Dagmar Pruin visits the partner organisation SLADEA in Sierra Leone
Our Partners

Development in Partnership

Close co-operation with local partners is a key feature of Brot für die Welt's (Bread for the World's) project work. The term partnership describes a co-operative effort between persons and institutions in which common goals are pursued on the basis of shared core values and ideas as to how to achieve these goals.

With Whom Do We Form Partnerships?

Brot für die Welt is a church-based agency. As such, we consider churches and church-based organisations and networks as our partners. Partners are also those civil society organisations at home and abroad with which Brot für die Welt has agreed to co-operate to achieve common goals within defined timeframes. The duration of a project partnership or advocacy partnership depends on the time required to achieve its objectives. In order to achieve long-term effects, the partnership is seldom only short-term.

Long-term partnerships exist with a small number of partner organisations due to their extensive capacities and ever new projects. In individual cases, Brot für die Welt supports partner organisations institutionally and helps to build and to expand their own capacities. At present, new partnerships are established every year with ten percent of the allocations, while some old ones are terminated.

Partnership as a Joint Development Effort

A partnership is never formed simply to transfer resources, but always to co-operate in solving jointly identified problems, to pursue common goals and to react jointly to initiated or unexpected changes. By working together in partnership to achieve agreed goals, transformative learning processes take place, that alters both parties. Increasing globalisation and transnational challenges will in future require new forms of partnership in order to jointly shape change processes in the North and South.

Ecumenical Diakonia: A Common Mission in the World

As a church agency Brot für die Welt regards its work essentially in the worldwide ecumenical interaction of Christian churches. All partners have an equal share in God's mission in the world to establish His kingdom of justice and peace, and all walk this path at the side of the poor.

We are all reliant on God's gifts, and every human is at times poor and at others rich. Every human can also be rich in some ways and poor in others (see 2. Cor 8, 12-15). Therefore, all - rich and poor - should be grateful and humble to God as a giving power. Haughtiness on the part of the present so-called "donor organisations" is out of place, according to Christian understanding.

This reflects the history of Brot für die Welt: The "Brot für die Welt" campaign was started in grateful reaction to the post-war help that the German Protestant churches received from the churches in the Western Allied countries, countries which had until shortly before been enemies. Our agency thus began as a recipient and remained so until, thanks to the support of other ‘members of the global Body of Christ’, the German churches became giving organisations. We wish this for all church partners and it can happen to them with God's and our help.

Principles of Partnership

The following "principles of partnership" form the basic foundation of co-operation with all partner organisations:

  • Shared goals and values are fundamental for a partnership. Together our primary duty is toward the target groups;
  • Partners respect each other regardless of the power or size of the organisation;
  • In a partnership, all parties are entitled to a self-confident, competent partner who is open to discussion. Accordingly, the partners discuss together, for example, which topics are set and which goals or communication strategies are defined. In this discussion, however, Brot für die Welt and its partner organisations play different roles. At the same time, partners feed our debates in Germany with their insights and analyses, their values and their spirituality. These lessons enrich and legitimise the work of Brot für die Welt;
  • Transparency, reliability, accountability and the fight against corruption are the basis of Brot für die Welt's co-operation with its respective partner organisations. To the best of its ability, the agency contributes to ensuring that its associates act with integrity in accordance with its values. This also includes the conscious awareness that financial sovereignty can influence the power balance of a partnership;
  • Development can only succeed if all essential dimensions of human existence are considered. Among other factors, this includes culture, spirituality and religion. Brot für die Welt therefore incorporates the role of spiritual resources into partner dialogues and project considerations as a source of hope and motivation for transformation;
  • Brot für die Welt is dedicated to building and nurturing trusting and sustainable relationships;
  • It is important for Brot für die Welt that unintended negative effects through its partnerships are avoided, through appropriate analyses before and during co-operation (Do No Harm principle).