In conversation with Dr. Kidist Hailu

Newly published: the completely revised questionnaire “Reflecting on North-South partnerships”. Dr. Kidist Hailu was actively involved in the process (© SEZ).

Learn more about the questionnaire “Reflecting on North-South Partnerships” in a conversation with Dr. Kidist Hailu, specialist promoter for local partnership initiatives.

The catalogue of criteria “Reflecting on partnerships” was published in 2020. The first edition was launched under the motto “Those who ask questions change the world”. In June, a second catalogue of questions was drawn up by specialist promoters from the field of international cooperation and the Association of One World State Networks in Germany e. V. In a conversation with Dr. Kidist Hailu, you will receive information about “Reflecting on North-South Partnerships – A Questionnaire” and learn what recommendations the brochure and the specialist promoter give to the partnership groups.

Can you briefly describe to us what exactly you do?

I have been part of the SEZ since 2021 and, as a specialist promoter for local partnership initiatives, I coordinate workshops and seminars on topics relevant to partnerships, for example on transcultural communication, child protection, discrimination-sensitive language and decolonization of partnership work. I also coordinate a platform for exchange opportunities between those involved and offer advice for the partnership groups in Baden-Württemberg.

Recently, “Reflecting on North-South Partnerships – a Questionnaire” was revised and you were actively involved in this process. Could you explain to us what exactly this questionnaire contains?

The questionnaire, both the original and the current version, is aimed at partnership groups, especially those involved in North-South partnerships. The publication offers valuable suggestions for examining and critically thinking through partnerships at different levels. The questionnaire contains inspiring impulses and suggestions for action that can help to reflect on one's own work and cooperation with partners and, if necessary, change them.

We, the specialist promoters in the field of international cooperation and partnerships, have worked together nationwide to support partnership groups in their commitment and to provide fresh impetus for North-South partnerships. We hope that the questionnaire will be used as a useful tool not only to better understand cooperation, but also to actively improve it.

Why was the first questionnaire revised?

The revision was necessary because debates and perspectives on North-South partnerships have changed over time. In addition, new questions have emerged that critically question both the current situation and the historical development, while other questions have become less relevant. This has helped to ensure that the catalogue remains up-to-date and useful.

What topics are addressed in the revised version?

The new edition covers, among other things, current debates and topics that have often been ignored in North-South partnership work. These include important topics such as Decolonization, power-critical perspectives and global justice in partnershipsQuestions on the political dimension, human rights and gender equality are now also an important part of the questionnaire.

What advantages does the questionnaire offer for North-South partnerships?

I very much hope that the questionnaire will reach many partnership groups and be actively used. Because reflection within partnerships can Improve communication, start joint learning processes and generally enable conscious discussion among each otherThe questionnaire is flexible in its use, will certainly not be the last version and will continue to develop over time. The topics and relevance of the questions change over time. We would therefore like to encourage partnership groups to ask their own questions and to look for solutions together with their partners. To enable even wider use, we plan to translate the brochure into four more languages ​​(English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) so that partners in the Global South can also work with the catalogue.

What other recommendation would you like to give to partnership groups?

My personal recommendation for all those involved in North-South partnerships is to view partnerships as a learning field and to always be open to learning from the Global South.

Thank you for this insight.

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