How to start collaborating with a research institute?

Checklist for the scoping and dialogue process - ELRHA

Organisation: ELRHA 

ELRHA (2012: 37) lists key questions to develop ideas for collaboration:

  • Description of the collaboration?
  • What is the context – consider security issues here?
  • What is the rational?
  • What are the expected results?
  • What is the organizational background of both partners?
  • What is the estimated budget?

ELRHA (2012: 37) has developed a checklist with key questions to be discussed with a potential partner:

  • What are the aims of collaboration?
  • What are the motivations on each side?
  • What are the partnership principles and values that inform the approach?
  • What does success look like?
  • What does each side bring to the collaboration?
  • Does it need to be formatted
  • What will be the outputs?
  • What are the costs and funding implications?

In addition, the ELRHA toolkit (2012: 22) lists points to be considered so that the scoping process is successful:

  • Invest time and resources for scoping
  • Get the right people around the table
  • Understand the partnership skills needed
  • Use the dialogue process to build trust and relationships,
  • Map things out together
  • Consider security issues
  • Discuss ethical codes
  • Discuss costs and budgets
  • Negotiate outputs and ownership
  • Discuss how success looks like and what is non-negotiable.




Resource Mapping – The Partnering Initiative

Tool to explore what resources will be needed for the agreed project or work i.e. funding requirements as well as non-cash resources that the partners can bring to the partnership.

Building a Resource Map (Partnering toolbook 2011: 14): 


Partner Assessment Form – The Partnering Initiative

List of systematic questions to ask any potential partner to ensure a good fit such as (Tool1: Partnering Initiative toolbook 2011: 41):

Does the prospective partner organization have:

  • a good track record
  • reasonable standing within their sector / from other sectors
  • useful contacts they are willing to share
  • access to relevant experience/information/resources
  • skills and competencies that complement those of your organisation
  • sound management and governance structure
  • record of financial stability and reliability
  • a stable staff group
  • sticking power when things get though?

Are the staffs in the prospective partner organization:

  • experienced and reliable in the development of projects
  • successful at mobilizing and managing resources
  • good communicators and team player?

Toolkit to assess the readiness of the partners

Andrews et al (2011): Development and Evaluation of a Toolkit to Assess Partnership Readiness for Community-Based Participatory Research


  • To assess the readiness of partners.
  • Tool “facilitates transparent and open discussion among partners”, promoting trust, understanding and engagement (p.6).


Partnership Readiness Format (includes different dimension to assess the readiness (see figure above/ CBPR Partnership Readiness Model (ibid: 8) e.g. 

  • goodness of fit (shared values, compatible climate, mutual benefit and commitment);
  • capacity (effective leadership, inclusive membership, complementary competencies, adequate resources);
  • operations (congruent goals, transparent communication, conflict resolution and equal power (p.2)