Partnering for Impact: our approach to partnering with New Zealand NGOs

An overview of Partnering for Impact, including Negotiated Partnerships, Manaaki and Organisational Strengthening Mechanism

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Purpose of Partnering for Impact

Partnering for Impact has been designed as a more strategic, targeted, efficient and effective approach to deliver development impact in partnership with New Zealand NGOs and their in-country partners than its predecessor - Partnerships for International Development (PFID) fund.

Partnering for Impact addresses issues identified through the evaluation of the PFID fund, and extensive consultations with civil society. These include the following findings:

  • A one-size fits all approach to partnering was less than optimal;
  • There is a need to better harness the particular strengths that different partners can bring to achieve shared, sustainable outcomes; and
  • The PFID resulted in a large number of projects requiring significant resourcing for both applicants and MFAT.

Partnering For Impact empowers and enhances the capacity of local partners, resulting in greater self-reliance. It also responds to the need for strengthened due diligence requirements.

At least 60% of funding is targeted for the Pacific. Least Developed Countries in South East Asia (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Timor Leste) are a secondary focus.

Partnering for Impact is delivered through three mechanisms:

  • Negotiated Partnerships;
  • Manaaki; and
  • Organisational Strengthening Mechanism.
Children fishing in Betio, Kiribati.
Children fishing in Betio, Kiribati (image: ChildFund NZ)

Negotiated Partnerships

Negotiated Partnerships are fit-for-purpose co-investment arrangements with NGO partners through which we will seek to increase our shared development impact. They are multi-year, multi-country and multi-sector arrangements, which will be agreed with those (generally larger) New Zealand NGOs with relevant expertise, established relationships, resources and the capability to manage an outcomes-focused programmatic approach to delivering development cooperation.

The Negotiated Partnerships programme responds to clear feedback from the sector that NGO partners want predictable, longer-term funding, which reduces uncertainty for them and their local partners and enables them to play to their strengths. We consider that it makes sense from a development perspective to take a more strategic approach to the disbursement of government funding if we are to maximise our impact.


Manaaki is the New Zealand Aid Programme's smaller and more streamlined contestable fund for New Zealand NGOs, which was launched in 2019. It complements the larger Negotiated Partnerships funding mechanism currently being rolled out. Manaaki focuses on ‘uplifting mana through listening to, supporting and empowering’ vulnerable, marginalised and hard to reach communities, by way of tailored co-investment arrangements.

The fund is guided by New Zealand’s International Cooperation for Effective Sustainable Development (ICESD) and contributes to the delivery of the universal Sustainable Development Goals, New Zealand’s focus on engagement with and in the Pacific, and other New Zealand Aid Programme priorities.

Organisational Strengthening Mechanism

The Organisational Strengthening Mechanism is a mechanism to support and coordinate self-reliance building of civil society partners in the Pacific and Timor Leste. Although postponed due to COVID-19, work will commence on this mechanism soon, and further information will be provided to the NGO sector at that time.

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