This Toolkit provides practical knowledge for practitioners from government, business, and non-profit sectors to diagnose, design, implement, and assess cross-sector collaborations.
While collaboration can refer to a broad range of interactions between multiple parties, The Intersector
Project focuses on collaborations characterized by shared decision-making processes among sectors. This
type of collaboration is frequently referred to as collaborative governance and can result in joint program
or service design and delivery, jointly-conceived policies or policy recommendations, and other activities
where the resources and expertise of multiple sectors are leveraged in service of a shared vision and
where decision-making authority is shared among partners.
Each sector — and indeed each entity within the sectors — has its own language, culture, and work
practices, which can prove challenging to align when pursuing shared goals in a consensus-oriented
environment. Our Toolkit is designed to assist practitioners in navigating those differences. In an effort to
produce a resource applicable to collaborations on multiple issues, the Toolkit was designed to provide
‘’starting-point’’ guidance on tactics to consider when working across sectors. For this reason, we
recommend this Toolkit for relative beginners to cross-sector collaboration or for those who are working
with partners who are new to cross-sector collaboration. Specifically, we recommend practitioners use
this Toolkit as a planning guide for collaboration, distributing it to core partners in the early planning
stages and using it as a resource to support shared understanding of key elements for their collaborative
process and a common language for those elements.
The Toolkit comprises 17 tools organized into four stages: Diagnosis, Design, Implementation, and Assessment. The Toolkit is designed to be process specific, rather than issue or sector specific because
we believe there are common elements to all successful cross-sector collaborations and because we
want to ensure that our Toolkit is accessible to practitioners working on a broad range of problems in
varying types of collaborations. In addition to the tool definition, the Toolkit also provides rationale
for the importance of the tool (Why It Matters), questions to guide tool use, an example of the tool
in use from our Case Library, and additional resources that we recommend practitioners review for
actionable guidance on implementing the tool or related tactics.