Facilitating Local Cross-Sector Collaboration: Strategies for Intermediaries

Facilitating Local Cross-Sector Collaboration: Strategies for Intermediaries

Published: Jan 25, 2021
Publisher: Mathematica
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Associated Project

Models of Coordination and Technical Assistance to Achieve Outcomes in Communities

Time frame: 2019-2021

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Authors

Amanda Benton

Gretchen Lehman

Key Findings
  • The federal government, foundations, and other intermediaries have a number of strategies available to them to help facilitate local cross-sector collaboration between different organizations. For example, they can provide training and technical assistance (TA), convene stakeholders, draw attention to local efforts, address bureaucratic and regulatory challenges, identify potential resources, and/or conduct research and evaluation.
  • Drawing attention to local sites, and combining that attention with training and TA, resources, and/or evaluation activities, might attract new partners and resources that help to achieve cross-sector collaboration goals.
  • Convening stakeholders early in an initiative, ensuring opportunities to meet face-to-face, and engaging both local and federal/national personnel can have payoffs in solidifying initiative design and in moving to implementation with greater ease.
  • Assistance in identifying funding or non-financial resources can encourage cross-sector collaboration when used strategically. Staff support, even if only a small amount, can also encourage cross-sector collaboration. For example, foundations or federal agencies can provide staff who monitor and are responsible for progress toward the collaboration’s objectives.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is partnering with Mathematica to explore strategies that enable federal agencies and foundations to better support cross-sector collaboration at the local level. This brief describes findings from interviews with designers, implementers, and participants of federal or philanthropic cross-sector collaboration initiatives.

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