PARTNERSHIP POLICY

1.1 Introduction

The Jonathan Jackson Foundation (JJF) collaborates with an increasingly wide and diverse set of partners at all levels of the public and private sectors.

JJF partnerships reflect our values, including local ownership of change, empowering youth and women, using funds responsibly, and working with long-term sustainability in mind.

JJF works with and through others to take action to achieve common goals for youth and women empowerment, based on complementarity and respect for the contribution that each party brings.

The JJF partner relations are informed by and managed to a set of clear principles that underpin our programme and partnership decisions at every level of activity.

We hold ourselves accountable to these principles and seek to be held accountable by partners, communities, and other stakeholders with whom we and partners work:

  • Accountability– we take personal responsibility for using our resources efficiently, achieving measurable results, and being accountable to supporters, partners and, most of all, the beneficiaries.

  • Clarity about roles, responsibilities and decision-making – credibility and trust in partner relationships comes from good communication, competence, reliability, and delivery. When the rights and obligations of each partner are negotiated, the expected contribution of each party, including JJF, is clearly stated. All partners are able to do what they say they will do or describe the process and time frame needed to develop the required capacity.

  • Integrity – we aspire to act with the highest standards of honesty, integrity and behavior. We never compromise our reputation and always act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

  • Ambition – we are demanding of ourselves and our staff, set high goals and are committed to improving the quality of everything we do for the beneficiaries.

Operational Principles of Partnership

We adhere to a number of operational principles to ensure effective working relationships among partners.

  • Communities are the primary stakeholders – The communities’ opinions and contributions matter and must be a part of any interventions we conduct in their communities. We will work to ensure to every extent possible that all groups in the community participate and that the community takes ownership of the projects.

  • Monitoring and evaluation – Understanding the impact of joint work is an essential part of program development and design during which both JJF and its partners learn from the success and challenges each organization has in the field. JJF also agrees to establish and maintain a transparent monitoring system and its partners agree to cooperate with all monitoring visits conducted during and after implementation of any project.

  • Non-Discrimination – JJF projects will be for the benefit of those in need regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity or ability. We, together with our partners will strive to ensure that our projects and programs do not discriminate against people for the above-mentioned reasons.

1.2 Why do we work with partners?

All JJF partners, including government and the private sector, are central to creating the conditions and structural changes necessary for effective people-centred, sustainable change and development. The projects and programmes we implement together can encourage and enable the real participation of youth and women, be more sustainable, and have greater impact within communities. The knowledge, skills, reach, and experience that we offer each other means that, together, we can make more of a difference than if we worked separately.

1.3 Types and categories of partnership

JJF believes that partnering with a broad range of actors in society is favourable to the promotion of women and youth empowerment. We work with government partners at national and county levels as well as with a wide range of civil society partners, including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs), women groups, youth coalitions and networks. The below are the categories of partnership:

  1. Project Partners

A Project Partner is any partner who enters into a formal agreement with JJF with the purpose of implementing a project or an agreed set of financed activities that serve to promote youth and women empowerment.

  1. Strategic Partners

A Strategic Partner is an organisation who signs a memorandum of understanding with JJF with the purpose of pursuing joint strategic objectives related to youth and women empowerment. Such cooperation does not normally involve a financial contribution.

  1. Government Partners

A Government Partner is a governmental or quasi-governmental body or entity at national or county level who signs a memorandum of understanding with JJF with the purpose of engaging in cooperation that serves to promote youth and women empowerment in Nairobi. JJF considers government to be the main duty bearer in relation to promoting youth and women empowerment and hence a very important partner category.

  1. Women and Youth groups

Women and youth groups constitute a partner category in itself as they require special strategies and approaches from JJF’s side. Such formal associations of women and youth have come together because they wish to work towards the fulfilment of women and youth empowerment through direct action, peer support and sensitization or through advocacy and monitoring. Depending on the needs and aspirations of the individual partner, we may contribute to advocacy, peer-to-peer and networking initiatives and provide capacity building in support of the partners’ general organisational development.

1.4 Guiding principles for working in partnership

Minimum requirements for all partners:

  • The partner’s reputation is consistent with the vision, mission and values of JJF.

  • The partner is not politically affiliated or otherwise compromised on its neutrality and impartiality.

  • The partner is authorized to work in Kenya and legally registered with the relevant authorities, if so required.

  • The partner is not known or suspected to be involved in any illegal or criminal activity.

  • The partner can produce documentation to confirm its legitimacy upon request by JJF.

Regardless of our partners’ varying levels of organisational complexity and development, we base our engagement with all of them on the JJF core values.

1.5 Capacity building in partnership

Whenever a partner agrees with JJF to implement a project or a set of project-funded activities, a capacity assessment will be carried out by JJF, so as to ensure that the required capacity for implementation is available. If and when gaps are identified, a capacity building plan will be drawn up together with the partner and the resources required for carrying out the plan are sought covered through the relevant project budget or otherwise

1.6 The partnership management cycle

The details provided below are intended to guide JJF staff and partners in establishing, managing and developing our partnerships successfully.

Step 1: Partner assessment and selection

The dialogue on possible establishment of a partnership between JJF and a potential partner may be initiated by either party. It may be prompted by an upcoming funding opportunity or an existing grant, or it may be detached from any potential or acquired funding. The project manager together with the Executive Director and CEO will use a Partner Assessment Guide & Form (Annex 1) to establish whether the prospective partner meet the JJF minimum requirements.

In the event JJF is looking for one or more partners to implement a project we shall take steps to systematically identify all the potential partners in the area who are aligned with our strategic priorities and who can be expected to have the required organisational capabilities to implement such work. This shall be done through considering existing partners, checking local NGO networks and asking relevant staff to point out potential partners in the area.

In connection with the identification process, we will take into consideration the following questions:

  • What are the most important partner selection criteria in relation to the planned project/activities?

  • Does the grant come with specific donor conditions that have a bearing on our choice of partner(s)?

  • Which technical skills must the partner(s) have in order to undertake the tasks at hand?

  • Would it benefit our purposes and performance to work with several partners?

  • Do we have existing partners that fit the selection criteria, and, if so, what are their track records?

When JJF engages in the partner assessment process, we aim to look beyond the prospective partner itself and focus on the match between our organisations, trying to answer key questions such as these:

  • Do we share a common vision in relation to empowering women and children?

  • Are our values, principles and work methodologies compatible?

  • Would a partnership further our respective organisational goals and add value to our work?

  • Does a partnership hold promising perspectives for organisational development in the longer term?

  • Can our mutual expectations to a partnership realistically be met?

All these will be highlighted in the Partner Assessment Guide & Form.

Step 2: Defining and making plans for the partnership

In the second step of the partnership management cycle, JJF and the partner will jointly define and make plans for the partnership that lies ahead, as stipulated in the JJF Partnership Work Plan (Annex 2).

Step 3: Formalising the partnership

The partnership between JJF and the partner in question is formalised through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU). In addition to the MOU, specific sub-grant agreements are signed with partners who receive funds for implementation of a given project or a particular set of activities, which means that any partner may hold several sub-grant agreements under one MOU.

On the side of JJF, it is the Chairman or the CEO who signs all MOUs and sub grant agreements with partners. Once the MOU and, if relevant, a sub-grant agreement has been signed by both parties, these will be kept on electronic file together with other key documents pertaining to the partnership. At the same time, an entry will be made in JJF partner database in which information about the partner itself as well as key developments in the partnership is stored for the purpose of ensuring institutional memory.

Step 4: Implementation, capacity building and joint monitoring

Having formalised the partnership through an MOU or partnership agreement or (if relevant) a sub-grant agreement, implementation of agreed activities, including those related to capacity building, may be commenced. In order to ensure effective implementation of activities and conducive partnership relations, it is crucial that clarity prevails from the outset with regard to the lines of communication in the partnership. These will be set out in the MOU or partnership agreement between JJF and the partners.

Before implementation kicks off, a project inception workshop should be held between the partners in order to ensure that there is agreement and clarity across the board with regard to the relevant project’s objectives, outputs and activities, the strategies and methodologies to be applied, the roles and responsibilities of all involved parties, the procedures for financial transfers, procurement and budget revisions, the requirements for monitoring and reporting as well as other matters pertinent to the collaboration, such as documentation and visibility. Apart from addressing all of the above, a project inception workshop constitutes an important opportunity for reiterating agreed partnership values and principles and discussing measures to be applied with an aim of facilitating effective and genuine partner collaboration.

Step 5: Evaluation of the partnership

To JJF, it is important that we continuously learn from our partnerships, that we regularly subject them to critical scrutiny and that we make informed decisions about their possible continuation. Hence, in addition to any project specific evaluations that may take place, an internal evaluation of the partnership itself must be carried out whenever an MOU period is coming to an end.

Step 6: Decision on continuation or closure

On the basis of the partnership evaluation and, if applicable, project evaluation and/or audit reports, JJF will, on its part, reach a decision about whether to propose a continuation of the partnership, provided that such cooperation remains in alignment with our strategic priorities and that resources are available for the purpose.

If JJF decides to propose a continuation of a partnership, and if the partner in question is similarly interested in carrying on with the collaboration, the partnership management cycle starts over from step 1 above.

Where JJF decides not to propose a continuation of the partnership, the partner in question will be duly informed and receive a substantiated explanation for the decision behind the closure.

ANNEX 1: PARTNER ASSESSMENT GUIDE & FORM

GENERAL INFORMATION

Potential Partner Information Organisation Name
Legal Status
Date of Registration
Address
Website
Contact Information Name
Title/Function
Telephone
Telephone
Email

OVERVIEW OF THE POTENTIAL PARTNER

Mandate and background Outline the organization’s mandate and field of work, and how it aligns to JJF’s mandate.
Available

expertise and

specialists

Outline the distinctive technical capacity of the organization to achieve results in the proposed project.
Experience

in proposed area

of work

Outline of type/scope and key results achieved in proposed project area in recent years, including any recognition received at local/global level for the work in the proposed area.
Knowledge

of the local

context/

Accessibility to

target population

Outline of presence and community relations in the location(s) the activities will be implemented in (include access to vulnerable populations and hard-to reach areas, if any).
Reason for wanting to partner Outline the tangible results or benefits you want to obtain from the partnership.

PARTNER TYPE (tick appropriately)

Project Partner Strategic Partner Government Partner Women/Youth Group

REFERENCES

Please provide 3 references to support your proposal. Include name, title, contact information and brief summary of relationship.
Reference 1
Reference 2
Reference 3

I confirm that the information provided is correct and accurate and that you can rely on this information in assessing this potential partnership

Signature ……………………………………………………………………