Research Briefing, July 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 and reports about:

  • promoting democratic values while advancing multistakeholder internet governance,
  • how collaborative forums make a difference in combating climate change,
  • the benefits of coordination among stakeholders to promote cardiovascular health,
  • addressing barriers to education through cross sector collaboration,
  • bridging the gap between collective strategy formulation and collective strategy execution,
  • the effect of co-production on individuals’ awareness, empowerment, and trust, and
  • how different modes of participation benefit the goals of participation.

Deliberative Polling for Multistakeholder Internet Governance: Considered Judgments on Access for the Next Billion,”
Information, Communication and Society
, James Fishkin, Max Senges, Eileen Donahoe, Larry Diamond, and Alice Siu

Abstract: “Multistakeholder Internet governance aspires to fulfill democratic values in a process of dialogue producing results that can be considered for possible action. How can these goals be accomplished when the participants in these processes come from entities as varied as corporations, governments, civil society and academia drawn from countries all over the world? How can such a multistakeholder process embody democratic values? How can it be based on dialogue? What kinds of results can it produce? This article applies Deliberative Polling as a possible solution to this problem by using a stratified random sample of netizens, citizens of the Internet, drawn from all the relevant stakeholders of the Internet Governance Forum, engaged together in dialogue and with opinions collected in confidential questionnaires before and after deliberation. This pilot application focused on the topic of Internet access ‐ policy proposals to increase access for the next billion users. We believe it demonstrates the possibility that deliberators drawn from all these sectors can participate in substantive dialogue weighing the merits of issues and coming to specific conclusions. The pilot was limited in its duration and scale but produced, nevertheless, results that strongly support the conclusion that this approach to multistakeholder Internet governance is promising.”

Organisational Responses to Climate Change: Do Collaborative Forums Make a Difference?Geographical Research, Melissa Green, Rosemary Leonard, and Sarah Malkin

Abstract: “Innovative and effective responses to climate change require that we move beyond reliance on government to include organisations spanning different sectors, such as not‐for‐profit, private, and community groups. Interactions among these organisations in collaborative networks—or “forums”—may provide important mechanisms to successfully address climate change impacts. This paper investigates the relationships between organisational participation and involvement in forums and responses to climate change. Survey data show that people from many organisations are participating in forums and using these meeting points to discuss climate change, even when forums are intended to serve other purposes. The data suggest that participation in any type of forum is related to organisational responses to climate change. Attributes such as type of organisation and knowledge of climate change issues were also found to be related to organisational responses to climate change but these became less important when climate change was discussed in forums. The results of the research suggest that a practical way to increase the volume and variety of organisational responses to climate change may be to encourage participation in forums and/or to influence existing networks to incorporate more discussions of climate change issues.”

A Social Network Analysis and Qualitative Assessment of Partnerships for Million Hearts®,” RAND Corporation, Malcolm V. Williams, Danielle M. Varda, Ryan Andrew Brown, Courtney Armstrong, Praise O. Iyiewuare, Rachel Ross, Kayleigh Newman, and Sara Sprong

Abstract: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have implemented Million Hearts (MH), an unprecedented initiative to coordinate efforts across the United States to promote cardiovascular health. In work conducted by RAND Corporation and the University of Colorado at Denver, researchers sought to develop information and a data-informed evidence base regarding the successes and challenges of MH. To accomplish these aims, researchers used a mixed-methods approach that involved an environmental scan, key informant interviews, and a social network analysis to assess the current state of MH and to understand how this initiative might grow and strengthen the goal of decreasing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Based on their analysis, researchers conclude that the MH network has been successful in engaging a diverse set of public and private partners to collaborate together to address CVD issues and become an effective information-sharing network. Further, MH partners placed high levels of trust and value in one another. They also indicated that participation in the network was beneficial to their organizations. It appears that keeping the network intact, as is, can have some tangible benefits without a lot of additional resources or change. However, this research did identify barriers that participants in MH experienced in implementing MH activities or building effective relationships, including a lack of direct funding, difficulties with bringing partners to the table, a lack of experience among partners, and different perspectives on CVD prevention among partners.”

Erie’s Future Fund: Addressing Barriers to Education through Cross-sector Collaboration,” Childhood Education, Michelle Harkins

Abstract: “Active involvement of multiple stakeholders is vital to ensuring effective implementation of education innovation. The ground-breaking collaboration described in this article addressed barriers to education through effective cross-sector collaboration among civil society, business, and government stakeholders.

Six Proven Practices for Backbone Organizations,” CollaborateUp

Abstract: “Getting people from across the public, private, and civil sectors to effectively work together comes down to one fundamental question: how do you get people to work with you who don’t work for you? Humans excel at getting people to work with us who do work for us. Hierarchy, command-and-control, contractual relationships, and volumes of management theory tell us how to make these kinds of relationships work. Multi-sector collaborations face a host of different challenges because the people involved don’t work for each other. They volunteer their time, talent, and treasure. Altruism may bring them together, but it rarely holds them together.

Most multi-sector collaborations excel at vision and fail in execution. They suffer when the original altruistic vision meets the hard reality of the daily grind. A gap opens up between collective strategy formulation and collective strategy execution. To address this gap, other researchers have already articulated the need for a “backbone organization” to hold the center on collective strategy. While that research focused on making the case for why multi-stakeholder collaborations need backbone organizations, our research focuses on the “how” of running a successful backbone organization. We discuss how a Partnership Engagement System (PES) made up of specific principles and practices of backbone organizations, working in concert with Executive Leadership, can maintain alignment, drive impact, and create continuous learning throughout the life of a collaboration.”

Coproducing Healthcare: Individual-level Impacts of Engaging Citizens to Develop Recommendations for Reducing Diagnostic Error,” Public Management Review, Suyeon Jo and Tina Nabatchi

Abstract: “Coproduction has received considerable attention from scholars and practitioners in recent years. While theory and some research suggest that coproduction can have individual-level effects on participating lay actors, few studies have tested such hypothesized effects. This study seeks to add to the evidence base for collective coproduction. Using data from a randomized and controlled research project, it examines whether collective coproduction affects participants’ issue awareness, perceived empowerment, trust in service professionals, and support for coproduction. The results provide empirical evidence that collective coproduction can significantly increase issue awareness, empowerment, and trust. The results for support of co-production are mixed.”

Analysing Managerial Perceptions of When and How to Structure Public Involvement in Public-Private Partnerships,” Local Government Studies, Eric Boyer, Juan D. Rogers, and David M. Van Slyke

Abstract: “Previous research highlights what managers perceive to be the purposes of public involvement in public-private partnerships (PPPs) and the need for addressing stakeholder concerns unique to PPPs. Yet, we have little evidence of how particular modes of participation benefit particular goals of participation in this context. Through canonical correlation analysis (CCA) of survey data collected in the U.S., this study examines the modes and sequencing of 14 public involvement activities in respect to 10 goals of public involvement in this context. The results indicate that selections among modes of participation are contingent upon when they are introduced. Respondents prefer widening stakeholder involvement early in the project development phase and during the contract implementation phase, but not during the later phases of contract design. Respondents also assign more value to engaging local citizens than their respective political leaders, particularly at mature stages of the PPP’s implementation phase.”