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Determine the partnership structure and choose a lead

 In communities where partnerships are new and where there is no history of safe cities programme partners working together, it may be helpful to create a hierarchical partnership structure, with one designated leader or lead organization. Whoever takes leadership of a safe cities for women programme should be knowledgeable in safe cities and women’s issues. Leaders must work hard to connect with decision-makers and stakeholders. They must also keep abreast of local planning, political, crime prevention and community programmes. A leader can be accompanied by a champion or champions. These are people who are committed to the initiative and its actions. They can serve as links between the leader and the community or programme, and can help sustain work if the leader leaves (Whitzman, 2008b, 150-151). Other roles and responsibilities should also be determined at this time. For instance, it may be a good idea to determine who will take the lead and be responsible for meeting coordination, publicity, finances, fundraising, programme design, monitoring and evaluation, day-to-day administration and other associated tasks. Some questions to ask are:

  • Who will be responsible to funders and/or the local government?
  • Will there be a management committee? If so, who will be on it and what will the committee’s responsibilities be? If not, how will the safe cities for women programme be run?
  • Who will be in charge of finances?
  • How will staff and/or volunteers be chosen and supervised?
  • Who will be in charge of monitoring and evaluating the programme? How? (WICI, 2007, 14)

Case Study: Carta de Acuerdo [Memorandum of Understanding] (Rosario, Argentina, 2006).

In the city of Rosario, Argentina, Memorandums of Understanding were signed with different partners involved in the implementation of different actions carried out under the framework of the UNIFEM Regional Programme, “Cities without Violence against Women, Safe Cities for All”, implemented by the Women and Habitat Network of Latin America and the Caribbean. These Memorandums of Understanding formalized commitments made by the different partners about the specific actions they would be responsible for. Some of the actors involved who signed Memorandums of Understanding include: local government officials; the feminist organizations participating in the revision of the “Protocol for Action of the Municipal Urban Guard to Prevent and Respond to Situations of Violence and Abuse towards Women in the City” (Indeso Mujer, Instituto de Género, Derecho y Desarrollo) as well as the Argentine Women’s Information Network (RIMA).

Example available from Red Mujer y Habitat LAC HIC in Spanish.

Resources:

‘Sample Memorandum of Agreement’ in Building Partnerships to End Violence against Women: A Practical Guide for Rural and Isolated Communities (Community Coordination for Women’s Safety Project, 2005). British Columbia Association of Specialized Victim Assistance and Counselling Programs: pages 110 – 111.  This tool provides a template for programme partners to use to create a memorandum of agreement. A memorandum of agreement is a document which sets out the roles and responsibilities of each partner in writing. Each partner signs the document to promise that they will fulfill their part of the agreement.  This template covers the role of lead agency, the role of reporter to the funder, the creation of a project steering committee, responsibilities for financial reporting and invoicing, and more. It also provides a fill-in chart for the first year of a project budget.  Available in English.

‘Accountability Chart’ in Building Partnerships to End Violence against Women: A Practical Guide for Rural and Isolated Communities (Community Coordination for Women’s Safety Project, 2005). British Columbia Association of Specialized Victim Assistance and Counselling Programs: pages 105 – 106. This tool gives programme partners a structured chart that can be used to establish an agreement according to five principles of effective accountability: “Clear Roles and Responsibilities”, “Clear and Realistic Expectations”, “Expectations Balanced with Resources”, “Credible Reporting” and “Reasonable Adjustment”.  Available in English.