The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of enhancing global collaboration and effective partnerships among all sectors and stakeholders to build forward better towards more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive societies. However, partnerships are not built overnight, as they require significant time and effort to flourish. Moreover, effective partnering is about leveraging and optimizing the combination of available resources—and this is outstandingly challenging in many SIDS due to their unique vulnerabilities (e.g. remoteness, limited natural capital, and fiscal challenges resulting in dependence on international donors). This guide focuses on partnerships that align and combine the interests and resources of multiple national stakeholders to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway in SIDS more effectively. A collaborative initiative between the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and The Partnering Initiative, working closely with the UN Development Coordination Office, the UN Office of Partnership, and the UN Global Compact, the document is produced as part of an ongoing program of work to support effective partnerships in SIDS by the 2030 Agenda Partnership Accelerator.
According to the ‘partnership spectrum’ in this report, partnership in SIDS can be categorized into three types, namely:
(1) Leveraging others’ resources for my organization (leverage/exchange)- often a one-way transfer or reciprocal exchange of skills, knowledge, funding, etc.
(2) Doing ‘traditional’ development better (combine/integrate)- two or more partners combine their resources to together deliver more than each could deliver alone.
(3) Transformational development (System transformation)- multiple actors work together through collective actions
To provide more context on what the types entail, the guide included some examples for each category. And for partnerships to be built wherever value can be created, it is necessary to strengthen the SIDS partnership ecosystems which can be done by: (1) creating spaces to navigate the complex dynamic among stakeholders within SIDS; (2) building capacity to partner effectively; (3) recognizing that all stakeholders have a stake in strengthening the fabric of SIDS society. On top of the abovementioned elements, the guide also features a simple framework that provides a sequenced approach to partnering in SIDS and an overview of SIDS stakeholders.