Individually Tailored Partnership Programmes

  • Last updated: 25 Apr. 2024 14:07

Individually Tailored Partnership Programmes (ITPPs) are the main tool that NATO uses to coordinate its cooperation with partners. Each ITPP lays out all aspects of NATO’s collaboration with a single partner in a strategic and goal-oriented framework, highlighting the main objectives of each partner’s cooperation with NATO.

General View of the meeting


  • NATO has cooperated with non-member countries – also called partners – since the 1990s. Each partner is different, so the Alliance has developed a wide range of tools and structures to organise its relationships with partners.
  • In March 2021, the North Atlantic Council agreed on the “One Partner, One Plan” concept, establishing the Individually Tailored Partnership Programme (ITPP) as an overarching framework for NATO’s cooperation with individual partner countries. All existing cooperation documents will transition to ITPPs.
  • The ITPP maintains the existing structures for cooperation through various partnership tools and programmes (for instance, the Annual National Programme, the Partnership Cooperation Menu, the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative, the Planning and Review Process) in a single overarching document.
  • The ITPP frames NATO’s cooperation with individual partners that are seeking to deepen their relationship with the Alliance. It is tailored to each partner’s specific objectives for its relations with NATO through the consideration of strategic objectives for cooperation (ends), partnership goals (ways) and supporting activities (means).



Why are ITPPs important?

Political dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and its partners, based on mutual respect and benefit, contribute to stability beyond the Alliance’s borders, enhance security at home and support NATO’s core tasks. Working together with partners is therefore a strategic component of NATO’s overarching commitment to fostering peace and security.

The Individually Tailored Partnership Programme (ITPP) framework was developed to streamline NATO’s work with partners, as part of the new “One Partner, One Plan” concept. The ITPP integrates the wide array of partnership programmes that NATO undertakes with each partner country, bringing them together as components of a single harmonised “package”. This ensures unity of effort, coherence and integrated management of civilian and military partnership programmes. The ITPP covers areas of enhanced cooperation on core issues for the Alliance such as the Women, Peace and Security agenda, interoperability, and defence and security sector reform.

The ITPP approach is based on inclusiveness and shared ownership, as it is co-owned by NATO and each individual partner. It encompasses all elements of NATO, from the civilian and military staff at NATO Headquarters, to the NATO Military Authorities and military commands that oversee cooperation between Allies and partners in the field.

The ITPP facilitates joint planning, implementation and reporting and focuses in particular on understanding potential issues to be solved (or opportunities to be seized) before defining the actions to be taken. It reflects a common process, but one that is flexible enough to account for the unique aspects of each partnership while preserving the key elements and benefits of the existing partnership system.


How do ITPPs work?

ITPPs are agreed with individual countries and approved by Allies. The ITPP process spans a cycle of four years. It comprises five key outputs, including provisions for effective monitoring and evaluation throughout the whole ITPP cycle:

Output 1 – Strategic objectives of cooperation

Output 1 focuses on objectives that are of mutual interest to both NATO and the partner. These strategic objectives are outcome-oriented, with a strong focus on impact.

Output 2 – Goals

Output 2 outlines specific goals that will be pursued to achieve the overarching strategic objectives. A consistent template is used for goal-setting, defining the expected outcome, the rationale, the relationship between a given goal and the strategic objectives, and the specific milestones to be reached.

Outputs 1 and 2 are combined into a single document and agreed by Allies and the partner every four years, at the beginning of each cycle.

Output 3 – Implementation plan & activities

Output 3 describes the activities that NATO will undertake to support the partner in achieving the goals in output 2. The length and detail of output 3 can vary considerably, depending on the level of ambition each partner has for its cooperation with NATO and which programmes NATO will commit to supporting.

Output 4 – Mid-term assessment

Produced in the second year of the process, output 4 focuses on progress towards attaining the outcomes described in the goals (output 2). It also recommends updates to the implementation plan (output 3) for the final two years of the ITPP cycle.

Output 5 – End-of-cycle assessment

Produced in the fourth year of the cycle in advance of the potential renewal of the ITPP document, the end-of-cycle assessment focuses on progress achieved in meeting the objectives and goals established at the beginning of the process. Allies agree the end-of-cycle assessment and make recommendations for new objectives and goals in the following ITPP, launching another four-year cycle.


How does the Planning and Review Process complement the ITPP?

Partners who wish to deepen their cooperation with NATO within the framework of the ITPP can choose to participate in the Planning and Review Process (PARP). The PARP aims to support partners by identifying and developing capabilities, achieving interoperability, supporting reforms and preparing forces for possible participation in NATO-led operations and missions.

The PARP works on the basis of a two-year cycle, with each four-year ITPP cycle embedding two PARP cycles. Partners and NATO agree on a package of partnership goals in the first and the third year of the ITPP cycle, while ITPP assessments are conducted in the second and the fourth year of the ITPP cycle. The PARP assessments form the basis of the ITPP mid-term and end-of-cycle assessments for the partners concerned.


Support structures

NATO’s Partnerships and Cooperative Security Committee is the senior committee responsible for approving all of NATO’s partnership programmes, including the ITPP.

The committee meets in various formats: among Allies only; with partners in NATO’s regionally specific partnership frameworks (namely the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative); with individual non-member countries in “Allies+1” formats; as well as in “Allies+n” formats on particular subjects, if agreed by Allies.



In March 2021, the North Atlantic Council agreed on the “One Partner, One Plan” concept, establishing the Individually Tailored Partnership Programme (ITPP) as an overarching framework for NATO’s cooperation with individual partner countries. The ITPP gradually replaces the Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) and the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) as the document that frames NATO’s cooperation with individual partners willing to deepen their relationship with the Alliance.

The ITPP is an improved approach to organising NATO’s relationship with each partner on terms that are individually tailored to the partner’s specific objectives for its cooperation with NATO.