Ipas has a bold ambition—to eradicate unsafe abortion around the world—and we need others to help us achieve it. In every sphere in which we work, Ipas relies on partners. National governments; local, national, regional, and global civil society organizations and networks; community-based organizations; medical associations; academic institutions; beneficiaries; donors—all play a critical role in helping us increase access to safe abortion and contraceptive care.
To achieve our goals, we believe it is imperative for Ipas to be a valued and trusted partner in return. To that end, we have developed five principles to guide us in our collaborations with others.
Ipas works with partners who share our broad vision of a world in which every woman and girl has the right and ability to make her own reproductive health decisions. We respect and welcome the differences in approach that our partners bring to achieving this vision. We recognize that not every partner has the singular focus on abortion and contraceptive care that drives Ipas, but our partnerships are always underpinned by the common belief that all people deserve access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion.
The goal of all our partnerships, big and small, is to achieve a result that neither we nor our partners could reach alone or along parallel tracks. In other words, the whole must always be greater than the sum of its parts. We seek to complement, not compete with, the expertise and strengths of our partners in pursuit of our common goal. When we collaborate well, we are both stronger together and stronger individually.
Ipas will share information and expertise generously with partners to foster mutual understanding and learning. We commit to dealing fairly with our partners, sharing credit openly and readily for our joint successes while taking full responsibility for our own mistakes. Recognizing that there is an inherent power imbalance in some partnerships—particularly when one partner has many more resources than the other—we will approach all partners on an equal footing and in the spirit of mutual respect.
Ipas is committed to fulfilling our obligations to our partners in an open and transparent manner. We will communicate forthrightly with our partners, consulting them in all matters that affect them. We will be transparent about how and by whom decisions are made, honest about challenges we encounter, and respectful in the way we approach differences of opinion. We will do what we say we are going to do, striving always to deliver results on time and within budget. And we will put in place mechanisms for regular feedback and assessment to ensure both our joint activities and our relationship are on track.
A good partnership strikes just the right balance between autonomy and interdependence. Ipas and partners will begin all collaborations by setting out each party’s distinct roles, responsibilities, and expected contributions. Ipas will strive to fulfill our obligations to the partnership without infringing on our partners’ space while remaining flexible enough to adapt our scope, by mutual agreement, to ensure we meet our common goal.