Since its establishment, PRCS has worked with a wide range of partners locally and internationally in order to fulfil its mission. PRCS’ vision for cooperation is to build a relationship based on mutual trust and support, seeking a form of engagement that is not just limited to project funding and technical support but demonstrates moral support to the PRCS mission to respond to the needs of the Palestinian population and expresses solidarity with Palestine and PRCS.
With the PRCS vision “to enhance PRCS’ status and the humanitarian role it plays in the provision of health and social services with a view to alleviating suffering and building the resilience of local communities”, the PRCS’ 2014-2018 Strategy highlights the important role of partnerships with a range of stakeholders in order to achieve this. The fifth strategic direction states the priority to:
“Strengthen local, regional and international partnerships between PRCS and International Movement components, international and regional organizations as well as Non-Governmental Organizations through:
1. Building community level partnerships to oversee PRCS’ community-based activities and interventions;
2. Enhancing partnerships with relevant Palestinian ministries, institutions and government bodies, especially the ministries of health, local government, social affairs, education and the Civil Defense system;
3. Harnessing social programs to attract private sector support to PRCS;
4. Developing cooperation, coordination and partnerships with International Movement components and other partners, including in the fields of planning, follow-up, evaluation and reporting;
5. Strengthening partnerships and building a network of relations between PRCS, national societies and humanitarian organizations to help PRCS provide the necessary humanitarian services, especially in times of emergency and disaster.
The International Cooperation department, works actively to fulfil this objective, by guiding and shaping direction and interaction with existing and potential partners (Movement and Non-Movement, international and domestic actors).It does this working closely with other departments responsible for Projects, Planning and OD, Communication, Finance and Public Relations as partnerships as well as at leadership and branch levels in an effort to institutionalize and reinforce partnerships, covering all geographical areas of existence of PRCS, including the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
In this regards, International Cooperation Department (IC) seeks to operationalize the principles of Code of Good Partnerships. For example, IC undertakes regular Partnership Review Talks with its main partners with whom it has long term cooperation. IC also develops and regularly revises various tools to support its work and facilitate the relationships with partners such as Guidelines on Scoping and Building new partnerships, Partnership Framework, and Mapping of Partners and Cooperation.
PRCS has partnerships with the IFRC, ICRC and range of partner national societies not only in West Bank and Gaza but also supporting branches in Lebanon and Syria. Some are long-term bilateral partnerships supporting several programmatic and geographical areas and others are limited to one-off support to emergency appeals as recently as 2014. Many of the bilateral partnerships include some physical presence of delegates in the HQ in the West Bank and in Gaza as well as in the Diaspora Branches.
PRCS holds relationships with other actors including central government through the Ministries and local government through municipalities. Private sector mainly at the local level through direct giving although there are very few formalised corporate partnerships; universities who provide students as volunteers and some local institution national NGOs and CSOs who work together in service delivery.
There are also other international organisations including UN agencies (such as UNICEF, UNDP and UN OCHA) who have worked closely with PRCS primarily for info sharing and networking; international embassies and overseas organisations such as professional associations like the Royal College of Paediatricians have also provided technical support and accompaniment.
PRCS recognises the importance of abiding by and promoting ethical and responsible behaviour with regards to relationships. PRCS has been involved in several partnership review exercises with Movement partners that seek to operationalize the Code of Good Partnership listed below (from 2009 Council of Delegates) through a focus on principles and values such as ownership, leadership commitment, open communication, respect and trust, mutual accountability and transparency, relevance and added value and jointly achieving outcomes.These values and behaviours are foundational to much partnership working and can be applied to other types of partnership and engagement outside of the Movement.