Partnership Assessment Tool

This Partnership Assessment Tool (PAT) is the result of a project supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and conducted by the CCGHR in partnership with BRAC (Bangladesh), the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar (Ecuador), and the Armauer Hansen Research Institute (Ethiopia). The project was developed in response to observation that the majority of what has been written on best practices for “North- South” health research partnerships has been developed in the North. This project, through three regional consultations (South Asia, Latin America and Africa) has sought to elicit the Southern voice on health research partnerships and to generate substantive tools for significantly improving the way in which they are conducted.

The PAT is useful for helping research teams generate consensus on the following key elements:

  • Sustainability
  • Knowledge production
  • Knowledge translation
  • Capacity development
  • Innovation

The overwhelming message from the three regional consultations was that much improvement in the conduct of health research partnerships remains to be made. Southern partners indicated that the need to negotiate for equity in partnerships is essential and that principles and norms are needed on which to base this negotiation. Furthermore, it was clear that a mechanism was required to guide negotiation and monitoring and evaluation across the lifespan of a partnership. This led, beginning during the African consultation, to the development of the PAT. This Partnership Assessment Tool (PAT) document is composed of a preamble, frequently asked questions, a literature review and synthesis of project results, and the toolkit itself. The toolkit is made up of a series of questions and exercises that, through subsequent discussions, will equip parties entering into health research partnerships with the means of assessing their partnership through four stages: Inception, Implementation, Dissemination and “Good endings and new beginnings”. The questions represent different topics that should be discussed, agreed upon and, where possible, formalized, between partners across the lifespan of the partnership.


We encourage you to provide us with comments on your experience using the tool- please feel free to tell us how you used it, what worked and what didn’t. Please send any questions or comments to:

Accessing the PAT

Two PAT documents are available for download. The first is a writable PDF, which can be downloaded, filled out, saved, and edited again. This allows the PAT to act as a “living document”. The writable PDF requires that you have access to Adobe Acrobat or similar PDF editing software.

A second version is available as a regular PDF. You will not be able to write directly into the document. Instead, we recommend that you create a Word document in which you record the details of each question, using the PDF as a guide. You will require Adobe Reader or similar PDF software in order to view and print this document.

Full instructions for using the PAT are found within the document.


  1. African Regional Consultation
    United Nations Conference Centre
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    March 16 – 18, 2009
  2. Latin America Consultation
    Andean University “Simon Bolivar”
    Quito, Ecuador
    May 21 – 23, 2008
  3. South Asia Consultation
    BRAC Centre for Development Management
    Rajendrapur, Bangladesh
    May 2 – 4, 2007