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Community of Practice Shift-the-Power 

As the development sector is pioneering new ways of shifting power to partners in the Global South, Partos seeks to contribute to these efforts. In 2020 we developed the Power Awareness Tool, which has been used by many in the months since its publication. This tool helps international civil society partnerships to analyse the degree to which power is equally distributed (or not) in their partnerships and work relations. Together, partners find answers to the questions such as who has the most influence when taking important decisions? So far it appears that in most partnerships, the Northern-based civil society organisations are the most powerful. Whilst this does not come as a surprise, Partos seeks to capitalize further on this knowledge by starting an active Community of Practice to explore alternatives and change outcomes.

The aim of the Community of Practice Shift-the-Power is to identify practical solutions for achieving more balanced power relations in international partnerships for development.In this community the challenge to find practical solutions for achieving more balanced power relations is divided into three sub-challenges, each to be addressed in a dedicated working group. 

  • The first working group focuses on understanding the system and any problematic features it contains. This working group will further elaborate on the analysis of the system as described above and will seek to support findings with comprehensive data from development practice.
  • The second working group focuses on identifying measures that can be taken to counteract the systemic factors. Despite power imbalances caused by the current PoV application and selection process, several alliances have adopted corrective measures for shifting the power over time, consisting of step-by-step approaches. This working group will make an inventory of corrective measures that are being undertaken and will seek to contribute and recommend appropriate measures for structural change.
  • The third working group focuses on system change. The question addressed is: how can we change the system in a way that supports community-led development? This working group will develop a policy paper with recommendations for the next generation of Power-of Voices programmes.