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ODI in partnership: Leading the pack or one of the gang?

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Written by John Young

The Overseas Development Institute’s Mission statement reads “ODI is Britain's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Its mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries”. It goes on to say “We do this by locking together high quality applied research, practical policy advice, and policy-focused dissemination and debate and work with partners in the public and private sectors, in both developing and developed countries”. But what exactly we mean by “partnership” has been a contested issue for some time, and there are limited resources for developing partnerships within an essentially contract-driven business model. A recent review of partnerships which included a survey of staff, of existing partners, and of other development think tanks, identified a range of options for the future.

John Young and Julia Sable