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Oxfam aspires to make a sustained and significant positive impact on poverty and injustice. We believe that is only through strong partnerships and collective action that this can be achieved. We currently work with approx. 3,500 partners in 96 countries. These partnerships are formed across civil society, state, private sector, NGOs, community groups and more.

Oxfam understands partnerships as mutually empowering relationships, focused on impact, mutual growth, organizational development and institutional strengthening.


Oxfam's partnerships are varied including individuals, groups, organisations and businesses on local, national, regional and global levels. Through these partnerships we engage in diverse and often context-specific activities. The partnerships may also vary greatly in scope, depth, maturity and length.

To better define our partnerships, we use two two broad categories,  partners and allies, which both fall within the partnership continuum.

  • Partners are autonomous, independent, accountable organizations that share OI's core values and work towards common goals on a long term basis under an agreement that ties accountability and performance to the existing relationship.
  • Allies are individuals or organizations with whom we work towards a specific goal, even though their organizational and institutional mandates and long term purpose may be different from Oxfam's.

All Oxfam partnerships are regulated and managed through the use of Oxfam's Partnership Toolkit.  And they are guided by Oxfam's Partnership Companion.


Oxfam is committed to continually improving the way it works in partnership. We undertake and publish Accountability Reviews  which  seek evidence for, perceptions of and make judgements about the degree to which Oxfam's projects meet the organisation's standards for accountability with regards to both:

  • Oxfam's accountability to partners
  • Oxfam and partners' shared accountability to those it works on behalf of.

In 2014, we undertook the Keystone Accountability Survey. The study is run by Keystone, an independent firm that helps social organizations to improve the way they work. To do this, we invited 2,476 of our partners to take part in the survey.