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The Partos Future Exploration

As development organisations we are faced with complex changes, cascading trends and accelerating developments. This requires all of us to be agile and resilient, which is also the case for members of Partos who face deep uncertainties about a myriad of external factors, such as the current Covid pandemic, global economic developments, climate change, increased polarisation and segregation. Moreover, changing funding modalities and donor policies, as well as the rise of new technologies continuously shake up our work. Many of these aspects are addressed by Partos Learning & Innovation, and through our advocacy and communication activities. These activities are accompanied and supported by more long term, future exploration and other strategic trajectories that feed our ‘rolling strategy and agenda’.

In 2018 Partos undertook a so-called transformative exploration of the future of the broader (Dutch) development sector. In the spring of 2021, we initiated a new future exploration, this time tailored more towards Partos and its members. This exploration consists of a strategic, creative and participatory process to define “dynamic and adaptive future pathways” that can withstand uncertain and complex futures. These pathways will be designed together with members of Partos and the process will be facilitated by Butterfly Works, Fonkeling and the Resilience lab of TU Delft. The main outcome of this exploration will be a strategic roadmap for Partos. This roadmap will consist of a number of critical focus domains, accompanied by a series of activities that Partos will undertake for and together with its members. For each domain, several future triggers will be defined that will function as, metaphorically speaking, ‘beacons in the fog’, shedding light on and guiding the way for potential future pathways. Through their participation, members will also learn more about the dynamic adaptive pathways method and how to apply it in their own organisation.


This joint process was launched at the April 2021 General Members Assembly and then kickstarted with a workshop on the key features of such dynamic and adaptive future pathways. In interactive sessions, we have explored in more depth important themes like Shifting the Power, Shrinking civic space, Digital challenges and opportunities, Funding and financing for development, Engagement and inclusion, Climate change and migration. A members valuation survey will also feed this trajectory. In October, at the Partos Innovation Festival, we will showcase innovations related to our new roadmap. The final results will be presented to the General Members Assembly in November 2021.

Podcast series: first episode featuring Bart Romijn

As part of the Partos Future Exploration, Partos and Disrupt Development embark on a journey to seek answers. We voice development professionals from Partos members, frontrunning innovators and disruptors and dive into the ins- and outs of the future of development and its implications for Partos.

In the first episode of the podcast series, we start with a word of welcome from the Director of Partos, Bart Romijn who will explain the unique role of Partos, why a future exploration is needed and how the outcomes of the future exploration will serve Dutch Development NGOs. Together, we can make the change we want to see!


You can also check out the podcast on: