HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director of Environmental and Natural Resource Program and Senior Research Associate
Senior Lecturer in Public Policy


Partnerships are inherently challenging. They require two or more partners to share common goals and to work together over the lifetime of a project. While each partner may bring different skills, experiences and resources to the partnership, each also has different cultures, priorities and needs. Allocating responsibilities between partners to maximize effectiveness is thus a complex endeavor – even when partners are in the same sector. Moreover, external factors such as government changes or fluctuations in business cycles may place partnerships under pressure. In some instances, partnerships may be unable to gain needed political support or obtain financing. In other cases, catalytic events or trends that partners anticipate may not occur; or partnership arrangements become plagued by governance problems in the operation and management of the project.


Sardonis, Amanda, and Henry Lee. "Partnerships under Pressure: Lessons on Adaptation and Overcoming Challenges." Partnerships for Sustainability in Contemporary Global Governance: Pathways to Effectiveness. Ed. Liliana B. Andonova, Moira V. Faul, and Dario Piselli. Routledge, 2022, 189-212.