The Regional Mission Boards and Verre Naasten regularly reflect on their policy and strategy, as to see whether changes are needed or desirable. With help from experiences from the past, the current situation and an anticipation on future developments, we are reconsidering changes. Now we are rearranging our procedures for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. We would like to inform you on the outcome so far, especially where partnerships are involved. We made several changes in our ‘Terms and Conditions’, especially concerning Partnership Agreements.
Please note that these changes/new parts are included in our Terms and Conditions from now on. Which means they apply for all new requests for support. Feel free to react, we welcome your feedback.
We decided to introduce – or in some cases continue or re-introduce – the use of Partnership Agreements. Collaboration for us is more than the sum of Project Agreements. To emphasize this, a Partnership Agreement will be drawn up separately from the Project Agreements. This will help all involved parties to deliberately evaluate the relational part of the cooperation, as well as prevent an over-focus on the separate projects that receive support.
We have a draft available, that contains the issues which the Regional Mission Boards | Verre Naasten would like to see in such an agreement. Now of agreeing on continuation of cooperation and partnership for mission purposes, we would like to discuss this draft with the partner-church or -organisation/institute. What issues to be included? What content? And to come to a common agreement.
Towards the end of each partnership agreement, an evaluation of the partnership will be carried out in cooperation with the partner during a working visit. This is a moment of reflection together with the partner on the overall relation and ways of cooperating and communicating. Think of questions like: What are we thankful for, what goes well, what challenges are there, what improvements could be made? The result of the considerations will be reflected in the if and if yes, how to renew the agreement.
In addition, we are going to introduce another form of evaluation this year. We would like to know the opinion of our partners on several aspects of partnership, for example on cultural sensitivity of our staff or their willingness to listen to feedback of partners. We plan to draft a digital partner satisfaction survey and send it the second half of this year, with the request to fill it in honestly. It will be anonymous and especially to be used to improve our performance on good partnership and cooperation principles in general.
In case there is a specific point in the partnership relation that you would like to bring under the attention to act upon, you should use the ways that are already in place: if possible inform the contact person of the Regional Mission Board | Verre Naasten. If this is not possible because of the underlying issue: contact the Director of Verre Naasten. If that is also not possible, we refer to our International Officer to contact her for discussing the doubts or complaints.
In some cases, incidental support with specific agreements is given to partners, but in general we cooperate in longer term partnerships. Still these partnerships are temporary and have an agreed start and end point. It is our policy that the period of cooperation after the orientation phase can last 20 years at most: 5 periods of 4 years, of which the last period is the phasing-out period. As a result, the partnership including the orientation phase has a maximum duration of 23 years. It is good to continue to invest in a broader network, so that other opportunities for cooperation can be established, also during the ongoing cooperation. We work deliberately towards phasing out at a certain point of time. It is important that both partners have this clear from the beginning and consciously work towards this. The last period of the partnership agreement agrees on a period of ‘phasing out’, as to finish well and prevent adverse effects.