There is a general agreement that many of the problems we face today cannot be solved by one organization or one sector only. An example of this might be in the education area where problems are faced around literacy. Currently, one in four adults on the planet are functionally literate, with huge challenges in both developing and developed countries.

Trying to address this challenge with a huge single sector or single organizational approach has a limited chance of making an impact. Without support across all levels, the effort will eventually hit a wall – usually when the money runs out or is unable to gain the support needed to be sustainable. Over the last ten years there has been a growing focus on the role of partnership brokering as a key ingredient in helping to develop cross-sector partnerships that allow development initiatives to achieve their potential.

This new professional practice is being led globally by the Partnership Brokers Association, an international professional association supporting professional learning, training and transformation. Put simply, partnership brokers help to scope, build, manage, nurture, measure and complete effective and efficient cross-sector partnerships.

The key benefit of professional partnerships is working with partners from a wide range of backgrounds, who each bring different resources and requirements to create highly innovative solutions to challenges, rather than just promoting business as usual. Having someone with professional skills and the ability to generate innovation with partner commitment is the key to real change.