Partnering is a process that could be described as a shift from initial information sharing and gathering (networking) towards actual action taking in creating health promotion initiatives. Partnering includes activities focused on developing working relationships with individuals, agencies and/or groups in the community. It is time spent on further building trust among the partners and strengthening your own rapport as a community champion/leader.
Community champions are critical for the success of partnership building and the project as a whole. They could be individuals or organizations who are passionate about health promotion in the community; willing to take responsibility in engaging the community in making a difference; eager to learn from the other partners and recognize their capacity and potential to contribute to the project.
At the beginning, partnerships may include a broad number of people and organizations interested in health promotion in general. These individuals may or may not stay engaged in the future. It is important to be open to different ideas and approaches that are put forward.
As the partnering activities progress and the health promotion project ideas become more specific, selection of expert partners to fill specific project needs may occur. The partnership may grow into a project specific collaboration.
Examples of project partnering in health promotion….
There will be different levels of commitment among the involved individuals, agencies and/or groups during the phase of partnering. For some people and organizations it will be difficult to contribute to the partnership over a longer period of time. Feel free to move on!