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Parker, S. Lessons from a Ten-year Funder Collaborative: A Case Study of the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa. Carnegie Corporation of New York. 2010. ISBN: 978-0-9827746-1-8. Pages: 46.
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Launched in 2000 and concluded in 2010, the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) was a joint project involving first 4, then 7, major foundations: Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. During its decade of existence and through nearly USD .5 billion of collective investment, the Partnership sought to “strengthen higher education in Africa” by “encouraging systemic and sustainable change to higher education institutions in  countries where they were already actively working”. The Partnership’s story, as seen through this case study, is shown to have resulted in a number of tangible success stories and positive outcomes for both the foundations involved and within the African higher education community. But the Partnership also faced significant challenges, including “lack of clarity about the mission of the Partnership” and “lack of data to show collective impact of work”. Based on document reviews, a workshop session with Partnership members, and interviews with 30 participants (including the presidents of the four founding organisations), the case study not only looks back in time, but encourages clearer thinking moving forward, articulating with more than one dozen specific suggestions for “advice to others considering similar collaboratives”.