Collaboration Across Governments, Nonprofits, and the Private Sector
Achieving important national outcomes, such as food safety, local economic development, environmental restoration, and homeland security, requires coordinated and collaborative efforts of a number of programs spread across the federal government, other levels of government, and private and nonprofit sectors. Agencies face a range of challenges and barriers when they attempt to work collaboratively.
Collaboration can be broadly defined as any joint activity that is intended to produce more public value than could be produced when the organizations act alone. The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) establishes a new framework aimed at taking a more crosscutting and integrated approach to focusing on results and improving government performance.
Agencies can enhance and sustain their collaborative efforts by engaging in the eight practices identified below. Running throughout these practices are a number of factors such as leadership, trust, and organizational culture that are necessary elements for a collaborative working relationship.
- Define and articulate a common outcome.
- Establish mutually reinforcing or joint strategies.
- Identify and address needs by leveraging resources.
- Agree on roles and responsibilities.
- Establish compatible policies, procedures, and other means to operate across agency boundaries.
- Develop mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report on results.
- Reinforce agency accountability for collaborative efforts through agency plans and reports.
- Reinforce individual accountability for collaborative efforts through performance management systems.
Federal agencies use a variety of mechanisms to implement interagency collaborative efforts, such as establishing interagency groups, for example, in the area of food safety (GAO-11-289). Frequently, agencies use more than one mechanism to address an issue. For example, climate change is a complex, crosscutting issue, which involves many collaborative mechanisms in the Executive Office of the President and interagency groups throughout government (GAO-11-317).
Managing for Results
GAO-12-1022, Sep 27, 2012
Managing for Results
GAO-12-620R, May 31, 2012
GAO-09-1011T, Sep 24, 2009
GAO-08-1026T, Jul 24, 2008
GAO-06-15, Oct 21, 2005
Department of Homeland Security
GAO-13-734, Sep 27, 2013
Wildland Fire Management
GAO-13-684, Aug 20, 2013
International Regulatory Cooperation
GAO-13-588, Aug 1, 2013
VA and IHS
GAO-13-354, Apr 26, 2013
GAO-13-255, Apr 12, 2013
GAO-13-452T, Mar 20, 2013
GAO-13-217, Jan 30, 2013
GAO-12-707, Sep 28, 2012
VA and DOD Health Care
GAO-12-992, Sep 28, 2012
GAO-12-819, Aug 23, 2012