Partnership evaluation: The Partnership Self-Assessment Tool

Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health. (2002). Partnership self-assessment tool questionnaire. Retrieved from


The Partnership Self-Assessment Tool is a questionnaire that various partners can complete to examine the strengths and weakness of the partnership. Answers can help guide organizations and individuals to make the partnership increasingly successful. The tool measures a key indicator of a successful collaborative process: synergy (partnership synergy).

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The tool is designed for the evaluation of internal partnerships only. The tool contains eleven themed sections with a number of questions within each, and a variety of response options.

  1. Synergy (9 questions)
    • Questions related to the abilities of the partnership to set goals, problem-solve, etc.
  2. Leadership (11 questions)
    • Formal or informal leadership, including questions about motivation, vision, conflict resolution, etc.
  3. Efficiency (3 questions)
    • Questions related to the use of financial resources and time.
  4. Administration and management (9 questions)
    • Questions about communications, meetings, agendas, etc.
  5. Non-financial resources (6 questions)
    • Questions about skills, influence, credibility, etc.
  6. Financial and other capital resources (3 questions)
    • Questions about money, space and equipment.
  7. Decision making (3 questions)
    • Questions about the decision-making process in terms of comfort, support and inclusion.
  8. Benefits of participation (11 questions)
    • Questions about receipt of benefits from the partnership in terms of impact, public profile, contributions, etc.
  9. Drawbacks of participation (6 questions)
    • Questions about any drawbacks including time or resource diversion, conflicts of time, lack of work acknowledgements, etc.
  10. Comparing benefits and drawbacks of participating in the partnership (1 question)
    • Question about whether the benefits of the partnership outweigh the drawbacks.
  11. Satisfaction with participation (5 questions)
    • Questions about satisfaction regarding the people and organizations in the partnership working together, the plans of the partnership, your role in the partnership, etc.

The tool itself consists of 67 questions with different response options (e.g., poor to excellent, or “not well at all” to “extremely well,” or “none of the time” to “all of the time,” etc.).

The instructions for using the tool include the following:

  • Pen and paper instrument
  • Calculating results
  • Reporting

Within the instructions document (Supplemental materials) there is a detailed description of the background information about the tool, including:

Part I: Overview of the Tool

  • Why the tool is needed?
  • How was the tool developed?
  • What does the tool measure?
  • What can the tool do for partnerships?

Part II: Guidelines for Using the Tool

  • Is the tool right for my partnership?
  • Who in the partnership should fill out the questionnaire?
  • Managing the process


Has been evaluated. The Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health examined the factors involved in partnership synergy by involving 815 partnership participants in the United States, of which 63 partnerships were included. The design of the tool was then based on this extensive preliminary work in 2001. Study findings indicated that partnership synergy was related to leadership, efficiency, administration and management capacities, and sufficiency of resources.


Validity properties meet accepted standards. Instructions to maximize obtaining valid results are described in the instructions manual: “at least 65% response rate from questionnaires within a 30-day time period.”


To ensure the reliability of the data, the following partnership criteria apply:

  • Has been in existence for at least six months.
  • Consists of a group of people and organizations that have continually worked together to achieve goals.
  • Has begun to take action to implement its plans.
  • Has at least five active partners. To ensure the reliability of the data, at least five people should complete the questionnaire.

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

We have provided the resources and links as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by McMaster University of any of the products, services or opinions of the external organizations, nor have the external organizations endorsed their resources and links as provided by McMaster University. McMaster University bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external sites.

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