Our Partnership Principles – Women Deliver

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Women Deliver believes that effective advocacy requires a partnership approach, often involving coordinated efforts at multiple levels, across sectors, over time, to achieve greater impact and gender-transformative change. We also believe that collective action has the potential to increase the effectiveness of advocacy asks and influence policies, programs, and practices – which is central to our new Strategic FrameworkOur Partnership Principles reflect how Women Deliver partners, the kinds of partnerships we advocate for in our work, and how we engage with each other as colleagues. 


1. Acknowledge our power and privilege as an organization 
  • Make time to reflect as an organization on how power dynamics may negatively impact our partnerships and work 
  • Identify ways we can use our position to dismantle oppressive systems and practices  
  • Recognize when it may be appropriate to step back from a partnership or opportunity and make space for others 
2. Use human rights-based and intersectional approaches 
  • Do no Harm – embracing a human rights-based approach – including recognition of our impact on our partners and the wider environment 
  • An intersectional approach is critical for gender transformative change. Such an approach takes into account how race, class, and gender identities create overlapping, intersecting, and interdependent systems of oppression 
  • Gender transformative change requires more intentional and collaborative partnerships, including with a diversity of women’s rights organizations and movements, youth-led and LGBTQIA+ organizations, and advocates representing the intersectional identities of girls, women, and underrepresented populations in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) to dismantle structures of oppression  
3. Advocate and use inclusive decision making 
  • Co-create and co-define programs, projects, and approaches 
  • Ensure that girls, women, and underrepresented populations, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ people, and other traditionally excluded populations, are centered in decision making, have a seat at the table in all discussions that directly impact them, and have the ability to influence these discussions and decisions – including with appropriate resourcing and support 
  • Build realistic timelines and be transparent and humble with each other about bandwidth, requirements, expectations, and standards. Meaningful and impactful partnerships take more time, but are stronger and lead to sustainable outcomes  
4. Ensure meaningful engagement and representation 
  • Recognize partners, including young people, as experts in their fields and their own lived experiences, and engage young people in the policies, programs, and investments that affect their lives from start to finish 
  • Strengthen meaningful inclusion and leadership in, and accessibility to, advocacy opportunities, and work to increase the representation of girls, women, and underrepresented populations, including young people, in key advocacy spaces  
  • Facilitate greater access for country-level advocates to global and regional advocacy opportunities to increase accountability in decision making 
5. Prioritize effective accessibility, communications, and resourcing 
  • Utilize Honoraria to reflect the contribution and labor of partners 
  • Amplify the messages of advocates 
  • Increase accessibility through translation, interpretation, small grants, or other financial support to ensure the meaningful engagement of advocates  
6. Create opportunities for bi-directional connections and learning 
  • Strengthen relationships with organizations working at the national, sub-national, and local levels, and facilitate exchanges with actors at the global and regional levels for capacity and knowledge sharing 
  • Help to facilitate country-level advocate access to regional and global advocacy opportunities  
  • Ensure monitoring, evaluation, and learning approaches are co-created, collaborative, and iterative, to provide mutual benefit to all partners involved, avoiding extractive or burdensome processes 
7. Co-create to achieve holistic and multi-sectoral approaches 
  • Effective advocacy requires a partnership approach, often involving coordinated efforts at multiple levels, across sectors, over time, to achieve greater impact and gender-transformative change 
  • Collective action has the potential to increase the effectiveness of advocacy asks and influence policies, programs, and practices 
  • Advocacy should be tailored to reflect the rigorous analyses of particular facts that lead to marginalization, discrimination, and the exclusion of girls and women in specific contexts
8. Start from a place of respect and trust and integrate context-specific knowledge and expertise 
  • Acknowledge, respect, and uplift what each partner brings to the table in terms of context-specific experience and expertise 
  • Learn from organizations (and networks) driven by regional, national, and local actors 
  • Examine and co-define roles between partners proactively, establishing roles, responsibilities, and ways of working, based on the context-specific expertise required – be it geographically, thematically, or other
9. Acknowledge roles and address power dynamics
  • Foster transparency and clear communications about roles, goals, and limitations 
  • Respect and honor that everyone in the partnership contributes resources (financial, as well as in the form of time, knowledge, and/or skills) 
  • Commit to sharing risks as well as benefits
10. Expand the base of gender equality advocates
  • Engage, influence, and bring in relevant cross-sector stakeholders to advocate for gender equality in their work 
  • Build bridges across sectors, issues, generations, and geographies

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