In 2004, four large foundations in Africa decided to pool their funds to deliver a bigger development program. With shared aspirations, the funders (who remain anonymous) and cross-sector partners hoped to multiply their impact by working together.
The project soon unravelled. Delays in decision-making, mistrust of partners, and insufficient time committed by staff members were a few reasons why the program eventually went nowhere.
“Collaboration is more complex than it first appears,” said Rick James, Principal Consultant at the development non-profit INTRAC, who has written about this collaboration.
“They realized how different they were as organizations,” he said — making cooperation especially
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