Partnerships as Development Cooperation

The study explores the relation between policy and practice within a 12 years and counting SIDA funded municipal partnership between Växjö Municipality, Region Kronoberg in Sweden and JB Marks Municipality in South Africa. In investigating challenges and opportunities in the South African municipality – the study gains understanding on the processes of framing, anchoring and muddling through within the local government.

The findings suggest that the studied partnership has contributed to learning, reframing of experiences, perspective shifting, as well as concrete changes within the local government within highly participatory processes. The studied processes and lessons learned are thereby facilitating a discussion surrounding the role of partnerships within Agenda 2030 and international development cooperation. Conclusions are that partnerships can be conceived as having both top-down as well as bottom-up characteristics and that the partnerships transformative capacity best is understood in relation to its overall institutional context in which they are embedded.