TEN NOTABLE RESOURCES FOR

Identifying When and How to Collaborate

When-How-Collaborate

To help users find relevant, quality resources from our Resource Library, we create curated lists on a variety of topics, bringing important practitioner- and academic-oriented work to the forefront.

 

Here we present resources on diagnosing opportunities for cross-sector collaboration — tools, reports, and scholarly articles to help leaders assess whether cross-sector collaboration is needed, which form or model of collaboration is best suited for their aims, whether partners have the capacity to act collaboratively, whether the political and social context is supportive of cross-sector collaboration, and more.

 

View all our curated lists here.

Tool

The Collaborative Service Delivery Matrix: A Decision Tool to Assist Local Governments, ICMA, Alliance for Innovation, and the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University, David Swindell 2015

This tool is intended to help “local leaders and their staff determine whether the conditions for expanding collaborative service delivery efforts may help local governments … achieve their goals. The tool is in two parts. The first part helps communities determine whether or not a collaborative arrangement is a good idea … regarding delivery of a specific service. The second part helps those that want to pursue a collaborative arrangement (as determined by part one) choose from among five fundamental types of collaborative arrangements by using the same information developed in part one of the tool.”

Scholarly Article

Producing Human Services: Why Do Agencies Collaborate?, Public Management Review, Carolyn Hill and Laurence Lynn, 2003

✴ Available only with purchase from publisher

This article focuses on resource providers’ incentives to collaborate across sectors and asks, “Why might a provider decide to reallocate effort away from independent service provision toward collaboration in service provision?” The authors argue that “careful consideration of these incentives, framed by theory, can help sponsors of collaboration to avoid choosing governance mechanisms that are likely to fail, and select instead those mechanisms with the best chances of success under the circumstances they confront.”

Report

Assessing Partnerships: New Forms of Collaboration, IBM Endowment for the Business of Government, Gregory F. Treverton and Robert Klitgaard, 2003

This report “describes why public sector organizations should consider partnerships with non-profit or private sector entities, and presents a detailed checklist that public sector executives can use to assess the costs and benefits of such partnerships.”

Tool

Community Collaborative Assessment – A Diagnostic of Success Readiness, from the Toolbox for Building Needle-Moving Community Collaborations, The White House Council on Community Solutions, 2012

“The essential purpose of this assessment is to improve the likelihood of creating significant impact against social problems that by definition have long been intractable. Though no community is ever completely ready to take on large-scale change, this checklist will assist [practitioners] in identifying areas where [they] may need to do extra work, or just think some more. Ideally suited for organizations less than three years old, this assessment should nevertheless assist any collaborative that: 1) has just begun planning, or is in the early stages of rolling out its operations; 2) may be facing some challenges; or 3) is willing to revisit basic principles to ensure that it is maximizing its chances for success.”

Scholarly Article

Partnership Formation for Change: Indicators for Transformative Potential in Cross Sector Social Partnerships, Journal of Business Ethics, Maria May Seitanidi, Dimitrios N. Koufopoulos, and Paul Palmer, 2010

✴ Available only with purchase from publisher

This article “introduces organizational characteristics, organizational motives, and history of partner interactions as critical factors that indicate the potential for social change [in cross-sector social partnerships]. [The authors] argue that organizational characteristics, motives, and the history of interactions indicate transformative capacity, transformative intention, and transformative experience, respectively. Together, these three factors consist of a framework that aids early detection of unnecessary partnering efforts and provide[s] indicators of partners’ transformative potential.”

Report

More than the Sum of Its Parts: Making MSIs Work, Global Development Incubator, 2015

“There has been little effort to date to understand what makes MSIs [multi-stakeholder initiatives] succeed or fail, or indeed if they were the best choice to address the problem in the first place. … This report takes a macro-level view of the MSI landscape to date, focusing on the initiation through start-up phases of an MSI’s lifecycle [and asks]: When is an MSI the best-suited solution to address a global development problem, and what can an MSI do in its early days to be most effective?”

Scholarly Article

Unpacking the Collaborative Toolbox: Why and When Do Public Managers Choose Collaborative Governance Strategies?, Policy Studies Journal, Tyler Scott and Craig Thomas, 2016

✴ Available only with purchase from publisher

“This paper focuses specifically on the role of public managers as leaders, encouragers, and followers of collaborative governance. [The authors] examine the decision calculus factoring into the choice of collaborative governance as a toolbox for achieving desired policy goals, [asking] why public managers choose to devote public resources to collaborative governance.”

Scholarly Article

Collaborative Service Delivery: What Every Local Government Manager Should Know, State and Local Government Review, Cheryl Hilvert and David Swindell, 2013

✴ Available only with purchase from publisher

“Local government managers continue to face an array of challenges that have created the opportunity for new and innovative ways to achieve high quality and less expensive service delivery in their communities. Many such innovative efforts have emerged as part of some form of collaboration by the local governmental jurisdiction with private, non-profit, or other public entities. This article provides a perspective to highlight important factors local officials should bear in mind in deciding which services might benefit from such collaborations, as well as which form of collaboration might be most likely to help a community achieve its goals.”

Report

Public-Private Partnerships Reference Guide, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and InterAmerican Development Bank, 2014

“This second version of the PPP Reference Guide … presents a global overview of the diversity of approaches and experiences in the implementation of PPPs, providing an entry point to the substantial body of knowledge on PPPs that has been built up by practitioners in governments, the private sector, international institutions, and academics. … [The Guide] is structured into separate sections that focus on three main areas, firstly what are PPPs, when might they be used, and the advantages and disadvantages relative to public provision; secondly the policy, legal, and institutional frameworks that should be put into place to help improve their effectiveness; and finally the ways in which PPP projects can be developed and implemented.”

Tool

Cross-sector Partnership Formation: What to Consider before You Start?, Partnerships Resource Centre, 2012

“The aim of this booklet is to enhance the rationality of the early stages of the partnership formation process: (1) define the motivations of a partnership (intrinsic, extrinsic, opportunity-driven, or issue-driven), (2) specify the various steps in the formation process, and (3) list important factors that play a role in each of these steps. The prime audience for this booklet are practitioners who should find pointers, factors, and tips to take into account either before considering a partnership or when confronted with problems and barriers in the actual partnership formation process.”