About

PFI – Partners for Impact

Partners for Impact (PFI) was founded in July 2020 as a platform to share best practices on how partnerships can drive impact in international development. PFI brings together key findings from research and learning from experts.

PFI offers tailored services to organisations working in international development that are interested in improving their work on partnerships – and through these partnerships their impact.

PFI was founded by Katri Bertram, who has worked in international development for over 15 years and has specialised in partnerships. Katri has worked in multilateral organisations, civil society and campaigning organisations, foundations and academia, and has in all of her roles leveraged the power of working in partnership to drive more impact.

Partners for Impact (PFI) launch video

How can partnerships drive impact?

Many organisations working in international development have a mandate and mission to achieve impact (defined e.g. as lives saved, poverty eradicated, development potential of populations improved, sustainable economic growth managed). Most organisations, however, fail to deliver this impact because their expertise is too narrow, their capacity or funding too small, their ability to implement is limited, and their focus is increasingly internal as they grow. This undermines the credibility of organisations, but also of donors and fundraisers.

Strategic partnerships built around achieving intended impact can expand expertise and learning, resources and implementation capacity, and help reap significant efficiencies and keep a focus on external impact.

What services does PFI provide?

PFI brings together best practices and expertise relevant to international development organisations on:

  • What different types of partnerships are possible, and what opportunities and costs are involved in each type.
  • What risks are involved in working in partnership, and how these can be mitigated.
  • What types of engagement and exit strategies are available for partners.

PFI also offers tailored consulting services to support organisations develop and implement:

  • Overviews and analyses of existing partnerships.
  • Stakeholder mapping and prioritisation plans for partnerships relevant for impact.
  • Engagement and exit strategies to refocus partnerships.
  • Risk management and process guidance support.
  • Staff capacity planning and training guidance.

What are PFI’s working principles for staff and partners?

  1. Appreciation culture: We appreciate all contributions and celebrate the work of all team members and partners, no matter what level or what form these take.
  2. Compassion first: Our team members and partners are first and foremost human beings. They have feelings, needs, go through difficult personal circumstances and times, and want to learn, grow and know that their contributions are valued. We treat others as we hope to be treated.
  3. Professionalism: We work because we want to make a positive contribution and have impact. We deliver on time, and try our best to deliver quality, and engage in a professional but friendly way. Getting feedback or working together improves what we deliver.
  4. Trust: We work together and focus on partnerships because we believe partners can deliver more together. Partnership and teamwork require trust. We are honest and open in giving feedback, with the aim to make others learn and grow.
  5. Outputs first: We don’t care when, where or how you work. What counts is that you deliver on time and tried your best. Our flexibility is based on trust. If we don’t understand expectations, we ask for clarification.
  6. Partnership: All functions matter. No matter what we do, our work is important. No-one is more important, even if some people are more senior or bring in unique expertise.
  7. Rest: We encourage each other to take periods of rest, on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. We all need time to re-energise and also focus on other things. We all need to sleep. We are open if our workload is too heavy, so that this can be shifted.     
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