begin developing this framework early on, understanding that it can and likely will change as the partnership matures. This is where it is helpful for a partnership to understand where it fits within a typology; many of the metrics it might use for evaluation can be widely applied across a group of partnerships, such as those that focus on advocacy and information dissemination. A number of panelists stressed the need for partners to work on a “value proposition” and be results-oriented instead of purely process-driven.
Several panelists also drew distinctions among outputs, outcomes, and impacts, and noted that a partnership will have progressively less control over the results as one moves from outputs (e.g., a new vaccine), to outcomes (e.g., vaccine is widely deployed), and then impacts (e.g., mortality is reduced and incomes increase). Partnerships must also consider alternative scenarios—what would have happened in the absence of the partnership—as they evaluate outcomes and impacts. In doing this, a partnership must also baseline its program, assessing the current conditions that it seeks to improve. One final point that panelists made was that the partnership process in many cases can also be considered an outcome, particularly when it influences future cross-sector work or changes within partners’ home institutions.
The East Coast Fever Vaccine project identified one simple output, an experimental subunit vaccine. Partners were drawn together in the hopes of creating this vaccine, which would next be developed into a deployable vaccine that was safe, effective, and affordable for East African farmers. Over the longer term, such a vaccine should help increase livestock productivity and reduce losses to farmers. However, the initial output was never achieved, prompting the partners to dissolve the partnership after they had agreed that they could not attain a proof of concept. Nonetheless, the partnership effort did affect the agricultural research system within which it operated. It led to a new platform (GALVmed) for livestock research, and there is evidence that both private sector and academic research partners are now approaching joint ventures differently, and with more enthusiasm.
The Sustainable Forest Products Global Alliance’s expected outcome was not quantified, although the “expansion in the proportion of internationally traded forest products sourced from sustainably managed certified forests” is one which could be, and has since been, calculated in terms of hectares and monetary value. The World Wildlife Fund’s projects increased in value from US$6 billion in 2003 to US$42 billion in 2007. Hectares of sustainably managed forest more than doubled, from 10.5 million to 26.5 million, and the number of participating companies more than tripled. However, other expected outcomes that focused on the partnership process were not achieved. Ultimately, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) did not develop relationships with the private sector