Working together to help Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. DFID. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Learning from Consortia programme: Story and reflections

Bond and The Partnering Initiative

Friday, July 30, 2021

Looking back at the Learning from Consortia programme and what it achieved.

The Learning from Consortia programme has been working with 13 UK Aid Connect consortia, conducting research to draw out effective consortium practice, and supporting them to deliver more effectively. 

As with the consortia themselves, the programme has had to navigate turbulent external contexts, such as Covid-19, the DFID-FCO merger and funding cuts. Regrettably, the Learning from Consortia programme was closed early, wrapping up in July 2021.

In this report, we look at the story of the Learning from Consortia programme and reflect on its achievements and challenges. Through its lifetime, the programme has:

  • been successful in bringing together more than 100 people from diverse backgrounds and organisations
  • led a digital community of practice to facilitate shared learning
  • conducted research on the intended vision of UK Aid Connect, compared with the composition of the consortia, their experiences across five thematic areas and through broader literature
  • run partnership health checks and provided real-time support to consortia
  • developed a series of resources designed for practitioners and donors to support more effective consortium working 
  • led an event which provided guidance for setting-up a consortium and different governance structures, as well as speaking with two consortia on how the innovated and adapted in the face of Covid-19 and funding uncertainty. 

Led by Bond, The Partnering Initiative and an academic advisory board, the Learning from Consortia programme has been a rare opportunity to generate empirical evidence on consortium working in real-time. When properly funded and resourced, research programmes such as this can be crucial to supporting organisations and consortia to deliver more effective programmes.

Find out more about the Learning from Consortia programme and access additional resources designed to support those working in or funding consortia. 

Due to the cuts to UK Aid in 2021 the programme will be closing early. Read our statement here.

Resource type: report

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