Research Briefing, January 2018

blogimage_researchbriefingEach month, there is new, fascinating research emerging that provides practical insight into how the government, business, and non-profit sectors partner to address society’s most pressing problems. To keep our readers up to date on this work, which comes from a variety of academic and non-academic sources, we compile a monthly briefing and publish it on our blog — for researchers who want to stay up to date on progress in the field of cross-sector collaboration and practitioners who are interested in how this research may be applicable to their work.

This month’s briefing includes articles about:

  • power sharing in collaborative governance,
  • knowledge transfer in public-private partnerships,
  • a partnership between the Seattle Housing Authority and Seattle Public Schools,
  • collaboration among community development and health professionals, and
  • the measurement of collaborative performance,
  • along with a special issue on collective impact and universities, and the 2017 edition of the Annual Review of Social Partnerships.

Contingencies of Power Sharing in Collaborative Governance,” The American Review of Public Administration, Bing Ran and Huiting Qi

Abstract: “Studies on dynamics of power relationship play a significant role in the collaborative governance literature because many issues and challenges in collaborative governance can be linked to power asymmetry in collaboration. This article proposes a contingency framework on power asymmetry in collaborative governance that includes six contingency factors of power sharing from contextual, network, and node perspectives. We focus on how each contingency factor influences the relationship between power sharing and the effectiveness of collaborative governance and suggest that, instead of focusing on the attempt to balance power and share power in collaboration, it will be more fruitful to design and implement collaborative arrangements based on the dynamic contingencies.”

Examining Critical Factors Affecting Knowledge Transfer in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Projects,” Proceedings of the 21st International Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate, T. T. Liu and Y.C. Wang

Abstract: “Knowledge transfer plays a significant role in smooth development of PPP programs. This research aims to identify the critical factors for improving knowledge transfer processes in PPP projects. Based on a thorough literature search and an empirical questionnaire survey, this research showed the critical factors are: (1) knowledge-related factors such as articulability of knowledge; (2) capability-related factors including experience of PPP teams, reliability of knowledge source, and innovation capability of PPP teams; (3) PPP projects-related factors such as political support, and support from experts. (4) culture-related factors including rewards & incentives, concern & trust, communication & collaboration, and learning culture. This research provides useful reference for organizations involved in PPPs on how to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of knowledge transfer. It also sets out directions for practitioners to design mechanisms and processes so that the knowledge accumulated in previous projects can be better captured and applied in future PPPs.

Evaluating Collaboration: The Solution to One Problem Often Causes Another,” Public Administration Review, Chris Silvia

Abstract: “Collaboration has become the predominant approach to solving complex public problems. This choice, however, often is not driven by demonstrated effectiveness. Collaboration is instead chosen in the hope that a networked arrangement will be more effective than individual organizations working on the issue alone. Questions regarding collaborative effectiveness persist and constitute a significant challenge facing both public management practitioners and public administration scholars. In light of the case study in this issue of Public Administration Review by Maurits Waardenburg and colleagues, this article reviews the current thinking on the measurement of collaborative performance and discusses steps that professionals can take to evaluate the effectiveness of their collaborative endeavors.

The Annual Review of Social Partnerships,” Editor-in-Chief: M. May Seitanidi

“The ARSP is written for and by cross-sector social partnership (CSSP) academics and practitioners focusing on non-profit, business, and public sectors, who view collaboration as key to solving social problems such as climate change, economic inequality, poverty, or biodiversity loss and environmental degradation. Published by an independent group of academics and practitioners since 2006, the ARSP bridges academic theory and practice with ideas about promoting the social good, covering a wide range of subjects and geographies surrounding the interactions between non-profit, business, and public sectors. Its aim is to inform, to share, to inspire, to educate, and to train.” This year’s issue includes articles such as “Partnering with Public Actors from a Civil Society Perspective: The Tension Between Service Delivery and Advocacy” and “Skillsets and Competencies for Effective Cross-Sector Collaboration,” an interview with John Bryson, McKnight Presidential Professor of Planning and Public Affairs at the Hubert H.Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, featured cross-sector projects, reflections from experts, and more.

Measuring Progress for the Seattle Housing Authority-Seattle Public Schools Partnership: Tools to Develop a Measurement Framework,” Urban Institute, Martha Galvez and Sarah Gillespie

Abstract: “This report is the final deliverable under a one-year contract between the Urban Institute (Urban) and the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) to evaluate their ongoing partnership with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and to provide technical assistance to support the partnership’s development. … We draw from the literature on interagency partnerships and collective impact efforts to provide some context on partnership models that are relevant to the SHA-SPS effort and to describe the prevailing conceptual frameworks related to measuring partnership efforts and progress. Included in this report are sample measures and indicators of partnership development that can be adapted.”

Can Community Development Improve Health? Emerging Opportunities for Collaboration between the Health and Community Development Sectors,” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Sameera Fazili

Abstract: “The two sectors of community development and health have long worked in the same neighborhoods, but they have not always worked together. This is starting to change, due in part to a growing recognition among health experts of the social, economic, and environmental factors that drive health outcomes. These social determinants of health have become the basis for new collaborations between community development and health professionals. This paper introduces professionals in both sectors to this emerging area of practice through a series of case studies of innovators in the southeastern United States. Case studies look at ways to bring housing and health professionals together, opportunities to leverage community development finance tools, and efforts to use Pay for Success to improve Medicaid spending. This discussion paper reviews early lessons on how to build a successful health and community development partnership, including an examination of the incentives for community developers, health professionals, state and local governments, and philanthropy to participate in these collaborations.”

Collective Impact Strategies,” a special issue from Metropolitan Universities

Abstract: “Building upon early definitions of collective impact, the special issue is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon and practice of collective impact to promote social change, specifically from the perspective of universities.”

Other recently released research on cross-sector collaboration: