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There is inevitably a level of self-interest in the motivation of all partners and each partner will need to see benefits from their collaboration, measured in their own terms, if their involvement in the partnership is to be sustained over time.

Interestingly, the types of benefit that can accrue to partner organisations from engagement are similar for each sector, whether business, public sector or civil society. Such potential benefits include:

  • Access (to knowledge): Mitigating risk and reducing potential mistakes by greater understanding of the operational context
  • Access (to people): Drawing on a wider pool of technical expertise, experience, skills, labour and networks
  • Effectiveness: Creating more appropriate products and services, whether commercial or not-for-profit
  • Efficiency: Reducing (by sharing) costs and delivery systems and avoiding duplication
  • Innovation: Developing unexpected / new ways of addressing old issues and complex challenges
  • Human resource development: Enhancing professional skills and competencies in the work force (many report this as a major unexpected benefit from working cross-sectorally)
  • Long-term stability and impact: Achieving greater ‘reach’ by being efficient and effective means an expanded sustainable development impact. This is a direct objective of government and civil society, but also critical to the sustainability of business.
  • Reputation and credibility: Achieving genuinely earned organisational reputation and greater credibility.

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