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.

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!

Explore other steps

Ask Yourself:

  1. What do you have to know about the individuals, agencies and/or groups before you approach them (their mandate, previous history of involvement)?
  2. What are some of the existing partnerships in the community? Can you draw on them for further capacity building? What is your prior experience with some of the partners?
  3. Do you have clear expectations for partners involved?
  4. What kinds of experts does the partnership need in order to move forward towards the implementation of the health promotion initiative? Who is currently missing at the table?

Tools & Resources

Examples of project partnering in health promotion….

“As the project evolves and your concept becomes more streamlined, some partners will fall off, some will come on board.” – DIANNE GILLESPIE

“(A good partnership) is about the commitment to be at that table, at that time, at that moment.” – ZAKK MORRISON

“We had these planning sessions that involved a lot of fun, a lot of chatter and we always had food.” – MOLLY HANSON-NAGEL

“The idea for “Moms in Motion” came to me after attending a workshop on barriers and challenges for low socioeconomic status women in Canada.” – FLORENCE SENECAL

“What motivated this group of people to stay together was their wanting to see the community going forward.” – MARGO FAUCHON

“We drew on the experiences of our partners and that created mutual respect.” – PAUL PELLETIER