In community-based resource management, common goals are more important than organisational forms. These are often most effectively achieved by bringing together different actors, each bringing their own competences, skills and connections to community members in a common effort.
The introduction of new community practices that change existing living practices in certain areas requires the commitment, will and support of the wider community. For the idea to be realised, as many relevant stakeholders as possible need to be involved, such as municipalities, various public institutions (schools, sports and cultural institutions, etc.), businesses, NGOs, development agencies or other local or regional development structures, civic initiatives and local initiatives. Local partnerships are a form of semi-formal networking.
This is a form of cooperation between local stakeholders who have both the will and the capacity to realise an idea, or at least see how it could be implemented. The purpose of a partnership is to make an idea socially acceptable in the local environment and to reconcile possible conflicting interests between stakeholders already within the partnership. The aim of such a partnership is to work with local stakeholders and the public to agree on how to implement a specific idea in their local environment and to develop a plan for implementation in line with the local environment and the needs of the community.
Local partnerships are voluntary, meaning that anyone can withdraw at any time, and agreements can be formal (from a written agreement to a signed letter of intent or just a verbal agreement). The larger the number of stakeholders involved, the better, but this also increases the need for common bodies (e.g. a committee, working groups) that constitute the “engine” of the project. Therefore, when a local partnership is set up, it is important to agree on the way of working.