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Principles for Positive Partnership

HandshakeConsultation on Principles for Positive Partnership

Evaluation Support Scotland is inviting feedback on draft guidance to support positive grant management relationships. Principles for Positive Partnership is for 

  • people in Scottish Government who directly manage grant funding to the third sector (grant managers) and
  • people in the third sector who hold a grant managed by Scottish Government.

An experienced group of third sector grantholders and Scottish Government grant managers has drafted the document to meet an identified need for practical guidance help grantholders and grant managers achieve positive funding relationships in the first place and, if problems arise, tackle them productively.

See the guidance here.


The guidance is not about broader Government and third sector joint working or about decision-making about funding.

If you are a Scottish Government grant manager or grant holder please can you complete this survey on the guidance by 5pm on 26 August 2019.

After that date we will finalise the guidance and launch it formally before the end of 2019.

If you have any questions about this work please email 

Principles for Positive Partnership is part of a broader programme of work.   Third Sector Unit (TSU) and ESS are working together to implement Ministerial commitments to improve third sector funding. 

ESS has worked with a few Scottish Government (SG) departments and their funded organisations and we have undertaken a small enquiry to find out the funding experiences of third sector organisations.  We run training for SG officials on grant management and reporting.

We have identified “Three Ps” that make for successful SG Funding.

  • Purpose of funding: be clear about the outcomes the grant is contributing to and the gap the third sector is filling. Set measurable outcomes for the third sector grantholder to measure and report on.
  • Processes:  keep the paperwork simple, follow Harmonising Reporting and ask funded organisations to measure what’s within their control
  • People: good funding is about good relationships.  When things go wrong it’s often about relationships. 

The recognition of the importance of the “people” side of successful funding led us to establish the Positive Partnership working group.

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