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Who Makes Up a Performance Partnership? Who Can Apply?

Section 526(a)(1) of the Act holds that Performance Partnership Pilots for disconnected youth—

(A) involve two or more Federal programs (administered by one or more Federal agencies)—

(i) which have related policy goals, and

(ii) at least one of which is administered (in whole or in part) by a State, local, or tribal government; and

(B) achieve better results for regions, communities, or specific at-risk populations through making better use of the budgetary resources that are available for supporting such programs.

Section 526(c)(1) of the Act states that the Performance Partnership agreement is entered into between—

(A) the head of the lead Federal administering agency, on behalf of all of the participating Federal agencies..., and

(B) the respective representatives of all of the State, local, or tribal governments that are participating in the Agreement.

Therefore, the Federal government will accept applications from State, local, and tribal governments. The Chief Executive or the head of an agency acting on behalf of other partner agencies at the State, local, or tribal government level will submit the application. All applications must clearly describe the relationship between State, local, and tribal roles in the partnership. If multiple States or Tribes or a group of local governments representing a region propose a joint pilot, the application must clearly describe the relationships among the involved jurisdictions.

While any non-Federal level of government can lead a pilot, applications should demonstrate that all relevant parties across agencies and different levels of government have been involved in developing and approving the proposal. This includes all parties who have statutory authority for administering each Federal program included in the pilot. For each application selected as a pilot, the respective representatives of all participating State, local, or tribal governments must be a party to the formal performance agreement governing the pilot.

Non-governmental partners may also be key players in designing and implementing the pilots. The 2012 RFI generated significant input on the characteristics of effective partnerships as well as the importance of anchoring pilots in mature community partnerships that have demonstrated strong capacity to implement cross-system collaboration. In keeping with this input from the field, partnerships should include all public and private stakeholders (including non-profit, business, industry, and labor organizations) with a vested interest under the pilot in improving the outcomes of disconnected youth in a given state, locality, or tribal community. Where relevant and feasible, State, local, or tribal governments should exercise flexibility in their own requirements to align with the Federal flexibility and advance the pilot’s objectives. Applicants should consider how to leverage existing partnerships to demonstrate successful cross-system collaborations and how to make sure that youth voices are incorporated.

Key questions for stakeholders:

  • What are leading examples of existing intergovernmental partnerships that have been able to create the infrastructure and conditions needed to implement and scale what works and curtail inefficient activities that are not producing results?
  • What are the key features of such partnerships? How can we distinguish partnerships that are likely to achieve better outcomes from partnerships that include all the right partners but are less likely to get better results?
  • What successful outcome-focused partnerships involve philanthropy, and what factors made them successful?