Research roundup: takeaways for cross-sector practitioners

blogimage_ResearchBriefingAt The Intersector Project, we’re dedicated to bridging the research-practice divide by providing practitioners of cross-sector collaboration with research-based resources that focus on  practical, actionable insights. Practitioners continually tell us they are interested in new research but lack the time and resources to extract takeaways that are truly meaningful to their work. So while we continue to delve into our own research on the intersector, this year we launched an effort to examine new, external research on topics related to collaboration and present it to our readers in a more digestible form, with clear takeaways for the individuals out tackling complex issues across the country. As we spend this week reflecting on the state of cross-sector research, we hope the following round-up of our previous Research to Practice posts and monthly Research Briefings can be helpful to your work.

Research to Practice:

Community social capital linked to collaborative planning in emergency management
Of interest to: emergency management professionals, other managers overseeing services where timely delivery after disaster is crucial

Selected takeaways:

  • Identify and engage community members who are adept “boundary spanners.”
  • Devote resources to educating EM professionals and other potential stakeholders on the presence of EM-related risks

Connecting public health with transportation planning
Of interest to: public health professionals and transportation professionals across the government, business, and non-profit  sectors

Selected takeaways:

  • When inviting stakeholders to the table, take an inclusive, “ecosystem” approach, looking for those who are involved in the issue at hand but may not know it.
  • Leverage grassroots efforts by activists and communities to spur collaboration.
  • Assess and address knowledge gaps between partners, such as lack of understanding and lack of common language.

Wildfire management and perceived mission alignment
Of interest to: emergency management professionals at the local and state level, particularly those involved in wildfire prevention and management

Selected takeaways:

  • Work to build decision-making and project-management structures upon which all partners agree.
  • Be mindful of the impact of the varying missions of collaboration partners on perceptions among partners of the ability to manage conflict and collaborate effectively.

Assessing partnerships that protect critical infrastructure
Of interest to: individuals involved in designing, building, and operating public infrastructure

Selected takeaways:

  • Partners should assess and consider whether partners’ organizational cultures are accustomed to collaborative efforts.
  • Goals give partnerships stability and structure where only a diffuse structure may exist.

Designing collaborative councils to encourage diverse policy outcomes
Of interest to: individuals involved in publicly-mandated, multi-stakeholder collaborative governing councils, members of food policy councils

Selected takeaways:

  • Allow / encourage the council to consult and collaborate with external stakeholders.
  • Ensure that government representatives who attend council meetings are not proxies but have decision-making power.

Research Briefings:

September 2015: This briefing includes research on collaborative policymaking groups, leadership, aquaculture management, issue-specific collaborations that bring together experts and non-experts, and more.

August 2015: This briefing includes research on local food system governance, scale as it relates to collaborative governance, social entrepreneurship, and more.