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Dream Paper

How can we genuinely shift power? The Dream Paper: Shift the Power is a product of the Partos Innovation Hub.

“You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is your Royal Palace. Dreaming is not illegal. So we dream.”
– Moses Isooba, Director Uganda National NGO Forum

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Community of Practice

In the Community of Practice (CoP) – Shift the Power Partos brings together more than 130 development professionals from Dutch Development organisations and their partners. In 2020, the CoP embarked on an exploratory journey to formulate a new division of roles between CSO from the Global North and South.

“Is shifting power about sharing power or is it about giving power, resources and space to communities that have been historically excluded?” – Maite Smet, Coordinator Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action

Dream paper

This publication provides a summary of the thought processes of all dialogues, debates, workshops and events organised under the CoP – Shift the Power. The synthesis summarises the highlights of what has been said about the desired division of roles between Northern and Southern CSOs. The better we get those desired roles in sharp focus, the clearer it becomes what type of system change is needed.

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“Take a look at yourself. Don’t think in transactional terms but rather in relational terms. Take a look at the language used and go beyond semantics. Walk that talk.” – Bart Romijn, Director Partos

System change

The richness of the papers on which the synthesis builds goes beyond the division of roles. It includes a critique of the current system as well as additional ideas for system change. This is the line that we will continue working on in a collective thinking process in order to formulate recommendations for donors, CSOs (in the North and in the South) and other relevant actors whose commitment is needed to bring about system change.


“The Dream Paper offers a common starting point for all of us. It’s real, it’s tangible, it’s possible. We can radically transform the system.” – Zohra Moosa, Director Mama Cash

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