General questions:

  1. To what extent are your partnerships/collaborations contributing to the broader goals of your organization?
  2. Did your public engagement activities include a partner that worked directly in the subject area? For example, did a public engagement activity that spoke to a youth-based project involve youth or youth-based organizations?
  3. Considering past experiences, are there times when it is better not to partner or collaborate? What are the advantages of a short-term collaboration? What are the advantages of longer-term partnerships?
  4. Think about a collaboration or partnership that did not achieve the expected goals, and list the factors that contributed to this result. Examine how these could have been prevented.
  5. What opportunities for partnership or collaboration would you see as strengthening your current public engagement programming?
  6. What are the advantages of partnerships and collaborations always bringing a gender analysis to the whole of the work? What factors can make this difficult?
  7. How would you rate the capacity of your organization to collaborate with and to partner with other organizations in public engagement endeavours?
  8. What are the characteristics that make an organization a good candidate for working in collaboration with others or partnering with them.

Identifying a partner or collaborator:

  1. Do you currently have partners in your work that could be brought on as public engagement partners?
  2. What audience are you trying to engage? Is there an organization that you can partner with to reach this audience?
  3. Think outside the box! There may be some organizations/institutions that you’ve never thought about partnering with. Maybe these are the ones to pursue if the goals align.

Establishing partnerships and collaborations:

  1. How do the potential partners support the aims of your public engagement program and/or project? What added value does the partnership bring?
  2. What compatibilities exist between the goals and vision of your organization and your potential partner? How do your goals and visions differ? Could these differences lead to conflict?
  3. What groups, communities or individuals have a stake in the public engagement topic? Whose voices should be included?
  4. What strategies are in place to ensure every partner has a voice at the table? How will the partnership be structured to allow equitable participation?
  5. What mechanisms are in place to reflect on and adapt the partnership as necessary throughout its lifetime?
  6. What procedures do you have in place to deal with conflicts? What form of decision making has been agreed upon between partners?
  7. What processes have the partners agreed to in order to ensure that everyone operates in a transparent and accountable manner?
  8. What constraints, either internal or external, may affect the work of the partnership?
  9. Does your organization have the capacity to do good partnership/collaboration?
  10. What are some ways you’ve managed to foster a climate of mutual trust?
  11. Have you put in place a process, for the conclusion of the partnership, to reflect on what the partners have learned from each other and what knowledge they’ve gained?
  12. What is the expected time frame to evaluate learning, both midway and at the end?
  13. Have the partners developed a common understanding of timelines and results to be achieved? How have the partners agreed to handle finances (revenues, expenses, reimbursements) for the activity/project?

Evaluating a partnership or collaboration:

  1. To what extent did the partnership or collaboration successfully meet the objectives originally set out?
  2. Identify the factors that contributed to positive results.
    -Consider the factors related to logistics.
    -Consider the factors related to the public engagement content.
    -Consider the factors related to the relationships within the partnership/collaboration.
  3. Identify the challenges that occurred to hinder meeting your objectives.
    -Consider the factors related to logistics.
    -Consider the factors related to the public engagement content.
    -Consider the factors related to the relationships within the partnership/collaboration.
  4. Did this collaboration strengthen your public engagement goals or would those goals have been better met working alone?