“Successful partnerships are a product of trust, mutually desirable objectives, and an understanding of each partner’s position. Cross-sector ICT partnerships often focus only on trying to resolve the technology problems. they miss the step of forging consensus on principles and goals that differ significantly among partners. This is why so many donor meetings promoting cross-sector collaboration end up with few concrete results. Potential partners often skirt the difficulties of operationalizing successful collaboration, preferring to discuss collaboration rather to engage in it.” (MIT’s International Development & Information Technology Journal, February 2004)

This article compares five important factors that affect ICT for development success when the following sectors attempt to partner with each other: NGO’s, corporations, foundations and government / multi-lateral agencies. It explores how each sector’s perception and institutional behavior related to these elements influence their ability to relate to or engage the other sectors in partnership. The five measurements discussed are:

  • The constituency each sector is responsible to
  • How they perceive investment in capacity
  • The “currency” of each sector (i.e. what they value)
  • How each measures time (i.e. speed of action and response)
  • How each measures investment (either ROI or SROI)

– Jonathan Peizer –