The road to partnerships in practice: Practical wisdom as an alternative to managerialism in NGO partnerships

Peter Aagaard*, Signe Eberhard Trykker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The paper presents a case study of a partnership between a Northern NGO (NNGO) and a Southern NGO (SNGO), which is designed to enhance capacity development. We draw implications for partnerships at the level of organizational praxis. Partnerships in international development have been roundly criticiszed for their inability to create ownership and capacity changes in practice. Taking this critique into account, the article shows how an alternative approach to managerialism can reveal the potential for capacity development in partnerships, providing an opportunity for the constructive rearrangement of power and ownership. The proposed alternative combines notions of complexity and practical wisdom.
Translated title of the contributionVejen til partnerskaber i praksis
Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopment Policy Review
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)266-282
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Important note from the Publisher regarding the attached version of the article: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Aagaard, P. and Trykker, S. E. (2019), The road to partnerships in practice. Dev Policy Rev. Accepted Author Manuscript., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions."

Cite this