More Collaboration Profiles

Best Practices

Best Practices

Learn more about the practices that have helped the Partnership for Results to be successful in working collaboratively.

Have strong and supportive leadership

The Partnership and the agencies that comprise it include government officials who have come to believe in collaborative work. Over time, with positive results, the Board has gained great confidence in the abilities of the Partnership’s staff to conduct cross-system work. These officials support the staff across a wide range of activities, such as

  • monitoring, evaluation, supervision, and maintenance of the entity’s initiatives;
  • providing access to agency employees;
  • helping them identify and secure program funding; and
  • generally assisting them to identify opportunities for collaboration.

See Collaboration Structure for more about developing a strong leadership team.

Share fiscal responsibility to create a sustainable structure

One of the primary goals of this form of collaboration is to marginalize the cost of doing business. The process of implementing, monitoring, and sustaining evidence-based programs has significant commonalities across agencies, and it is far more efficient and effective for a staff accountable to all agencies to undertake these tasks than for the skills and capacities to be developed independently at each agency. Critical to that goal is joint fiduciary responsibility, a collaborative process that supports program sustainability across lines of government and shared responsibility for program outcomes. See Collaboration Structure for more about establishing joint fiduciary responsibility.

Foster cross-agency awareness and provide cross-training

Programs are effective when they serve those who are most eligible to benefit from them. It is therefore important to understand the target populations of proven programs. To achieve that goal, the Partnership conducts cross-system training and provides technical assistance to agencies on an ongoing basis. The Partnership, with its databases and interagency expertise, forms a single point of integration. It uses its databases to establish an up-to-date record of programs and services in the region, with a focus on their accessibility and impacts. Service professionals accessing the databases continuously learn about programs and services. See Collaboration Structure for more about sharing data.

Focus on sustainability from the start

Collaborations are often formed for the purpose of sustaining programs that are already struggling, but for sustainability efforts to be effective, the collaboration should be a part of the process of selecting evidence-based programs for implementation. Among the sustainability issues that the Partnership considers before implementing a program are

  • how much training and ongoing technical assistance the staff will need;
  • how fragile the program is, or how susceptible it is to significant disruption; and
  • the extent to which recurring funds are available that might be used to continue the program once the initial funding ends. 

For sustainability, broad-based support across agency lines is usually essential. Such support is typically the result of many factors, including, of course, clear indications that the program works well in the community, as well as multi-agency involvement in the selection, implementation, and monitoring of the program.