New partnerships often confront a common set of questions that shape their structure, such as:
- What is the size of the partnership?
- How are stakeholders represented?
- How broad and complex is our agenda?
- What is our geographic reach?
- What history precedes this partnership, and how can we deal with that from the beginning?
- What does each institution need for the partnership to work?
The unique context of a given partnership also matters. An RPP with a broad geographic reach will have to think differently about communications and how often in-person meetings are convened. An expansive or complex research agenda may require multiple institutional partners (e.g., both public and charter education agencies). History may dictate that certain partners—for example, those with closer ties and credibility in communities—become central members.