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Set partnership objectives that are measurable


Set partnership objectives that are measurable

Set partnership objectives that are measurable

Posted on August 13, 2019 by Karina de Souza

Authoring Organizations: Pacific Institute
Consulting Organizations: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Universal: No
Applicable Phases: Prepare
Last Updated May 22, 2024


Partnerships should set objectives that are transparent, objectively measurable, and can be tracked over time. Setting measurable goals helps to create and sustain momentum throughout the partnership by allowing partners to demonstrate progress while holding stakeholders accountable. Through good monitoring and evaluation, the partners can also redirect the project if the initial objectives prove inadequate. Finally, tracking progress can demonstrate the success of the partnership to a wider audience, engaging prospective partners or future funding.


Tracking measurable objectives over time allows partners to:

  1. Evaluate and adapt as necessary throughout the partnership or project duration.
  2. Demonstrate achievements to attract new partners and funding.
  3. Demonstrate the partnership’s contribution to policy goals.
  4. Keep core objectives and priorities clear to ensure partnership transparency.


  • To set measurable objectives, start with baseline data to quantify the water challenge. One example of baseline data could be an inventory of water use by the local community.
  • Assess water risk and opportunities to understand the water challenge in more detail and inform the collection of baseline data. Thereafter, any activities can be compared to this baseline.
  • Share progress with partners and the community through a communication structure or mechanism. Feedback from these stakeholders will guide future objectives and help determine whether current objectives are still feasible or may require adapting.


In Tanzania, Pangani Basin Water Board (PBWB) and Upper Kikuletwa Water User Association (WUA) – both members of the SUWAMA Usa River partnership – began conducting a water user permit inventory in the sub-catchment of Usa River in December 2017. The partners first identified 82 water users who were not yet in the PBWB’s database. All newly identified water users were informed about the annual fees and encouraged to become Water User Association (WUA) members. The exercise has been a huge success in terms of updating the Usa River basin database and increasing income from water fees through new membership. The inventory now serves as a baseline for water user demand in the sub-catchment and provides insight into current water challenges in this location.

The SUWAMA partnership has had a number of other successes including water source protection around the Teema Spring, which led to improved water quality and the creation of a water network for parts of the community that previously did not have water supply. Ultimately, none of these activities would have been possible without the water use inventory baseline.

The PBWB now intends to conduct a water inventory in other sub-catchments in Kikuletwa, and to capacitate the local water user association to ensure regular follow-up with water users.

Projects that have validated this Lesson

The Usa River in northern Tanzania is central to the livelihoods of the majority of the region’s companies, communities and individuals. From big business to small-scale farming, from wildlife reserves and lodges to village leaders and community groups, people in … Learn More

This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.