Culture Counts: A Guide to Best Practices for Developing Health Promotion Initiatives in Mental Health and Substance Use with
In chapter 7 - Follow up:
On this page:
At the beginning of your project, when you and your partners were discussing how you would all work together, plans should
have been made for when and how the partnership would end.
Sometimes, even when there has been careful planning, partners may reach a point where they feel the partnership cannot continue.
There is bound to be some unhappiness about ending the partnership early, but everyone should try to be diplomatic about ending
it and not air disagreements or bad feelings in public.
In your initial agreement , there should have been a plan for what would happen if you and your partners decide not to continue the partnership before
your joint goals were reached. If attempts at mediation or negotiation to resolve problems are unsuccessful, then this plan
should be put in motion.
If diplomacy can be maintained at the end of a partnership, partners can review the partnership to determine why it did not
work out as planned. A partnership need not be viewed as a failure if lessons are learned from it. Also, you don’t want this
experience to lead you or your partners to avoid other partnerships; by coming up with specific reasons why this partnership
didn’t work out, you can use this information to improve future partnerships, rather than conclude that partnerships are not
worth the trouble.
Ideally, partners achieve all the goals they set out to reach. At that point, they may want to think about continuing the
partnership to build on the progress made through the initiative, or to work on other issues that came up during the development
or running of the initiative. In this case, roles and goals will have to be re-examined, and new partnership agreements should
be written up.
If it is decided that the partnership will end, look for ways to continue the connection between yourself, the organization
you represent and your community partners. For example:
- Check to see if there any special award/funding program the community is eligible for as a result of the initiative.
- Encourage networking with other groups, colleagues, mainstream organizations.
- Plan to meet in a year’s time to review outcomes and look at other partnership possibilities.
- Report further developments to all partners--keep up-to-date contact lists.
“We took part in a conference on gambling for ethnocultural counsellors and found it very beneficial. It not only provided
education and training but also an opportunity to network.”
-Elizabeth Gajewski, Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services
To learn more about sustaining partnerships and their achievements:
This is another area that should be planned for when you and your partners first decided to work together—how any assets and
liabilities resulting from the partnership and the initiative should be divided. Some things that may have to be taken care
of, whether a partnership ends as planned or before:
- any remaining funds, donated resources
- records of the partnership’s activities
- ownership of products of the partnership, such as printed materials
- awards or other types of recognition the partnership may have received
- any unfinished projects or ongoing activities started by the partnership
- formally informing interested parties (e.g., funders, community members) of the end of the partnership
- marking the end of the partnership formally with an event for staff and volunteers involved in the partnership’s activities,
e.g., dinner, party, meeting.
Source: OurCommunities.com.au: “Ending Your Partnership Prematurely.” (2001) Accessed April 2007.