Partnerships: Little steps to lofty goals

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It is perhaps easier to build collaborations and partnerships than to sustain it. There are numerous examples of collaborations that have been successful and have been ustained over a long period of time. There are also several examples where conflict of interest among partners has  hindered the success of a project.  What are some of the factors that have led to the success of partnerships? What are the processes that have been put in place? What have they kept in mind to address conflicts and challenges? Essentially, partnerships entails all partners have in place formal concepts about their structure, organisation and intention. Successful partnerships have demonstrated that trust among partners, a clear focus of the partnership with clearly defined objectives and outputs are essential. Is that all? Doesn’t partnership require an enthusiastic leader who acts as  champions of their particular cause? Maybe successful partnerships require the partners to focus on sustainability from the very beginning of designing of any activities. In this issue of Digital Learning we have attempted to justify our statement and answer some of the above questions. We have selected a few of the collaboration examples in the field of ICT in education, that are successful and which continue to play an important role in bridging the education divide. These initiatives exemplify the public-private partnership models, countrywide partnership models and cross-country network models. Evidently, more and more national gove rnments are partnering with the  private sector leaders for fulfilling their development objectives. Recently, the President of India, Dr A P J Kalam emphasised that role of the private sector in partnering with the government and civil society to build a virtual university as a step towards building the knowledge society. In Asia, several regional partnerships have resulted in effective delivery of development goals. The Southeast Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), for over 40 years, through its regional collaborations, has successfully spearheaded human resource development in Asia, setting an example for many in the region. This issue of Digital Learning magazine brings to you the president’s blueprint for a networked knowledge society and SEAMEO’s outstanding leadership in human resource development  Also, recognising the criticality of partnership in education and taking forward our vision to facilitate collaboration for  education, we have taken the initiative to bring these outstanding Asian collaborations to the forefront of the development community as examples of best practices. We are organizing Digital Learning Asia 2006, an Asian level ‘Partnership for Education’ conference to bring the main stake holders of ICT in Education on one platform to discuss and debate policies and trends and plan for the future of ICT in Education. Mark your calendar for the 26-28 April and plan to be a part of Digital Learning Asia 2006. Till then, we hope you enjoy reading the Digital Learning magazine

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