Coordinated Responses
Our Partners
Related Tools

Promote successful partnerships

Last edited: March 08, 2019

This content is available in


The multi-sectoral membership of a coordinated response brings a diverse range of skills and capacities to the table. Harnessing these skills and capacities to their full potential requires finding ways to work together effectively towards a common goal. Openness and communication are paramount in developing the trust necessary to navigate relationships among individual members and their organisations within the coordinated response.

Successful relationships within the coordinated response depend, on the one hand, on the input and conduct of individual members.  The box below highlights some of the individual characteristics have been identified as conducive to effective partnerships.

Capacities of effective coalition members

  • Skills/knowledge to work collaboratively;
  • Commitment to the coalition in action as well as name;
  • Ability to articulate what you bring to the coalition (e.g. time, resources, access, relationships, reputation, expertise etc.);
  • Ability to communicate what you want from the coalition;
  • Ability to weigh the value of coalition membership against scarce resource expenditure;
  • Willingness to share resources;
  • Willingness to openly identify conflicts between the individual organisation and the coalition;
  • Willingness to share power/credit;
  • Willingness to speak as one;
  • Willingness to explore alternative ideas and approaches;
  • Willingness to dedicate staffing at a high enough level to make decisions;
  • Willingness to dedicate staffing to implement assigned tasks;
  • Strategic use of coalitions to fill critical gaps and leverage resources toward achieving your mission;
  • Willingness to commit to the coalition for an extended (relevant) period of time; and
  • Understanding of how your issue fits into a broader network of issues.

Source: Raynor, J. (2011) What Makes an Effective Coalition?  Evidence-Based Indicators of Success, Los Angeles: TCC, available in English.


On the other hand, collective practices and ground rules are also important.  The box below shows examples of key components of successful working partnerships.

Components of an effective collaboration

  • Stakeholders with a vested interest in the collaboration;
  • Trusting relationships among and between the partners;
  • A shared vision and common goals for the collaboration;
  • Expertise;
  • Teamwork strategies;
  • Open communication;
  • Motivated partners;
  • Means to implement and sustain the collaborative effort; and
  • An action plan.

Source: Rinehart et al. (2001) Collaboration Toolkit: How to Build, Fix, and Sustain Productive Partnerships, Washington, DC: Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, available in English.


[See also Develop a shared understanding of violence against women and Develop agreements and protocols]

Tools and resources:

Building Partnerships to End Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Rural and Isolated Communities (Community Coordination for Women’s Safety Project, 2005), Vancouver: British Columbia Association of Specialized Victim Assistance and Counseling Programs.  This guide contains useful advice and a toolkit for developing successful partnerships and dealing with challenges, with a particular emphasis on enhancing inter-sectoral coordinated responses in rural and isolated communities.  Available in English.

Collaboration Toolkit: How to Build, Fix, and Sustain Productive Partnerships (Rinehart, T., Laszlo, A., and Briscoe, G., 2001), Washington, DC: Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.  This toolkit was designed to help law enforcement and their partners successfully build and sustain effective community policing partnerships.  Although written from a community policing perspective, many of the concepts and exercises are readily adaptable to a violence against women context and involve some of the same partners who should be involved in a coordinated response to violence against women.  The toolkit includes tools, exercises and techniques for: identifying and engaging stakeholders; promoting trust and open communication; developing a shared vision and goals; teamwork strategies; monitoring; and problem-solving for ‘stuck’ partnerships.  Available in English.

What Makes an Effective Coalition?  Evidence-Based Indicators of Success (Raynor, J., 2011), Los Angeles: The California Endowment.  This document reviews the evidence base on what makes coalitions effective across four broad areas: leadership; ability to adapt; management; and technical capacity.  Available in English.

The Accessing Safety, Community Toolbox, CoalitionsWork, Community Door and Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) websites contain strategies for successful partnership working, including ways to resolve conflicts and other obstacles to collaboration.