Feedback Loops and Facilitation: Catalyzing Transformational Multi-Stakeholder Refugee Response Partnerships
2. Theorical Overview
2.1. Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration in Refugee Response
2.2. Partnership Lifecycle Approach
2.3. A Framework for Our Partnership Lifecycle Analysis
3. Research Approach
3.1. Aims and Scope
- What catalytic elements are needed for a transformational multi-stakeholder refugee response partnership to emerge?
- What degree of multi-stakeholder diversity is the most appropriate for providing basic services and/or creating market opportunities in refugee camps?
- What mechanisms can reinforce the transformational character of a multi-stakeholder refugee response partnership during the formation stage?
- Are there actors that are particularly suited to the role of facilitation in multi-stakeholder refugee response partnerships?
- To assist understanding of “the factors that affect the effective development of multi-stakeholder partnerships with a humanitarian focus” , especially initial ingredients that maximize the transformational potential of a collaborative refugee response arrangement.
- To contribute to an understanding of “which situations require which type of partnership mechanisms to support the management of humanitarian logistics” , specifically in relation to partnerships that aim to provide basic services such as energy.
- To provide a practical example of how a university center can assume the facilitation role in a multi-stakeholder refugee response partnership by addressing both humanitarian and academic motivations for partnering .
4. Promoting Transformation during the Formation Stages of the Alianza Shire
- The critical role played by a facilitator or intermediary in steering and supporting the partnering process [7,74,81]. This function, which has been underexplored in humanitarian multi-stakeholder partnerships [5,16], includes the promotion of the abovementioned learning and reflection mechanisms , as well as people/relationship management and trust building .
4.1.1. Making the Contextual Case for Collaboration
4.1.2. Identifying and Selecting Potential Partners
4.1.3. Assessing Drivers, Barriers and Enablers
4.2.1. Establishing Principles and Ground Rules for Collaboration
- Transformational mindset: the partnership was not a philanthropic initiative. Its aim was to promote broad change derived from practical action combining different partner capabilities. Potential for co-creation with private sector partners would rely on knowledge and skills rather than traditional resource contributions such as finance.
- Prototyping: an iterative logic that emphasized knowledge and learning would be promoted by a pilot project as the first joint initiative of the partnership.
- Grounded solutions: the first technical activities would focus on achieving solid impact through electrical grid improvement rather than other ‘attractive’ but risky solutions.
- No public communication before achievement of concrete results: until tangible results had been produced there would be no external communication on the work of the partnership.
4.2.2. Refining Objectives, Goal Setting and Confirming Resource Contributions
4.2.3. Setting up Accountable Structures and Systems for Working Together
4.2.4. Signing a Collaborative Agreement
4.3. Pilot Project and First Iteration
- At the end of the scoping stage, the exploratory studies conducted by itdUPM offered the opportunity to ensure the diversity and complementarity of partners.
- In the initiation stage, agreement on partnership principles reinforced the transformational vision of the collaboration and distinguished it from more traditional or philanthropic collaborations.
- Before the pilot project, the external health-check enabled the improvement of operational issues and enhanced partnership dynamics, and the communications plan assured a dissemination approach focused only on the results, thus, avoiding a welfare approach to its work.
- After the pilot project, the development of a case study helped to consolidate lessons learned and to share them with key stakeholders. This was essential to ensuring the scale-up of the Alianza Shire’s activities and to integrate local stakeholders (ARRA and EEU) via specific initiatives much aligned with their internal priorities and policies.
- Flexibility and the capacity to develop a propitious ‘incubating environment’ and trust building processes using a combination of public seminars, exploratory studies, and internships.
- The possibility of creating practitioner-academic teams that can cultivate distributed leadership and strong cross-sectoral capacity.
- Neutrality, legitimacy, and expert capacities that support learning processes.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Evidence Used for Case-Study Analysis
|Multi-stakeholder Partnerships in Humanitarian Action||Dec 2012||Bases (benefits and risks, stages, etc.) multi-stakeholder partnerships in humanitarian action (including case studies).|
|Presentation at ECOSOC (Geneve)||July 2013||Conclusions on the maturity of partnerships and good practices.|
|Master’s Thesis of itdUPM student||Oct 2013||Goes deeper into the previous document.|
|UNHCR Ethiopia factsheet||Feb 2017||Description of refugee situation in Ethiopia.|
|Amnesty International Annual Report 2016/2017||Feb 2017||Description of the Eritrea human rights situation.|
|Shire energy analysis||Dec 2013||Pre-identification of energy needs in Shire. Recommendation of the choice of the camps by UNHCR.|
|Expressions of interest for companies||Dec 2013||Pre-identification of potential partners for the Alianza Shire.|
|Summary of products to AECID||Dec 2013||Summary of the work commissioned by SHO for the preparatory stage.|
|Startup grant||Dec 2013||AECID grant to the UPM to form the Alianza Shire.|
|Grant’s justification||Sep 2015||Term: Feb 2014–July 2015|
Alianza Shire’s creation agreement and working, coordination, and communication mechanisms.
Shire refugee camps characterization report and energy needs assessment.
Synthesis and characterization report of technical solutions for Shire refugee camps.
Pilot Project Design: Concept note.
Preparation for implementation: Report on logistics and operational issues in the field.
|Initial MoU of Alianza Shire||Oct 2015||Formal agreement. Delay due to lack of instruments.|
|MoU UPM-UNHCR||Nov 2014||UNHCR is not part of the MoU but signs an agreement with UPM.|
|Product first grant||Jul 2014||Characterization of Shire Refugee Camps and Energy Needs Assessment.|
|Product first grant||Feb 2015||Characterization of technical solutions.|
|Product first grant||March 2015||Optimal model for electricity distribution grid in refugee camps: Audit of Shire Camps.|
|Product first grant||Ap 2015||Optimal model for electricity distribution grid on refugee camps: guide for optimal management.|
|Product first grant||Sep 2015||Report on logistics and field operation keys.|
|Report lessons learned||Oct 2015||Elaborated by Leda Stott and Maria Prandi (independent experts).|
|Grant to implement pilot||Nov 15||Grant award for implementation.|
|Orientations and principles||Feb 2016||Keys to immediate improvements and the basis for the partnership to operate in the future.|
|External communication plan||Ap 2016||Basis for communication of the partnership.|
|Pilot project technical report||March 2017||Implementation technical report.|
|Case study||May 2017||Systematization lessons learned Phase I.|
|Presentation of results||May 2017||Newspaper notice.|
|Analysis of Alianza Shire transformational potential||Jan 2020||Research article.|
|CRRF in Ethiopia||2018||Briefing note issued by UNHCR about the implementation strategy of CRRF in Ethiopia.|
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|Scoping||Making the contextual case for collaboration|
Identifying the challenge or gap as a first step, followed by the justification of the suitability of the partnership approach [62,69].
Contextual analysis and identification of opportunities .
The need for a partnership broker, coordinator, or facilitator [7,74,81].
Identifying and selecting potential partners
Assessment of complementary nature of partners and linked interests . Analysis of risks and benefits, threads and opportunities of working together [76,82].
Assessing drivers, barriers, and enablers
Detailed assessment of joint drivers, barriers, and enablers and at the level of each participating institution [62,70,83,84].
|Initiating||Establishing principles and ground rules for collaboration|
A way of building respect and trust among partners and cementing relationships over time [76,85,86].
Refining objectives, goal setting, and confirming resource contributions
Consideration of scope and detailed objectives of the collaboration [62,74,87].
Mapping compatibility between a partnership’s goals and other broader processes (SDGs, humanitarian issues, CSR, etc.) [62,74].
Obtaining funding and matching resources to proposed activities [65,74,87].
Setting up accountable structures and systems for working together
Establishing suitable decision-making structures, forums, and procedures [71,72].
Clarity around roles and responsibilities and clear and simple internal and external information channels [73,76].
Signing a collaborative agreement [68,70,76,82,88,89,90,91].
|Practical first iteration|
Undertaking a specific initiative to remove forces that impede collaboration and assist in adopting an early scale-up strategy .
New practices to be tested as a way of achieving meaningful results and building collaborative momentum [71,89,92].
Cementing partner connections by producing early tangible impacts .
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Moreno-Serna, J.; Sánchez-Chaparro, T.; Stott, L.; Mazorra, J.; Carrasco-Gallego, R.; Mataix, C. Feedback Loops and Facilitation: Catalyzing Transformational Multi-Stakeholder Refugee Response Partnerships. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11705. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111705
Moreno-Serna J, Sánchez-Chaparro T, Stott L, Mazorra J, Carrasco-Gallego R, Mataix C. Feedback Loops and Facilitation: Catalyzing Transformational Multi-Stakeholder Refugee Response Partnerships. Sustainability. 2021; 13(21):11705. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111705Chicago/Turabian Style
Moreno-Serna, Jaime, Teresa Sánchez-Chaparro, Leda Stott, Javier Mazorra, Ruth Carrasco-Gallego, and Carlos Mataix. 2021. "Feedback Loops and Facilitation: Catalyzing Transformational Multi-Stakeholder Refugee Response Partnerships" Sustainability 13, no. 21: 11705. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111705