Issue 6 : Partnership - an instrument for capacity building?
Partnership has become one of those concepts that have gained popular currency in international cooperation over the last decade. Underlying the concept is a significant message to re-balance power relationships between developing countries and external funding agencies, and to progressively transfer responsibility and ownership to the former. Partnership also signals a meeting of minds, the identification of common interest, and working over time on commonly identified goals. Partnership as a mode of cooperation is held to promote institutional and capacity development and in turn to assure sustainable development outcomes. Terminology such as donor and recipient has accordingly been replaced by terms like development partners, suggesting a more equitable relationship based on a shared agenda for change. The recently signed Partnership Agreement between the 71 ACP countries and 15 EU Member States on political and economic cooperation illustrates this trend.