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Step 4: Build Partnerships To Support Activities

Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (GSW)

GSW Event -- November 17-23, 2014

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GSW provides a great opportunity for expanding your partnerships and leveraging the support of non-appropriate antibiotic use groups to promote appropriate antibiotic use. See Partnership Agreement Template for a partnership letter template.

Identifying the Right Partners

There are many options for the types of groups that you can partner and collaborate with to plan and implement your GSW activities. These groups might include:

  • Disease-specific organizations
  • Non-appropriate antibiotic use health coalitions
  • Health insurance companies
  • Civic and service organizations
  • Ethnic- and Faith-based organizations
  • Local county school systems
  • Colleges and universities

Before you start choosing partners, consider the following questions to help you clarify your goals for partnership and criteria for selecting partners:

  • What additional resources will help you achieve your GSW objectives?
  • What types of partners can provide these resources?
  • How much time and resources can you allocate to managing partnerships?
  • What do you want in a partner? What do you NOT want?

At the end of this section, you will find two worksheets that can help you think through these questions:

  • Selection Criteria
  • Identifying Partners

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Establishing Partnerships

Once you have identified a few potential partners, it is important to think through the following questions before approaching them. The answers will help you to clarify the scope of collaboration, identify the benefits of the partnership, and help you decide whether pursuing the partnership is the best course of action.

For each potential partner:

  • In what ways is their mission compatible with ours?
  • In what ways will this partnership help us reach our GSW objectives?
  • What specific activities can we collaborate on? What would the role of partners be?
  • What are potential barriers to partnership? How do we plan to overcome those barriers?
  • What risks might this partnership involve? How do we mitigate those risks?

If your organization has decided to pursue potential partners, it will be useful to develop a plan for approaching each partner and gaining their commitment to working with you. This requires connecting with the right people, understanding their goals and needs, and fostering interest in collaboration.

Some things to include in this plan:

  • Contact information for potential partner
  • Proposed scope of the partnership
  • Any questions you might have for the potential partner about their mission, goals, activities, resources, past partnerships, etc.
  • Background information on your department, organization, or coalition
  • Background information on GSW

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Working with Partners

Once you have agreed to collaborate with a partner, it will be critical to have a clear understanding of what you plan to do and how you plan to do it.

To get started:

  • Create opportunities to get to know each other
  • Set up a structure for regular communication and information sharing
  • Agree on shared goals for the partnership

Next, you should jointly develop a work plan that details the tasks required to reach your goals, who will complete them, and when they will be completed. This work plan should be regularly updated to serve as a tracking tool for the partnership. At the end of this section, you will find a Work Plan Template.

Some partnerships involve administrative and financial coordination (for example, you may decide to plan events or administer programs together). In these cases, we recommend that you develop a Partnership Agreement that details goals of the partnership, roles of each partner, and how you will work together. The Partnership Agreement Template included at the end of this section may be useful in helping you develop your own.

Tips for Effective Partnerships

  • Think creatively about how to work with non-appropriate antibiotic use groups
  • Establish commitment at the senior level
  • Be clear about goals, roles, and how you will work together
  • Foster trust and respect among key players
  • Maintain regular and open communications
  • Manage expectations – do not promise anything you cannot deliver
  • Understand and respect differences in organizational culture
  • Deal with conflict openly, honestly, and in a timely manner
  • Celebrate and acknowledge joint accomplishments

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Assessing and Strengthening your Partnership

Successful partnerships require regular assessment of the partnership to identify barriers to progress and areas for improvement – as well as to celebrate achievements.

There are three basic questions your coalition and its partners should ask themselves:

  • How is the partnership working?
  • What can we do to strengthen the partnership?
  • Are we meeting our partnership goals?

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Partnership Agreement Template

  1. Partner Organizations
    • Appropriate antibiotic use Coalition

      Contact Person
      Brief Description

    • Partner

      Organization Name
      Contact Person
      Brief Description

  2. Statement of Intent

    We, the undersigned, acknowledge a common commitment to [purpose of partnership].

    By working together as partners, we acknowledge the benefits and added value that each of us can bring to fulfill this commitment.

    Specifically, we expect each partner to contribute to the joint effort in the following ways:

    Appropriate Antibiotic Use Coalition:


  3. Structures and Procedures
    1. Partner Roles and Responsibilities
    2. Administration (staff, day-to-day activities, contracts, financial oversight)
    3. Decision-making Procedures
  4. Resources

    We will each provide the following resources:

    Appropriate Antibiotic Use Coalition: Partner:

    [for example, amount of funds, staff time, printed materials]

    Additionally, we will jointly pursue the following funding opportunities:

    [for example, foundation grants, government awards, corporate sponsorships]

  5. Monitoring Plan

    We will review the partnership every [number] months in the following ways:

    [list ways in which progress will be monitored]

    We will make adjustments to this partnership, including revising this agreement, as necessary based on these reviews.

  6. Communications
    1. Internal

      In recognition of the importance of maintaining open communications among the partners, we agree to the following protocol:

      [i.e. monthly meetings, weekly conference calls, regular e-mail communication]

    2. External

      In recognition of the need to appropriately represent the partnership, we agree to the following protocol:

      [outline who will serve as media contacts, process for sharing partnership information, etc.]



      Representative for Appropriate Antibiotic Use Coalition


      Representative for Partner


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Meeting Partnership Goals

As a result of the partnership: If yes, provide examples: If no, what needs to be done to achieve this?

Have new services or programs been developed?


Are resources being used more efficiently?


Does appropriate antibiotic use have a higher profile within your community?


Has access to services increased?


Has the quality of services improved?


Has the scale and reach of your programs increased?


Have you been better able to advocate for your constituency?


Are there other benefits from this partnership for your coalition/organization?


Are there other benefits from this partnership for your constituents/organization?


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