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Design long-term financial viability of any partnership beyond initial funding


Design long-term financial viability of any partnership beyond initial funding

Design long-term financial viability of any partnership beyond initial funding

Posted on September 30, 2019 by Karina de Souza

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


Designing the long-term viability of the partnership beyond initial funding requires specific investment in partnership development. This long-term focus is as important as achieving the project objectives. When designing the start of the partnership, envision how the organisation will sustain itself beyond the initial grant timeline.


Without investment in partnership and partner development, the initiative is unlikely to be self-sustaining once the initial funding is ended. If the project results in an unsustainable outcome that does not continue beyond the extent of the initial project plan, the partnership may shift away from its original purpose as partners pursue other funding. The partnership may even dis-integrate altogether.


  • To ensure long-term financial viability, partners must consider innovative means to attract funding. Funding possibilities may include ring-fenced mechanisms that can be carefully audited (for example, if funding is being provided to the public sector).
  • Seek input from private sector partners to help ensure sound business principles are applied within the partnership.
  • Engage with financing institutions including the national finance ministry. These institutions are funding experts and can offer more relevant insight than a government ministry focussed solely on water or environment.
  • Consider social entrepreneurship strategies to fund the maintenance of the project.


In Zambia, Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) developed an investment and action plan during the initial partnership phase so that investor-ready concept notes were available once the initial grant was completed. These concept notes were used to access finance for continued projects within LuWSI. Because partnership development took place throughout the initial partnership phase, the stakeholders are motivated to continue with projects identified within the investment and action plan. 

Projects that have validated this Lesson

To strengthen multi-stakeholder collaboration to safeguard Lusaka's water resources while enhancing the sustainable and timely access to water and sanitation for all." Cooperation is crucial if the complex issue of water security is to be addressed sustainably. Water security is … 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.