The objective of this work in writing is to critically review partnership working and how it has been central to health and social care policy and discuss why it has not been successfully achieved in practice. This work will draw on relevant theory, policy and ethical issues, organizational frameworks and partnership working.
The concept of partnership is examined in the work of Carnwell and Carson (nd) which states that partnership can be defined as "equal commitment" and "the state of being a partner" citing 'Collins English Dictionary (1991). Partnership is also defined as being "one of a pair on the same side in a game" and "a person who shares or takes part with another, especially in a business firm with shared risks and profits. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1992 in: Carnwell and Carson ) It is stated to be evident from the definitions of partnership that "then option of sharing and agreement" is emphasized in business.
The United Nations work entitled "Participation and Partnerships for Improving Development and Governance in Africa" presented at the Third Meeting of the Committee on Human Development and Civil Society (2005) states that the driving force behind development in Africa is highly dependent on government, many African countries are "now extending to fully include other development actors in the development and governance process. In recent years, the concept of participation and partnerships has become critical considerations in development." (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Economic Commission for Africa, 2005)
II. Participatory Approaches in Partnerships
Participatory approaches are reported to be the method utilized by governments in making needs assessment and in implementation of programs and this is reported to be "particularly relevant for the ongoing economic and social transactions where the challenges of alleviating poverty, democratization as important instruments to enhance development provided compelling reasons for participation and partnership to collectively define and seek solutions that would lead to sustainable growth and development." (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Economic Commission for Africa, 2005)
Participation and partnership is stated to result in "openness and transparency in policy-making, the creation and sustenance of accountability, sense of the right to accountability" and the provision of the basis "on which citizens can build up social reciprocity." (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Economic Commission for Africa, 2005) Full participation of citizens, including men and women in the area of policy formation and implementation is the best method for building and sustaining democracies as well as in the resolution of conflict and the achievement of human development. (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Economic Commission for Africa, 2005, paraphrased)
III. Primary Issues to Address in Partnerships
According to the U.N. Issue Paper, the primary issues needing to be addressed include: (1) factors that ensure that all groups effectively participate and influence the national budgeting process; (2) the kind of communication mechanisms that are most effective in the promotion of popular participation in the national budgeting process; (3) the strategies and opportunities for civil society to participate in public policy formulation and implementation; guidelines for formulating a participatory budget; (4) guidelines for formulating a participatory budget. (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Economic Commission for Africa, 2005)
IV. Public-Private Partnerships
The U.N. Issue Paper additionally examines public-private partnerships evidenced in service delivery of water and sanitation and states that strategic partnerships between the public and private sector the provision of infrastructure services has been made in the "transport, irrigation and energy sectors, but also increasingly in the provision of social services, such as water supply, sanitation and health care." (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Economic Commission for Africa, 2005) The challenge for public-private partnerships includes that of "the creation of enabling environments." (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Economic Commission for Africa, 2005)
Considerations of public-private partnerships include those concerning: (1) the regulatory and policy framework needed to create an enabling environment for successful partnerships for the provision of services; (2) options of partnerships, criteria for the effective evaluation of success and failures of PPPs; and (3) policy recommendations of how to make partnerships successful and satisfactory for both sides. (United Nations Economic and Social Council, Economic Commission for Africa, 2005)
The work of Prohl and Heichlinger (2009) entitled "Taking the Pulse of European Public Administrations" reports that the increasing complexity of social demands makes a requirement of involvement…