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Clean Fuels and Vehicles Database

Partnership Newsletter


[Issue 1 2012]

Principles of an Effective Partnership: USEPA Evaluation Distills Best Practice from PCFV Approach to Leaded Petrol

“This partnership has benefited from having great people there from the beginning… The structure was good but the people were better.” USEPA Interviewee


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) initiated a third-party evaluation to identify and examine lessons from the PCFV Global Lead Campaign, which supported the phase-out of leaded petrol in over 100 countries since 2002.  Today only 6 countries still use TEL, and over 99.9% of the global petrol supply is now unleaded. The evaluation looks for practices that may be transferable to other existing or future international partnerships. The evaluation focused on the Lead Campaign’s startup and design, implementation, and overarching lessons that could inform other voluntary partnership efforts. The evaluation did not identify the benefits of eliminating lead from fuel or the role (influence) of PCFV in the elimination of leaded fuel, as these have been evaluated previously by UNEP and the European Commission.

The evaluators looked at whether the Partnership’s launch and design phase ultimately contributed to the Lead Campaign’s effectiveness. The evaluators found that four factors supported a strong start and successful implementation of the Campaign throughout its implementation: (1) preceding developments; (2) a timely opportunity with support from senior leaders; (3) a clear, measurable, and ambitious-yet-achievable goal; and (4) strong partnership design and design process that fosters ownership and trust.

Lead Campaign implementation combined certain defining design features, summarized here as:

  1. multi-faceted implementation strategy that covered key issues and engaged key stakeholders;
  2. partners brought expertise and commitment through complementary roles;
  3. modest yet focused resource investments built awareness and capacity; and
  4. partners addressed challenges and learned through experience.

Some emerging design principles for voluntary partnerships include:

  • Develop clear goals
  • Build a strong core membership
  • Thoughtfully design the partnership and utilize this process to engender buy-in and trust
  • Make clear the power and authority of each partner
  • Maximize voluntary and comprehensive participation
  • Ensure neutral management
  • Secure commitments for funding sufficient to launch the partnership, while also identifying long-term funding opportunities
  • Build in the ability to adapt and course correct
  • Empower sustained change in the field
  • Guarantee transparency and accountability

The USEPA presented the findings of the study during the 9th Global Partnership Meeting of the PCFV held in October 2011. 

View the summary of the findings is attached