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New ways of collaboration

Partos facilitates the transition towards more equitable partnerships within development cooperation. We do this by tackling the problem of power imbalances between civil society organisations, moving from top-heavy and top-down systems of international development and philanthropy towards a flatter and more equitable paradigm of people-based development.

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Partos Shift the Power Lab 2.0

For multiple years Partos has actively supported the ‘shift the power’ movement, pushing for more equal power relationships within development cooperation. Under the Shift, the Power Lab 2.0 Partos is scaling its efforts to accelerate the power dynamics shift within international development cooperation by co-creating practical solutions for systems change.


Under the Shift, the Power Lab 2.0 diverse working groups with more than 150 members are co-creating practical solutions:
  • Recommendations for a more inclusive, flexible and localised policy framework ‘strengthening civil society’ of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • The Power Awareness Tool, which helps partnerships to make power imbalances visible, will be updated into a new 2.0 version.
  • 360-degree ‘shift the power’ assessment can be used to periodically gauge the progress an INGO is making in shifting power in their partnerships with international organisations.
  • Shift-the-Power Atlas, where practitioners can find methods and tools to help them work according to the shift-the-power principles.
  • Handbook for inclusive communication that facilitates ethical and inclusive communication.
  • Research on (un)intended effects of shift-the-power strategies, conducted by a team of researchers from Radboud University, Ghana University, Wageningen University & Research, Kampala University and Manchester University.
  • Trilogy (de)colonisation of development cooperation.
  • Partos supported the Ringo social lab in developing 9 prototypes to re-imagine international civil society.

Partos podcast Charles Kojo Vandyck: The localisation agenda

In this podcast, Charles Kojo Vandyck talks about the current state of global development. He speaks of the changing role of (I)NGOs and the collective responsibilities of actors in the Global North and South. Also, he shares some very practical suggestions on how you can accelerate the localisation agenda. Charles is a social justice activist and thought leader with experience strengthening civil society resilience, sustainability, and southern leadership. Charles is the Head Capacity Development Unit of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He also is a member of the Reimagining INGO (RINGO) Core team and is on the advisory board of Disrupt Development.

Listen to this episode

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Community-based legitimacy for advocacy organizations – a toolkit

Given that development projects are increasingly led from the South, it becomes even more important to study situational power dynamics, understand how community members value the activities of their advocacy partners, and identify which voices gain prominence and which ones remain underrepresented. Based on research findings from Ghana and Kenya, Maaike Matelski from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Partos are launching a new toolkit for advocacy organizations to assess their legitimacy towards local communities.

Open the toolkit