4.3 Sustaining and Strengthening Partnerships

If your collaboration is ongoing, be sure to have check-ins to get feedback from everyone involved in the partnership at regular intervals. Make sure everything is going smoothly and as planned, but don’t stop there. Re-evaluate your collaboration regularly and look for ways to improve or enhance the partnership, perhaps moving to the next level of partnership as outlined in section 2.3, Levels of Partnership.

Taking a collaboration from a one-time affair to an ongoing program may require rethinking many details, not least of which is funding for the effort. The Educational Development Center has developed a list of self-assessment questions in the areas of partnership and leadership, implementation, evaluation, communications and marketing, and financing. Answering these questions will help you decide if the collaboration is sustainable, and identify areas you might be able to improve to make it sustainable if it isn’t already.

If you do find that there are difficulties, the Collaboration Toolkit offers a diagnostic worksheet designed to “unstick stuck groups” as well as advice on addressing other issues that might arise during a community partnership.