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A Conceptual Overview of How and Why to Evaluate Partnership

Partnerships have a great potential to positively contribute to policymaking and policy implementation when they are properly implemented. The current practice shows, that in Sustainability Development Goal No. 17 (SDG17), monitoring over evaluation prevails, and evaluations are rare. The existence of monitoring indicators under the SDG17 neither says anything about the quality of partnerships established and implemented, nor about their achievements. This chapter is based on literature review to add to the knowledge on why and how to evaluate SDG17, and partnerships generally. For that reason, we take the EU cohesion policy and public-private partnerships, as examples of policies in which partnership is a standard tool, to provide insights from project evaluation research and challenges of implementing SDG17. The novelty of the contribution is in the building of an evaluation framework. The evaluation framework approach is based on seven evaluation criteria: (1) accountability and legitimacy; (2) improving quality and performance; (3) planning improvements; (4) building capacity; (5) learning; (6) ownership among program participants; and (7) empowerment—together with defining characteristics of functioning partnerships—(1) common goals; (2) mutual benefits; (3) long-term relationship; (4) acceptance of cooperation; (5) the contribution of each partner; (6) synergistic effects; and (7) joint decision-making. Moreover, the framework also applies general evaluation criteria—relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impacts, and sustainability.

Table of Contents: Transitioning to Strong Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals