The Toolkit is a guide to help diagnose, design, implement, and assess successful cross-sector collaborations. While collaborations differ in their goals, scope, and size, practitioners from any sector can use these tools to navigate their challenges. See a list of works consulted in preparing this toolkit here.

Jump to stage:  Diagnosis  |  Design  |  Implementation  |  Assessment

Engage Potential Partners

The identification of and engagement with individuals and organizations that have a stake in the issue at hand to address their suitability for and interest in a cross-sector partnership

Share a Vision of Success

The agreement on a set of project goals and ideal outcomes that clarify the mission and priorities of the collaboration

Assess the History of Addressing the Issue

The examination of previous efforts at collaboration in a similar issue area

Account for Resources

The determination of financial and non-financial resources from existing and potential partners

Establish Transparency of Viewpoints

The creation of an environment in which partners can communicate openly, allowing the collaboration to address partners’ differing priorities

Build a Common Fact Base

The consensus among collaboration partners as to what facts relating to the issue are most relevant

Agree On Measures of Success

The identification of indicators to be used in evaluating the progress and results of the collaboration

Commit to Information Sharing

The requirement that partners share data relevant to the collaboration’s efforts

Share Discretion

The deliberate allocation of decision-making authority according to area of expertise

Establish a Governance Structure

The creation of a formal or informal organizational system for project management

Identify a Manager

Selecting an individual or organization that is responsible for coordinating tasks that allow the collaboration to progress

Communicate the Interdependency of Each Sector

The development of an understanding among partners of each sector’s unique contributions, and the recognition of their differing expertise, resources, and networks

Demonstrate Organizational Competency and Ability to Execute

The ability of collaboration partners to follow through on commitments that enhance the likelihood of collaborative success

Manage Expectations of Process and Results

The capacity to communicate progress, celebrate success, encourage patience when needed, and allow for flexibility as the collaboration progresses

Recruit a Powerful Sponsor or Champion

The engagement of a person, a group of persons, or an organization committed to leveraging their influence, resources, and skills to assist the collaboration in achieving its objectives

Define the Intent of the Evaluation

A discussion among collaboration partners to arrive at a clear understanding of the purpose of an evaluation

Tell the Story

The documentation and communication of the collaboration’s outcomes and lessons learned, shared internally and externally