Editorial by PPPLab’s Joost Guijt: Learning from peers: opportunity or cost?

Its always a pleasure to enjoy the view from on high. Looking out of the window of an airplane as it lands near home, climbing to the top of a hill, using Google’s satellite view: it all gives fresh perspective and new patterns.

Within the PPPLab we have the pleasure of looking across many partnerships. There is rich diversity, and also rough patterns to be seen. One pattern is a widespread strong commitment to improving smallholder and low-income groups’ livelihoods. Another is often the need for a long inception phase to build a clear, well-functioning partnership. Smaller patterns are found across multiple, but not all partnerships. Examples include a the need to clarify an underlying business case, the search for the effective engagement with the public partners, and how to make the partnership work more efficiently.

While all PPPs have at least a number of key questions similar to others, they tend not to take much time to look at what they could learn from others. It seems to make sense to learn from peers, but at what cost? Which other PPP should they look at, who to talk to, how to get the conversation focused efficiently? A day spent in a workshop is a paid day: is it worth it?

As PPPLab we aim to make to make peer-to-peer learning an effective, high-value opportunity. On September 15 we are organising such a learning day. It is built around eight topics that we see recurrently across partnerships. Each session is long enough to really delve into it with peers, to draw out useful concepts, play with how it could be applied to your own context and find others that can provide you with relevant inspiration and feedback. And each topic draws on the field reality of a range of your fellow partnerships, making it relevant and recognisable.

For those who cannot attend in person, we will provide links to appealing, accessible and readily usable guidelines, tools and sensemaking documents. We are also thinking on other ways of providing online sessions that can be followed at your own pace and time. So that when you have the opportunity, at no cost you can draw on the experiences of others like you who ambitiously work in partnerships for a collective ambition.

Here you can find information about the event ‘Making PPPs work: a practical day to make your PPP more effective’. Please share in your network!

Want to use a tool in your partnership? Look at our Partnering Process Tool & PPPCanvas.