Partnerships form a central part of Danmission’s working methods and are motivated by the need for accompaniment in life, in mission and in development, which is a need for partners abroad, in Denmark as well as for Danmission. Recognising and cherishing mutuality is central to partnerships and requires diligent work and attention.
Our experience is that a dialogical and value-based approach strengthens mutual respect and learning, as well as promote accountability, transparency and joint ownership of the partnership. This includes engaging with partners in joint strategy development and programme planning as well as focusing on accountability upwards and downwards. We believe that strengthening our partners’ capacity to engage communities as owners of development initiatives enhances the quality, sustainability and thereby the long-term effect of our commonly owned work.
Danmission always work through or with local partners in our work abroad. We have a rather diverse global partner portfolio which reflects the different contexts and settings of the countries where we operate.
Danmission’s work is based on a worldview that understands all people to be created in God’s image as equal, valuable and inalienable human beings. This is the common value basis that we share with all our partners, irrespectively of their background as a church, a Christian, faith-based or secular organisation or network, together with the joint vision of reaching out to the most marginalised and vulnerable.
Danmission’s partners are diverse in their mission, governance structure and way of participating in civil society. While some partners operate at a grassroots level with close relations to local communities, others are active at national or regional level. Most of our partners are churches or Christian organisations, but we also work with many other faith- or value-based organisations and institutions as well as informal partnerships and networks that add competences and innovative directions to our programmes. But partnerships are not and should not be static. They change in accordance with new geographic, political and social demands and as organisations and networks gradually become more self-sustainable. These principles enable us to work with different categories of partners and networks.
Churches and faith-based organisations
In Danmission, we see it as a resource and a value in itself to have long-standing partnerships where there is a high level of mutual inspiration, trust and respect. Not only does this allow Danmission to work with and reach out to all different levels and groups in societies, but it also offers great opportunities for building capacities together.
Our church partners often have a longstanding relationship with Danmission dating back to the historical missionary work of the 19th and early 20th century, and we support and appreciate each other beyond economic relations. At the same time, our church and faith-based partners are imperative enablers for Danmission to reach our strategic goals, it being promoting peaceful coexistence and interfaith dialogue or empowering local communities and congregations.
Finally, long-term partnerships ensure sharing of knowledge in relation to local contexts (socially, politically and economically) and thereby the continuously develop capacities in Danmission on relevant issues.
Community-based organisations and informal networks
It is a priority of Danmission that all groups receive equal respect and rights, regardless of whether they represent bigger religious groups or small unregistered minorities.
Some partners are faith-based organisations primarily focusing on poverty and dialogue, and some even very small and perhaps newly formed organisations and grass-root networks act as more informal partners in our aim to reach all people, including the poorest and most marginalised.
Focusing on creating new networks
An important added-value of our partner approach is to work as bridge-builders facilitating links between actors and partners who would otherwise not discover the advantages or even the possibility of working together.
This can result in surprising new alliances and innovations in or between countries, sectors and types of actors. It also creates learning spaces, where Danmission, partners and other actors are exposed to each other’s knowledge and experiences.
In this way, Danmission wish to contribute to the building of horizontal and vertical linkages among INGOs, NGOs, churches, social movements, people-led initiatives, universities, private companies and national and international bodies of influence.
Focusing on international networks
Danmission are connected to a number of international networks with whom we share some of the same goals and agendas, and where we can see a mutual benefit in accompanying each other and cooperating around advocacy, capacity building and sharing of experiences.
Many of these networks have a Christian or multi-faith identity, where others are secular with a focus on political development agendas or global funding.