Key publications

Key publications

The State of the Partnerships Report - 2015

The State of the Partnerships report is a new publication of the Partnerships Resource Centre in which an analysis is made of the partnerships of 35 large Dutch development CSOs. This measurement shows that Civil Society Organisations increasingly collaborate in partnerships and that also the number of partnerships rises. The number of partners in a partnership rises and the focus becomes more diverse; more countries and more issues. The report shows different options for dealing with the increased complexity.

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How to make cross-partnerships work? Critical success factors for partnering - 2013

This study presents the insights of 294 state, market and civil society actors engaged in cross-sector partnerships all over the world. From 2008-2012 they were questioned on their experiences with -often- complex partnerships. We wanted to identify a number of common denominators that practitioners find relevant. This resulted in a top-5 list of critical success factors for partnering, an explanation why these elements are essential for effective partnerships and how they can be realised.

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The State of Partnerships Report 2010 - firms

This report is the first systematic effort to describe and analyze the cross-sector partnership strategies of the world’s biggest (multinational) corporations.

It is intended as a reference tool, a zero measurement and a pilot study as well as a stimulus for further research.

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Partnerships for Development - Max Havelaar Lecture 2008

Since the beginning of the 21st century ‘partnerships’ have received increasing attention on the development agenda. Governments and NGOs seek alliances with firms to increase the effectiveness of their development efforts. Partnerships have been pioneered in infrastructure projects, millennium villages, the provision of health services and (micro)credits. The increasing involvement of firms in development partnerships is particularly noticeable. Key note speech and contribution by Noreen Hertz.


But what is the logic of these partnerships and to what extent do they really provide a novel approach to development? Is it a tool or an aim? What problems are partnerships supposed to solve and how effective are they? Can partnerships also provide an excuse for not doing enough? Is there a discrepancy between the ideals and the reality of partnerships?

Read the background paper of Professor Rob van Tulder, RSM Erasmus University, Business-Society Management.

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The State of Partnerships Report 2011 - NGOs

This study covers all development non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active from the Netherlands with a revenue of € 1.5 million or more in 2008. This amounts to ninety NGOs, reporting on 317 individual partnerships with firms and/or governments. This study serves as a benchmark and stimulus for further quantitative research on the partnership strategies of development NGOs.

Dutch Non-Governmental development Organizations (NGOs) are increasingly engaging in partnerships with private sector organization. The Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC) has researched the motives for collaboration of the largest NGOs in the Netherlands (a total of ninety), including ICCO and Plan Netherlands,  but also Solidaridad and the Juliana Foundation. This study is the first systematic research on motives, patterns and strategic choices of partnerships between NGOs and companies in particular. A widespread pattern of partnerships emerges, of which the logic is not always apparent. One third of the NGOs does not engage in partnerships with companies at all. These and many more findings are discussed in the report.

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Cross-Sector Partnership Formation

A cross-sector partnership is a collaborative effort in which parties from different societal sectors pool resources to provide solutions to (perceived) common problems.

These partnerships are often rather complex because of a number of reasons: (1) they address complex issues, (2) they are implemented under (often) uncertain circumstances, and (3) they bring together parties that each have a different language, a different culture, and different interests and strategies. This knowledge is not new, but has been poorly understood so far. Complexity is further increased by the factors that influence the actual formation of a partnership when they are not well understood or managed as well.

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Managing the Transition to a Sustainable Enterprise

Lessons from Frontrunner Companies by Rob van Tulder, Rob Tilburg, Mara Francken and Andrea Rosa. How do businesses make the business case for sustainability? A new and revised English edition of an award-nominated Dutch book reveals the decision-making processes and perceptions of CEOs and middle managers that shape their organisation’s transition to sustainable business.

Rob van Tulder, Professor of International Business-Society Management, and his co-authors worked with 20 high-profile companies in the Netherlands to write Managing the Transition to a Sustainable Enterprise. Lessons from Frontrunner Companies.

The Dutch version of the book was published last year and was shortlisted for the ‘best management book of the year 2012’ award. Now, the official English version makes this work accessible to an international audience. The book will appear this autumn and is published by London-based Earthscan at Routledge. Earthscan is the world’s leading publisher in the field of sustainability.

This book combines practice and theory to provide a management perspective on the ‘business case’ for sustainability, and describes the Dutch practice to an international audience. Together, the four authors researched for several years to produce the book, which offers insights into real-life transition processes towards sustainability.

It’s aimed at managers as well as students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, in vocational and academic institutions. It identifies phases and attitudes toward sustainability through business cases and related business models. It also gives in-depth analysis and insights into:

  • existing literature and theoretical concepts
  • business cases for sustainability
  • barriers to sustainability - behavioural characteristics
  • more than 70 ‘tipping points’
  • approaches to shaping stakeholder dialogue
  • effective engagement of stakeholders in each phase of transition
  • how companies move through the phases towards higher levels of sustainability
  • insights of employees of the 20 companies whether the business case was really achieved
  • identification of successful interventions.

Buy the book on Routledge or Amazon.