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.