The business definition of partnership goes something like this: A type of business organization in which two or more individuals pool money, skills, and/or other resources, and share profit and loss in accordance with terms of the partnership agreement.
In my experience though, when the term ‘partnership’ is used in the sense of ‘partnership with community’ it can become less business like and is often led from a community with strong emotional base.
A partnership only becomes a REALationship when there is a strong and underlying trust factor that is built into every decision and every action that each party makes concerning one another.
Partnerships with community must always begin with honest conversation and be developed and nurtured. Providing a group with $$ does not indicate a partnership, it simply indicates that you share mutual interests and that is all.
For community led action to work it must truly be led by community, on the ground and from a local level. This may not always fit with Government priorities.
To enable community led action we must truly value priorities as determined by local community. We must have more conversations about relevance, priorities and resources. And keep on having them.