
Partnership working has always been an integral part of the MEAM Approach. Although arguably more vital now more than ever, working with partners is something that was important long before the crisis and will continue to be integral in the future. Adopting a partnership approach acknowledges that individual services cannot meet the needs and challenges of multiple disadvantage by themselves. Developing suitable support and solutions to issues needs to be co-created with organisations and stakeholders across entire public service support systems, with experts by experience, other organisations, competitors, funders and elected officials.
During 2019-2020, our independent evaluators, Cordis Bright, undertook a thematic review of how partnerships are structured and work in practice across MEAM Approach areas. The report focuses particularly on what makes partnerships more effective and the common challenges they encounter.
We’ve created a partnerships self-assessment tool based on this research. It is intended to help local areas and organisations to consider where partnership work is at the moment; to help you identify potential areas for improvement and to reflect on what actions to take.
We encourage local areas to use this tool and share your experience with us. If you amend any part of the tool to better suit your needs we’d be really interested to hear how you have done this.
Download the tool here.