Developing and sustaining partnerships and networks
Implications for future programme development
GOAL has shown a number of strengths with regard to building partnerships, but also faces a number of hurdles. GOAL would be strengthened if more organisations saw the value of GOAL-type guidance for their clients, e.g. in the process of finding a sustainable job. Strong partnerships will remain essential, even if structural embeddedness is successfully established (see Policy Implications below).
Working with strict framework agreements and protocols to exchange client information could make collaboration between partner organisations easier.
Implications of policy
Lack of structural embeddedness in existing structures and the system of temporary funding by different local stakeholders leads to dependency on these stakeholders (for funding). Furthermore, it contributes to dependency on (political) policy priorities of these stakeholders (especially with regard to the funding of local governments).
Moreover, the lack of structural embeddedness hampers close collaborations with other organisations as the GOAL service has a temporal character and is not always perceived as a sustainable partner. As a result, the referral of clients is less systematic than it should be, and is heavily dependent on the goodwill and knowledge of partner organisations.
The lack of structural embedment also demands significant commitment on the part of staff members, who must stay motivated while being in an uncertain position.
Implications for policy
The current success of the referral process (most clients are referred by different partner organisations) demonstrates the need for and complementarity of the GOAL service.
Structural embedment of the GOAL service is a political decision which requires an agreement from different policy domains (education, work, social affairs, migration and civic integration). The GOAL project aims to contribute to this decision making and to show ways that the service can be structurally embedded.
Partnerships in different policy domains require collaboration with these policy domains at Flemish level to develop and sustain complementary services for the target group and to develop structural collaborations at different levels within the organisations.