The term partnership denotes a vast array of concepts. According to the global broad-spectrum mode of expression, a partnership stands for the agreement amongst compound parties and such settlements often take place in an informal verbal setting. Most often partnerships are sealed by the mere use of verbal agreements and handshakes. The informal corporation contract often lacks a basis for reciprocated accountabilities between the involved stakeholders.
Informal rapports, a partnership signifies a correlation existing on the basis of agreements between involved stakeholders with mutual objectives and responsibilities. In order for benefits to be realized by both parties, common remunerations should exist for all involved stakeholders. The critical elements of a partnership get based on the clarity for the partnership’s objectives, and the responsibilities. Clearly set goals that are realistic and risks must be put in place in advance so as to deter the last minute breach of the stakeholder’s contract regarding the partnership. Accountability and transparency form the backbone of any successful partnership. Other important factors attesting the success of any partnership whether formal or informal are commitment, resource allotment, legal frameworks, and suitable public policies to govern the public’s interests and well-being (Institute of Medicine, 2002).
Reasons for the Occurrence of Partnerships
In the case of health agencies, partnerships occur due to numerous reasons. The health sector often suffers from failed partnerships especially when it comes to the liaisons between the public health sectors and the private health sectors. In order for the partnerships to continue existing, three reasons often require the relations of the two health sectors. First, the recognition of interdependence between the two sectors. Second, the shift in roles of the two health sectors; and lastly, better comprehension of the benefits resulting from partnerships (Nishtar, 2004).
Interdependence between public and private health sectors
Previously, the two health sectors were utterly independent of each other. However, the public health sector gets profoundly affected by government laws and protocols through pharmaceutical practices, government aid’s for private health services, and the policies regarding the practices as a whole. Additionally, most governments depend on the private health sectors on a regular basis for services that the public sector does not provide. Additionally, governments are increasingly aiding with funds for private health sectors so as to extend services to a wider population. Examples of areas not fully covered by most public health sectors include family planning, antenatal care, child immunizations, maternity care, and the control for infectious diseases (Nishtar, 2004).
Role shifts between public and private health sectors
In several nation states, the private and public health sectors often operate on a separate level since most private sectors are believed to serve only wealthy individuals. However, current surveys state that private health sectors often serve the underprivileged individuals on a regular basis than the rich ones, and the public sector serves the rich people more than the underprivileged. The noticeable shift is attributed to the fact that government healthcare budgets end on constructing exclusive hospitals in metropolitan areas as opposed to preventive health needs of poor individuals. As a result, the poor seek help from the urban health sectors, and novel trained health professionals loathe working in urban areas as chances decline by the day. Furthermore, stiff competitions within the private health sectors have resulted into low costs for services, and efficient service provision with the capacity to cater to most individuals irrespective of their monetary status (Nishtar, 2004).
Better comprehension of the benefits resulting from partnerships
Superior understanding is attained when all involved parties know the worth of the partnership at hand. The common benefit in a partnership exists on a financial platform. Each must get a fair price based on their contribution. Moreover, the financial benefits of a partnership can take a direct aspect and an indirect trait. Partnerships can also occur due to non-financial benefits. For instance, a partnership may arise so as to attain expertise on the subject, s, or publicity related benefits especially with the case of novel health sectors (Nishtar, 2004).
Types of Partnerships
Health agencies can have two types of partnerships; public partnerships and private partnerships. The two types further get broken down into more categories. The first category denotes the public-public partnership and the second one public-private partnership. The types of partnerships derived from the above break-downs include the following list; cross-sector, Nonprofit-based partnerships, and Recipient-Donor partnerships (Thurston, 2014).
A cross-sector type of partnership takes place in a platform whereby the organizations involved reside in diverse areas such as academic, government, non-profit, and business. Due to the variety of cultures within such partnerships, management stands as a challenge. At the same time, the challenges experienced can get turned into a positive advantage when a common purpose gets established for all the stakeholders (Thurston, 2014). The main advantage of such a partnership is the ability to access funding resources as they connect to the surrounding community having readily available structures thus an assurance of long-term aptitudes.
Nonprofit partnerships always get positive reviews when they show economic and social change empowerment in the community. With little communal hospitality, the inhabitants risk receiving only goods and chattels rather than having organizations that help empower other necessary needs. The relationships between nonprofit partnerships and the surrounding often depend on certain aspects such as leadership, goals, processes involved, and the primary mode of funding. A nonprofit based partnership occurs between a community and a nonprofit organization (Thurston, 2014).
A donor and recipient type of partnership often occurs as a result of monetary needs on the recipient’s side. Despite the donors giving the recipients resources needed for quotidian survival, donors have no terms enforced on the recipients. The recipients offer locally available resources for donors and the donors in turn offer resources. Additionally, this type of partnership strives for the cooperative tenure with the main agenda being sustainable development capabilities for the receivers. Moreover, despite being a formal agreement, recipient-donor partnerships habitually bank on each patron’s needs so as to uphold forthcoming contracts and virtuous reputations (Thurston, 2014).
Other styles of partnerships
Other partnerships exist in relation to the types of work and structure accomplished. Examples are inclusive of collaborative partnerships, integrative partnerships, grant-match partnerships, strategic alliances, and funding alliances.
Strategic alliances aim at sharing and the transfer of decision-making capabilities while funding alliances aim toward sharing or providing funds to the recipient organization. On the other hand, collaborative partnerships work towards achieving the coordination and information sharing while integrative partnerships aim at shifting organizational structures and as a result a change in the control of organizations for instance mergers and joint ventures. Grant-matchesare formed on a cost sharing mechanism. One organization can provide necessary business grants while the receiving organizations make available matches in supplies, maintenance services, and money.
Public Health Partnerships
Public health partnerships work with various stakeholders and with different purposes. Most associations work on a community level such as the Oklahoma Turning point Initiative. Others work on a global level such as the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and the World Bank.
Oklahoma Turning Point Initiative
The Oklahoma Initiative started with grant money from Kellogg Foundation and the Robert Wood Foundation and it currently works on a communal level: Tulsa, Cherokee and Texas Counties. The Turning Point Initiative was instigated to aid in improving the wellbeing of the Oklahoma residents as its main purpose. The initiative aimed at turning the public health system to a collaborative form, and a community-based form so as to cater for the community needs at a personal level. The Turning Point Initiative stakeholders come from the various counties in Oklahoma area, for example, Pittsburg, Latimer, Cleveland, and Sequoyah Counties. The counties further promote different programs that conform to the framework of the Oklahoma Turning Point Initiative. For Instance, Pittsburg County hosts the local service coalition while LeFlore County hosts the LeFlore county coalition for healthy living. Together, the two counties are part of the Oklahoma Turning Point Initiative (Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2014).
When referring to the structures of the Oklahoma Turning Point Initiative partnerships, the organizational structure stands at an officialposition. The initiative holds an officialstance in that; it has a board consisting of a president, a vice-president, secretary-treasurer, two DOs and four other board members. Each board member represents a given number of counties by means of office tenures that ensure expiration dates so as to allow for fresh office appointments.
The Oklahoma Turning Point Initiative has so far attained a number of set goals. For instance, the member counties have services available to cater for all needs from the click of a button. The health sector has embraced technology to provide better services to the community members. Examples of successful initiatives include maternal healthcare and the novel programs based on drugs and alcohol abuse programs. The evaluations of the enterprise led to the improvement of other counties that are not members of the Oklahoma Turning Point Initiative and as a result better health services are currently getting offered to the public (Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2014).
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO)
The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization work together in partnerships that run on a global and public platform. Both organizations operate on a nonprofit basis and the main purpose for their occurrence is to help fund, evaluate, and even implement health policy programs. The CDC and the WHO work with other smaller partnerships on a global platform running on a donor-recipient structure. The two organizations mostly run on a donor structure when implementing different. However, the WHO and the CDC can also sometimes work on a collaborative structure when trying to eradicate global health issues, for instance, when epidemics arise. The CDC and the WHO often work with different stakeholders in times of crisis. For instance, stakeholders can result from governments, universities, other global health organizations, and private health foundations. Apart from mainly offering donor-recipient capabilities, the two organizational bodies also offer services such as the provision of expertise whenever calamities strike. As a result, data standardization from all universal corners enables easier comprehensions of epidemics (CDC, 2014).
The CDC and the WHO have always achieved goals set by any partnerships they join. Working on a donor-recipient structure often means that the organization’s have easy set goals for them to achieve. Since most partnerships run between governments, the two organizations boast positive evaluations on donor aspects. In evaluation terms, both CDC and WHO receive a monetary value from direct appropriationsand congressional appropriations transferred from government agencies. The evaluator appropriations come from other non-governmental organizations such as the USAID (CDC, 2014).
The main similarity between the two partnerships discussed is that they all work towards the lively improvement of the involved recipients and stakeholders. Despite working on a partnership basis, the two case studies take similar aspects in terms of innovation and expert sharing and development. When sharing in partnership resources, the shared resources are sometimes in terms of expertise, and also innovative knowledge. The two aspects help in improving the community recipient member’s lives.
Second, the two partnerships are both non-profit oriented organizations. All profits are resulting from the partnerships shared amongst them always being shared between the stakeholders. Otherwise, no party claims gratitude for any service rendered as all services result from the hard work accomplished between the two parties.
Another similarity between the two partnerships is that they are public based in nature. All proceeds attained in the partnerships are often aimed at the community at large and not to one aspect like some government related partnerships.
In addition to being public based agreements, the two case studies also run as formal agreements. The partnerships run with rules and regulations so as to discourage unfair treatments and resolutions by either involved stakeholders.
Despite running on a partnership basis the two case studies embrace differences for instance, the reasons for work purposes between the two examples. While the Oklahoma Initiative works towards achieving improved public health status, it differs from CDC and WHO in that it works at all times. The WHO and CDC mostly achieve some set goals due to an occurrence in the global health spectrum. CDC and WHO often work with a reason to achieve the purpose for the public health sector.
In addition to needing a reason to accomplish some purposes, the Oklahoma Initiative functions on a communal platform while the CDC and WHO work on a global public forum. Additionally, the Oklahoma Initiative acquires capital from county subsidies while CDC and WHO acquire monetary aids majorly from government based nonprofit affiliations.
Advantages exist on the Oklahoma-based public health partnership as it caters directly to the recipient parties. Such partnerships depict benefits easily as compared to the globally based partnerships. Global based partnerships often require government permits to conduct some surveys and, as a result, benefits might not get accomplished faster as opposed to the communal level partnerships (Buse K, 2000). Additionally, communal based partnerships always yield more and better benefits since the involved stakeholders always require little profits. As a result, readily available labor and resources make the community level partnerships more lucrative than the global based counterparts (Buse K, 2000). However, the globally based partnerships also offer great benefits as they offer profits that cater to more people. While the communal based partnerships improve community live, global partnerships offer better living standards to a wider congregation such as a country.
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