The role of working in partnerships to address complex development challenges is gaining increasing attention. Development research suggests that collaboration might be the key to meaningful and practical solutions to complex real-world problems (Gonsalves 2014: 2). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promote multi-stakeholder partnerships. Working in consortia is one partnership structure currently utilised by development organisations.
This review provides a brief summary of evidence available on the effectiveness of working in consortia in tackling complex development challenges. It provides a synthesis of the literature on the wider field of multi-stakeholder partnerships, and short illustrative case studies of the evidence on 1) the impact of working in consortia and 2) lessons learned for donors supporting consortia. It has looked in particular for evidence from multi-institutional consortia that include a variety of civil society, think tanks, research institutes and private sector organisations.