Table 1.

Framework for choosing ethical partners

  • Review and define the social, economic, language, and cultural characteristics of the community that is expected to benefit from the partnership

  • Identify key stakeholders who need to be involved in the partnership

  • Develop strategies that foster the involvement of stakeholders

  • Make use of pre-existing relationships or networks among stakeholders that can facilitate the partnership process

Goals and expectations
  • Identify the goals and expectations of each potential partner

  • Discuss the pros and cons of working together, giving special attention to completed or ongoing joint projects

  • Define principles that promote transparency and mutual exchange of information

  • Foster a critical understanding of each partner’s limitations to contributing to the partnership, with particular attention paid to competing priorities

  • Work to elicit concerns about the collaborative process, giving careful attention to issues of partners’ readiness to participate

  • Assess potential partners’ capacity to engage in the partnership including their time demands and staffing

  • Identify important administrative functions and activities to facilitate the partnership

Risks and benefits
  • Discuss the risks and benefits of the partnership for all parties

  • Agree about who will own specific products, including data, instruments, or intervention materials

  • Establish policies regarding authorship on manuscripts and other presentations

  • Discuss the potential for dissemination of program curricula, products, or other materials among current as well as new partners

Remedies for problems
  • Create a mechanism for allowing modification when unanticipated events affect the partnership

  • Create a mechanism for monitoring partnership activities to ensure quality and address problems as they arise

  • Establish a contingency plan, with consequences for nondelivery or delays

  • Have alternates to key positions in the partnership team