Mediators or partners? Practitioner perspectives on partnership

Partnership has become a key word in the jargon of international development. This article presents the results of research into the perspectives of Cambodian and Filipino NGO workers on their funding relationships. Largely confirming the negative literature about partnership, practitioners generally expressed a view that their relationships with funders are not consistent with the rhetoric of power sharing and collaboration that often accompanies discussions of the subject. In spite of this, practitioners articulated a desire for collaborative relationships with Northern organisations, ideally with a greater focus on the local context and personal relationships. Practitioners believe that an important part of their role is mediating development in order to make it more relevant and responsive.