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Partnership working

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

Performance Improvement in Public Service Delivery | Citizen Involvement | New Forms of Partnership Working | Leadership and Management for Change


Partnership is a means to an end and can be established for several possible purposes. These can include - but are not restricted to -

  • improving service delivery (innovation in methods, reduced cost, new/increased revenues, improved outcomes/preventing service failure etc.);
  • attracting new investment;
  • protecting employment;
  • accessing new skills;
  • changing service culture;
  • tackling social exclusion;
  • improving democratic legitimacy;
  • accessing EU funds and networks;
  • as well as allowing for a more effective infuencing of decision makers, especially at EU level.

Nevertheless, whatever the objectives of entering into the partnership, a decision to do so calls for a disciplined approach to decision making and implementation by public administrations.

However, in some cases, partnership models have been used when they are not appropriate and implementation has not always been planned or managed effectively. Some public authorities (sometimes sub-national authorities under pressure from national government) have also entered into too many partnerships and have showed signs of suffering from ‘partnership fatigue’ through their inability to realise the benefts of these partnerships.

Specifcally, it is widely accepted that a public body cannot decide what it wants from its partnerships unless it is clear about its own corporate/service delivery objectives and how the partnership can contribute to them, and that partnerships must contribute tangibly to the corporate/service delivery objectives in order to justify the fnancial and human resources devoted to them.

Furthermore partnerships must present a better solution than the alternative means of realising those objectives e.g. by

  • dealing with complex issues in a better way;
  • justifying the opportunity cost of the resources devoted to the partnership;
  • having suitable governance arrangements to deliver planned results;
  • and measuring the actual delivery of planned results.

The projects under THEME 3 demonstrate and contain elements of proven evidence of:

  • public-public partnerships, public-private partnerships and public-third sector relationships;
  • collaboration between administrations (including inter- or cross-administrative), shared and collaborative responsibility;
  • cross-territorial collaboration (including interregional, cross-border and/or trans-national cooperation);
  • innovative cooperation or cluster-related processes.

Award winners

ProjectsCountryOrganisationLevel of governmentSectorShort english description
Oldham PartnershipUnited KingdomOldham CouncilLocal levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationThe Oldham Partnership is the local strategic partnership (LSP) for Oldham and the mechanism for uniting Oldham’s strategic leaders around a shared and ambitious vision for a thriving town

Award nominees

ProjectsCountryOrganisationLevel of governmentSectorShort english description
Klima: Aktive mobilAustriaFederal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water ManagementNational levelEnvironment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fisheryThe klima:aktiv mobil programmes motivate and support transport stakeholders and actors to develop and implement measures to reduce GHG emissions from their transport and mobility activities, thereby promoting alternative clean fuels and vehicles as well as environmentally friendly transport modes
Present in school, absent in Jail - Local partnership to prevent and combat juvenile delinquency and child victimisationRomaniaPrefecture of Neamt CountyLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformIn order to reduce the number of juveniles involved in criminal activities and to gain awareness, the local partnership project for the prevention of juvenile delinquency and victimisation of children was initiated in 2008 by the Police Inspectorate and the Prefecture of Neamt County
Flytta till Dalarna (Move to Dalarna)SwedenRegion DalarnaRegional levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationThe overall task of the project is to develop methods for work with migration
Community alcohol partnership (CAP)United KingdomCambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards ServiceLocal levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThe CAP represents a truly collaborative approach to tackling an issue of national concern

Best practice award winners

ProjectsCountryOrganisationLevel of governmentSectorShort english description
Life-cycle cost model 'New construction of St. Poelten university of applied sciences'AustriaLandeshauptstadt St. PoeltenLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe term‘life-cycle cost’ in buildings means the sum of all costs that the building incurs ‘in the course of its existence’, from project development to construction of the building, utilisation of building, to demolition
The license to digGermanyHessisches Ministerium für Umwelt, Energie, Landwirtschaft und VerbraucherschutzRegional levelEnvironment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fisheryThe joint goal of the State and the citizens was to carry out a socially sound, environmentally appropriate and legally defendable clean-up
Sonderabfallmanagementgesellschaft mbH (SAM) 15 years of a successful private-public partnershipGermanyMinistry of Environment, Forestry and Consumer Protection in Rhineland-Palatinate, Department 107 Waste ManagementRegional levelEnvironment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fisherySAM is responsible for the supervision and monitoring of hazardous waste streams into and out of Rhineland-Palatinate
Tandem in science: Network for integration projectsGermanyPaul-Ehrlich-Institute, Federal Agency for Sera and VaccinesNational levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsHence, the aim of this project is to enable disabled employees to achieve a high qualification in their workplace and at university
Stimulating and facilitating regional partnerships for adult learningNetherlandsMinistry of Social Affairs and EmploymentRegional levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe project directorate Learning and Working has developed a method to successfully translate EU- and national-level goals with regard to adult learning into concrete local-level actions
Increase of investment attractivenessPolandARAW - Wroclaw Agglomeration Development AgencyRegional levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEFor strategic investors, ARAW serves as a one-stop-shop providing high standard investment support and help needed to do business in the region
Social, medical and educational integrated services in rural areasRomaniaBacau County CouncilLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe project, localised in the poorest area of Bacau County (‘The Vale of Tears’), aims to provide a complex, integrated approach in order to respond to the social, medical and educational needs in the most disadvantaged rural areas of Bacau County.
Regional and cross-border centre for prevention and intervention in case of floodsRomaniaTimiş County CouncilLocal levelEnvironment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fisheryThe techniques used for the protection against floods are weak and the capacity of the authorities to address these events is limited. Thus, the Regional and Cross-Border Centre for Prevention and Intervention in Case of Floods (CRTPI) was initiated
Register of social housing developersSpainDiputació de Barcelona (DIBA), Gerència de Serveis d’Habitatge, Urbanisme i ActivitatsNational levelotherThe Register of Social Housing Developers was created in 2007 by Barcelona Provincial Council with the objective of fostering concerted action with town councils in the Province of Barcelona to develop and manage social housing on municipal land through private developers
Judicial telematic notification programmeSpainDirectorate General of Modernisation of the Administration of Justice Development AgencyRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformIn sum, a legal framework by the law on electronic signatures and the provision of using the telematic means of communication advanced by the law on Civil Prosecution has been created to urge everyone to not only use these computing means, but to give precedence to them
Civic alcohol forum (CAF)United KingdomDerry City CouncilLocal levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsIts aims are to raise awareness of the need to change alcohol culture, to create a responsible position for alcohol use within society, and to initiate cultural change

Award submissions

ProjectsCountryOrganisationLevel of governmentSectorShort english description
E-payment of taxes via finanzonline (Pay-Fon)AustriaAustrian Federal Ministry of Finance, Directorate V/2National levelTaxation, customs, financesThe result is an intelligent networking of individuals/companies, tax consultants, banks and, tax administration IT systems which led to several improvements
Project for electronic processing of the European order for payment procedureAustriaAustrian Federal Ministry of JusticeJustice, police, human rights and securityIt is mainly meant to contribute to reaching two general objectives: helping to eliminate impediments for a smooth functioning of cross-border civil procedures and facilitating access to justice for private individuals and companies
PPP in Austrian districts networking for qualityAustriaBezirkshauptmannschaft Zell am SeeRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformIn sum, a comprehensive quality management has been established ranging from the strategic approach to the methods applied, meaning that each participating district administration collaborates with its executives and employees to organise processes and resources in such a manner that the process of service delivery responds to the legitimate needs of the citizens and the economy
Organisational development in women's organisations of Land SalzburgAustriaBüro für Frauenfragen und Chancengleichheit des Landes Salzburg (BFF)Regional levelEmployment, labour related affairs and gender equalityThe BFF was involved in these processes in order to bring about the differing effects on women and men as customers of the administration, as well as on the male and female employees.
Bündnis für Familie Oberösterreich (Alliance for family)AustriaFederal State Government of Upper Austria, Department for Family AffairsRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe leaflet ‘Erfolgsfaktor Familienorientierung - Leitfaden für Unternehmen’‘Family-Friendly Measures as a Factor of Success - A Guide for Companies’), published by the Department for Family Affairs of Upper Austria, supports companies in developing models to make family and job compatible
Professional association of Austrian executive municipal officersAustriaProfessional Association of Austrian Executive Municipal Officers (FLGÖ)National levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe municipal service centre is supposed to administer, plan, provide help, mediate, take lawful decisions and make progress; but the determining factors are becoming more and more difficult. For this reason the governing body of the professional association of executive municipal officers (FLGÖ) tries to provide professional assistance in an uncomplicated, quick and affordable way, inviting all communities to participate by providing their know-how and creating surplus values.
AtriumBelgiumAgentschap R-O VlaanderenRegional levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationAtrium is a partnership on three different administrative levels: regional, provincial and local level (municipalities) aiming to make them work effectively
Digital week in GhentBelgiumCity of GhentLocal levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThis Digital Week aims to awaken an interest in the capabilities of ICT applications for a wide audience in order to achieve effective and regular usage of ICT. The target group is very diverse: seniors, youth, families with low incomes, city staff, scholars, people with disabilities, etc.
Strategic plan for 'provision of assistance and services to prisoners'BelgiumDirectorate-General Penal InstitutionsNational levelJustice, police, human rights and securityThe key objectives of the plan are a better quality of services to prisoners, stimulating awareness of the programmes, extending the collaboration between both partners, ensuring a better understanding by the community and finally the support of operational staff that provide assistance and services in prisons.
Primaweb ESFBelgiumFederal Public Service for Social Integration (FPS SI)National levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsCurrently, FPS SI is completing the implementation of a new, modern and user-friendly computer application to help promoters accurately report to the FPS SI on costs and achievements made during the realisation of new projects.
Setting up a local environmental health action plan (Lehap) and a local 'Heavy metal partnership'BelgiumFlemish Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (VIGEZ)Regional levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThrough a cooperative, interactive, constructive engagement process, this project has aimed to create a ‘healthier environment’ on a local scale - not only physically, but also mentally and socially.
EcodipteraBelgiumFundacion Comunidad Valenciana - Region EuropeaEnvironment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fisheryThe main objective is to reduce the negative environmental impact of pig manure produced on pig farms and to appropriately manage the material in an ecologically viable manner
InovantBelgiumProvince of AntwerpRegional levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe official launch of the new training company with the stakeholders was based on a publicity and communications plan presenting the new name (INOVANT) and a new and attractive logo
Development and operation of international airports at Larnaka and PafosCyprusPublic Works Department, Ministry of Communications and WorksNational levelTransport and infrastructureThe project is a 25-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) concession for the operation and development of the country’s two international airports at Larnaka and Pafos
Weblog energiafoorum.blogspot.comEstoniaMinistry of Economic Affairs and Communications of EstoniaNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe objectives were to take the discussion out of the venue of the public energy forums organised by the Ministry, to provide an overview of the positions stated at the forum to those who could not attend themselves, to help journalists to cover the forum and to convey the image of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications as an open and innovative organisation.
Culture and sports path kulps!FinlandCity of Espoo - Community Education and Culture UnitRegional levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe project improves pupils’ working and cooperation skills, thinking, and information management and communication skills. The project augments the children’s general knowledge and broadens their view of the world, supporting their development into mature adults and responsible, critical members of society
Vocational rehabilitation support projectFinlandCity of Helsinki, Occupational Health CentreLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThus, the Vocational Rehabilitation Support project organised by the Helsinki Occupational Health Centre (OHC) was set up in 2007, with a coherent action strategy to support an early and safe return to work after a long sickness absence
Dèmarche de dèveloppement local par les ticFranceConseil Général du CantalNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe aim of the project is to make telecommuting a factor of equal opportunity and economic development
Public services relay ardennais - from national initiative towards a cross - border local applicationFrancePréfecture des ArdennesLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe project has invested considerably in its human and technological resources. One big change is the collaboration of people from different services
European networking of city twins Frankfurt (oder) and slubiceGermanyCity Administration Frankfurt (Oder)Regional levelExternal relations and aid, development and enlargementConsequently, an international communications policy was developed as an instrument to solve these difficulties and to find the right way to understand and cooperate with each other
European chemical regions networkGermanyEuropean Chemical Regions Network (ECRN)Regional levelEconomic affairs, competition, SMEThe thematic focus lies on all issues relevant to the chemical regions in Europe, e.g. logistics, EU legislation, skills development, energy supply and climate change
Partnership within the municipal network - organisation of the city of DarmstadtGermanyHEAG Holding AG -Beteiligungsmanagement der Wissenschaftsstadt DarmstadtLocal levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationThe aim of the project is to concentrate on an integrated view of the portfolio of municipal affiliates, and to advocate mutual cooperation between them, so that it is possible to discover the large potential of synergies.
OWL-vergabeportal (tendering platform east westphalia-lippe)GermanyKreis Minden-Lübbecke - Zentrale SteuerungRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformA shared publication and tendering platform which is able to offer a continuous web-based tendering workflow without any media distribution has been set up
Haus des lebenslangen lernens, campus dreieich (House of lifelong learning)GermanyKreis OffenbachRegional levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe aim is to successfully integrate informal and formal education as well as extracurricular youth education
KFZ - online (online vehicle registration)GermanyLandesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten Berlin (LABO)Local levelTransport and infrastructureKfz-Online runs three processes: car registration, registration of car rebuild and registration of change of ownership
Action strategyGermanyMinisterium für Bildung, Jugend und Sport des Landes Brandenburg, KoordinierungsstelleRegional levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe reduction and proscription of violence as well as the support of victims are central aims of the concept
Integrated parthways to aktive social and economic Inclusion: Aktion plan social city DortmundGermanyMunicipality of DortmundLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe city countered this with the concept of the ‘new Dortmund’ in order to promote the small enterprise sector and sunrise industries such as IT, micro-systems technology, biomedicine and logistics.
NeFF - A network for families - the dormagener modelGermanyStadt Dormagen, Department of Schools, Families and Senior CitizensNational levelPublic health and social welfare/affairsThe Dormagener model is part of a comprehensive Network for Families (NeFF) programme and focuses on ways to minimise the possibility of child abuse occurring in an infant’s home
Synergy with social partners and development of a cooperation network with European and international counterpartsGreeceNational Centre for Public Administration and Local Government (EKDDA)National levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningA public ector synergy was cultivated with the ambition of delivering a result corresponding better to the real needs of the employees and the citizens in general
Equal opportunity funding policy - expert support for better use of structural funds by Roma in the field of housingHungaryMinistry of Social Affairs and Labour Department For Roma IntegrationLocal levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationThe project involves different levels of government, such as central, local and regional governments
Electronic public administrationHungarySomogy County GovernmentLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformAs a result of the developments concentrating on the ICT-based renewal everybody can access the services of e-Administration of his or her choice
Car tax payment service through internet banking and atm cash machinesItalyAutomobile Club d’Italia (ACI) - Public Services DepartmentNational levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformACI, the car tax collection system on behalf of many Italian regions, allows individuals and businesses to pay through different channels
SI.RE.NAItalyComune di NapoliLocal levelTransport and infrastructureIn order to promote health and safety in the workplace in the field of urban recovery and redevelopment, the Sirena project favours and promotes building regulations and the law, especially for those issues concernin health and safety at work and worker wages
Platform enhancing Adriatic region links in Europe-Pearl-EuItalyMunicipality of Lecce, European OfficeRegional levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationIn particular, the project aims to strengthen the common competencies of the Italian and Balkan public administration in order to exchange competencies and solutions
Friendship bridges 2008LithuaniaKedainiai Municipality AdministrationLocal levelSports, youth, culture and artThe meeting ‘Friendship Bridges 2008’ promoted the spread of experience in cultural areas, debated about changes in cultures, historical influence and retention of identity after the integration of the European Union
Pro-Nature campaign 'Timeless values new opportunities'LithuaniaState Service for Protected Areas under the Ministry of EnvironmentNational levelEnvironment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fisheryHere, young people were encouraged to actively do something in the campaign for protected areas
Stadsmariniers (city security officers)NetherlandsCity of Rotterdam Security DepartmentLocal levelJustice, police, human rights and securityA ‘Stadsmarinier’: comes up with radical new ways of working and does not hide from confrontation; is able to interpret problems with a sensitivity for relationships and standpoints; allows relevant parties to do their work and allows others to succeed; has an analytical mind and understands how other organisations work; is an expert communicator and gets along with people from all levels; is flexible, result-oriented and innovative
Olaf Anti-Fraud communicators' network (Oafcn)Pan-EuropeanEuropean Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)Justice, police, human rights and securityThe OLAF Anti-Fraud Communicators Network (OAFCN) is a European platform of authorities fighting fraud and corruption involving EU public funds and bringing together 75 public authorities within the EU
Grant fund for Ostròw WielkopolskiPolandCommunity and Town of (Gmina i Miasto) Ostrów WielkopolskiLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe purpose of this Fund is to financially support projects prepared by non-governmental organisations (NGO)
Cooperation between the headquarters of the state fire service in Malopolska the fire and rescue corps in Presov and the fire and rescue corps in ZilinaPolandHeadquarters of The State Fire Service in MalopolskaRegional levelJustice, police, human rights and securityThe project aims to protect the people living in the Polish - Slovak borderland against fire effects, flood and other natural and technological disasters and to improve the safety of the environment
Smart-sustainable management and actions to promote regional transitionPolandMarshal Office of the Malopolska RegionRegional levelRegional policy and development, decentralisationSMART was implemented as a Regional Framework Operation within CI INTERREG IIIC South Programme. This type of project enabled the realisation of inter-regional subprojects
The builing of modern partnership and the estimation of customer statisfaction by servqual methodPolandTax Office in SierpcRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformConsequently, the aim is to create a friendly and optimum organisation of tax collection, gain public trust and create pro-customer public management
Partnership in education as a way of building on active European citizenshipPolandThe City Hall of Tarnowo PodgórneLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe general objective of the project was to give citizens from the invited municipalities the opportunity to interact and participate in constructing an ever closer Europe, which is democratic and world-oriented, united in and enriched through its cultural diversity, thus developing cooperation between citizens of the European Union
Support for a agricultural development in Bacau countyRomaniaBacau County CouncilLocal levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformThe main objective is to promote a partnership between Bacau county and the Limousin region of France with a view to developing new mechanisms and ways of supporting the definition and implementation of agricultural and rural development policies for Bacau county
Roads without borders for a united EuropeRomaniaBotosani County CouncilRegional levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningIts aim was to re-activate a network of roads for the enhancement of economic cooperation between the people living on both banks of the Prut River
Timisoara - little ViennaRomaniaCity Hall of TimişoaraLocal levelSports, youth, culture and artThe cultural project ‘Timişoara - Little Vienna’ aims to be such an alternative by supporting young and talented people from the art high school and the university of Timişoara to participate in cultural activities by organising artistic events in Union Square, Timişoara
Together for transparencyRomaniaCity Hall of TimişoaraRegional levelInformation society, technology, media and audiovisualA further aim is to develop citizens’ communication skills, orientation and capacity to participate at democratic processes, and to find joint solutions to community problems
Romanian-Bulgarian club me and EU in GiurgiuRomaniaGiurgiu Local CouncilRegional levelEducation (higher and lower), training and learningThe project ‘Romanian-Bulgarian Club ME and EU in Giurgiu’ financed through PHARE - the common fund for small projects for Romanian-Bulgarian cross-border cooperation
Partnership working between Harghita county council and civil society organisationRomaniaHarghita County CouncilRegional levelPublic administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reformHarghita County Council is responsible for the coordination of the local council’s activities based on the principles of local autonomy, decentralisation of public services, legal issues and citizen’s consultation regarding local problems of great interest
The next generationRomaniaInstitutia Prefectului Municipiului BucurestiLocal levelEmployment, labour related affairs and gender equalityConsequently, the Prefecture of Bucharest has established a new format of training periods, intended to increase the attractiveness of the civil servant profession, to train a new generation of (potential) qualified public servants, to attract new partners and subsequently to solve the problem of lack of staff and improve the image of the organisation.
... further results