Piloting the Shift-the-Power Tool in Practice

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Inclusive development partnerships in which power is shared are more ethical and better equipped for bringing about sustainable results. Donors and development organizations understand the importance of shifting power to Southern-based civil society to realize lasting and locally-led social change. But why is it so difficult? What are the blockages in the current development system with its complicated funding dynamics?


In a series of workshops, organized by Partos, Wilde Ganzen and CIVICUS, and facilitated by The Spindle,   front running organizations have been looking at the complexity of power in partnership relations and the opportunities and blockages to shift the power. One of the ideas that came up in a July Workshop that included Southern-based organizations, was to develop an instrument to make power visible and address it adequately.

Since then The Spindle Shift-the-Power lab was formed where a prototype of such a practical instrument is being developed based on the research, tools and best practices earlier gathered by the group of frontrunners. The tool focuses on the relation between Northern NGOs, Southern-based NGOs/partners, and community-based organizations. A first prototype will soon be available for testing.

The instrument is developed against the backdrop of new partnerships being formed for the  Power of Voices Program by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A unique opportunity to test it, learn and develop it further! Based on the first prototype we are confident that the tool can contribute to achieving inclusive and power balanced strategic partnerships in which decision making is a joint responsibility.

Are you interested to join The Spindle Shift the Power Lab and contribute to the development of this tool based on your experiences?  Join The Spindle Shift-the-Power Lab!

Are you in the process of  (re-) forming a partnership with civil society partners in the Global South and interested to test the tool, together with your partners?  Or would you like more information first?  Please contact Anne-Marie Heemskerk at amh@remove-this.partos.nl 

Also: The Spindle organizes, at the Partos Innovation Festival a workshop titled Inclusive Civil Society Partnerships where we will look at underlying patterns and the deeper causes of power and exclusion in development partnerships with the help of an organization constellation.

You may also be interested to read the report of the latest Partos Learning Meet Up for the Strategic Partnerships on the new roles and partnerships in international advocacy (10/09/2019) that also touched on the shifting of power.