Top tips from our innovation managers on partnership engagement

Are you already using the Partnership Canvas?

DCHI is currently in the process of preparing two Humanitarian Acceleration Programs (HAP), for The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and The Netherlands Red Cross. We are prototyping our way forward, incorporating our lessons learned from previous programs in 2019 into the new accelerators for 2020. One of our insights from last year, was that aid organizations often struggle with their partnerships. In previous years we facilitated this process by organizing a marketplace, with speed dates between prospective partners. Nevertheless, a more structured approach was needed to help stakeholders spark a productive conversation around innovation and respective partnership opportunities.

Partnership Canvas (Source: Bart Doorneweert)

A key characteristic that makes the Partnership Canvas appealing, is it’s manageability. What can normally seem like a complex and overwhelming task, the canvas breaks a future partnership down into 4 essential building blocks.  Alongside its simplicity, this approach enables users to explore new possibilities outside their existing business model, and therefore challenges them to think about how a potential partnership might work.

Although this canvas has been around for a while, it is not an approach that the aid sector is widely aware of or applies in their work.  DCHI has therefore been facilitating online work sessions with Coalition partners, in order to test whether the Partnership Canvas might be a  useful tool in the aid  sector, and our humanitarian accelerator programs. The first results and input are very promising with Marcel Raats, Senior Advisor at Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) describing its potential, following a stage in our joint accelerator program for access to modern energy: “The genius of this exercise, for partnership engagement, is its simplicity. The approach that DCHI introduces for innovation is very structured. The partnership canvas can help to design strategies for future partnerships.”

DCHI will continue to test this approach within our Coalition, with the hope of improving the efficiency of the partnership process across our initiatives For a more in-depth explanation on the how of Partnership Canvas, we invite you to contact the DCHI innovation managers here.

Intro photo credit: Bart Doorneweert

Initiative: energy

Access to Modern Energy is increasingly recognized as an area of humanitarian concern. If communities affected by crises go without proper access to energy, it becomes impossible for them to meet the basic needs of life. In fact, if humanitarian organisations do not adequately address access to energy in their programmes, they risk contributing to the very same problems they aim to solve.

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