Partnerships between Danish associations and partners in developing countries play an important role in RfD. Partly this is due to the fact that such binding relationships provide an effective means to fight poverty and promote development as this serves as a long-term framework for local development efforts based on shared values and specific aims. Furthermore, partnerships are seen as a value in their own rights as they can serve to promote a strong and diverse civil society in the global South. The presence of local, legitimate and viable associations can form a good starting point for democracy and securing the rights of poor people.

In the RfD context a partnership is used to refer to a continuing collaboration between a Danish association and a partner in a developing country. This collaboration may be formalised by means of an actual partnership agreement between the two parties. This can establish common goals and one can choose to present what resources the two parties commit to joint activities. In other cases, such a formal text has not been drafted but regular meetings, mail communication etc. are used to map out joint activities and collaboration.

It is essential that cooperation is 

  • continuous and has been in place at the time of applying for RfD funds for more than just a few months
  • encompasses more than the shipment itself, e.g. exchange visits, fundraising, carrying out development projects, information work on the South partner community targeting people in Denmark
  • mutual and involves contribution and joint activities in contrast to one party acting to ‘do good things’ for the benefit of the other

Reviews and reports have shown that many RfD partnerships has a predominant focus on partnership as a means to secure effective use of the equipment itself. To promote a better balance the RfD pooled fund emphasises values such as local ownership, mutuality and equality in partnerships. In this way, one can strengthen the wider aim of sustaining the growth of strong local popular organisations as part of civil society in the global South.

In its advice for RfD applicants and in its assessment of applications as well as during monitoring visits the secretariat promotes such a focus on the wider aspects in partnerships. And the secretariat encourages RfD grant holders to make use of the opportunities offered by the partnership travel modality. This can serve to focus more on those broader dimensions. Experience demonstrates that most RfD partnerships already manage the equipment quite effectively. Accordingly, one may encourage aiming at a wider scope for the collaboration. 

Partnership travel

When applying for a RfD grant one may include funds for a partnership travel whereby the Danish organisation can visit its South partner. Such a trip can be used to further develop and strengthen the partnership.