A version of this post originally appeared on Huffington Post UK.
There is a global consensus that community ownership is crucial for successful development progress. And funders like Stars observe this principle by putting local organisations at the centre of our grant making.
But that's not all. If we ever hope to overcome the enormous challenges posed by poverty and inequality, all stakeholders need to break out of their silos and start doing more together.
I'm talking about collaboration. Specifically, funder collaboration.
Now, there is a tendency when talking about collaboration in development to elevate the language past the point of usefulness; to avoid discussion of the practical realities involved in favour of hyperbolic rhetoric.
This meant that, when Stars decided to partner with The Global Fund for Children (GFC) to pilot a new programme in support of grassroots organisations, the literature out there was very encouraging but not particularly instructive.
So, how do two organisations come together practically to combine their resources and relative strengths to achieve more than they would on their own?
Two key considerations before you decide to partner:
When you compare Stars and GFC, a partnership seems obvious: both organisations focus on children, recognise the importance of local initiatives and have global reach.
For the new programme, GFC wanted to support their strongest grantees to accelerate their strategic growth, and Stars wanted to support smaller organisations not eligible for the Impact Awards but able to demonstrate real potential.
With the announcement of the five inaugural Global Rising Stars - 2014 winners including outstanding grassroots organisations in Panama, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan - this marks the official launch of Stars Foundation's partnership with The Global Fund for Children. So, what have we learned from the partnership so far?
Well, for starters, it isn't as easy as it might appear. Even for two organisations so closely aligned in mission, there were hurdles to clear. Things that we will keep in mind for next time: