How Effective are International Development Partnerships?

35 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2016

See all articles by Clay G. Wescott

Clay G. Wescott

International Public Management Network; World Bank Independent Evaluation Group

Arianne Wessal

World Bank

Date Written: September 1, 2015


Over the past two decades the international development landscape has seen a rise in global partnerships, a relatively new mechanism for tackling poverty and improving social and human development. Their rise in international development is due to a confluence of factors ranging from the development effectiveness agenda to the idea that pooled resources and leveraging other partners strengths will lead to the best development results. In addition, levels of donor funding have been inadequate in responding to development needs which has led to the rise of partnerships among an increasingly wider range of actors from civil society, private organizations, and the public sector. This context saw the rise of a number of global partnerships such as the Global Fund to Combat Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Global Vaccine Alliance Initiative, the Global Partnership for Education and others.

This paper is the first step of a research program building on theories of collaborative management to analyze the effectiveness of partnerships among international development agencies. Beginning with a history of how and why such partnerships came about, it summarizes the findings of existing work on the benefits and challenges. It then looks at preliminary evidence on the effectiveness of nine of the most prominent partnerships, and concludes with suggestions for future research.

Keywords: world bank, partnerships, international development

JEL Classification: O19

Suggested Citation

Wescott, Clay G. and Wessal, Arianne, How Effective are International Development Partnerships? (September 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Clay G. Wescott (Contact Author)

International Public Management Network ( email )

7798 Mulberry Ln
naples, FL 34114
United States


World Bank Independent Evaluation Group ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Arianne Wessal

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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