Exploring equity in partnerships: lessons from five case studies
Structural inequalities and power imbalances between the global North and South still exist at every level of development and research systems, including in how partnerships are nurtured and managed. Gender inequalities, social injustices, colonial legacies, racism and other intersectional inequalities continue to manifest in relationships among individuals and institutions. Partnerships have been central to IIED’s work and mission, and we have made progress on defining ethics and terms of engagement. IIED’s research project on strengthening ethical and equitable research partnerships, initiated in 2022, aims to define pathways for actively addressing dynamics of inequality and shifting power in partnerships.
This collection of five case studies shares experiences of good practice in building and maintaining equitable partnerships. The case studies selected include profiles of long-term partnerships with organisations that know IIED well and vice versa, as well as partnerships with organisations at different levels targeting different categories of constituencies. These include governments, Indigenous organisations, grassroots organisations and other peer organisations. The case studies were largely co-produced with the aim of representing the views of partners, and some included interviews with partners to capture their assessment of the partnerships.