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The Partnership Approach

The partnership approach links learning community initiatives to the creation of different forms of innovative partnerships, based on common interests, such as cross-sector partnerships, public-private partnerships, educational partnerships, etc.

At some point a learning community initiative might have reached its limits. Progression depends on the creation of new partnerships opening the doors to the further development of the initiative.
The creation of such new partnership might take the initiative to another level and might at the same time change focuses, work methods and participation.
Especially in cases where new cross-sector or public-private partnerships are created, a number of elements are likely to be either challenged or changed.
Change should not be a threat to learning communities, rather opportunities, but participating organisations and citizens need time to work through such changes.

The new partnerships might indeed open up new and valuable perspectives to the learning community, but for some partners they might also represent a threat, especially if powerful organisations are introduced.

What are the opportunities, challenges and obstacles in the Partnership approach?

  • Are changes due to new partnerships prepared and discussed among participating organisations and citizens? Is the rationale of the new partnerships clear and transparent?
  • Do new partners or new partnership structures present a threat to local organisations and citizens?
  • Has a reasonable consensus as to the new steps been established in the community?
  • Will the new partnering impact the basic principles of the learning community initiative?


  • The new partnerships can open new doors for the learning community initiative and this should be appreciated
  • New partnerships can add new dimension to ongoing activities and initiatives
  • New partnerships can offer more resources and more quality
  • New partnerships can inject new energy in learning community initiatives and offer new and fresh mentality
New partnerships might offer the learning community to mirror well-established performance.
  Supporting materials
  Swansea - Engaging communities with learning
  HUME - Learning Together
  Swansea Community Strategy
  The Hume Learning Community
  Learning Communities - The secret of success



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