Introduction to Collaborative Governance
This week long course explores the effective practice of "collaborative governance," a process that brings diverse parties together to achieve solutions to public issues that go beyond what any party could achieve on its own. Participants will gain greater knowledge about the spectrum of collaborative approaches to solving public issues and learn essential skills needed to successfully initiate and participate in these approaches. Participants will have the opportunity to apply concepts and tools presented to actual situations they face in public and environmental related settings.
Objectives and Scope
The creation of sustainable solutions for complex public issues is increasingly dependent on assuring meaningful public involvement and the establishment of effective collaborative partnerships with public, private, and civic stakeholders. To increase their effectiveness, the public and government institutions tasked with addressing these difficult issues are shifting toward integrating more collaborative problem solving approaches. President Obama’s Memorandum on “Transparency and Open Government” has called on Federal Agencies to be more open, transparent, and collaborative in carrying out their missions. (January, 2009) Until now, public sector employees wanting to utilize these new governance models have been challenged by their lack of experience in applying successful collaboration problem solving approaches and the lack of training programs to teach the skills essential to effective collaboration.
"Introduction to Collaborative Governance" is specifically designed as an introductory workshop for those working in the environment/natural resource and public sectors to learn the fundamental principles of collaborative governance and to develop the concrete skills needed to initiate and participate in collaborative approaches for public issues. The course is designed to assist participants in applying course concepts to real life situations.
This course is appropriate for individuals at all levels of an organization who are interested in building their problem-solving skills and applying a collaborative governance model. It may be of particular relevance to upcoming leaders and managers in government settings who are faced with complex and potentially controversial issues involving multiple stakeholders.
Participants will learn:
- How to analyze a situation and develop a "road map" to a sustainable solution
- The role of "Collaborative Governance" as an essential tool for today's leaders
- How to determine if a situation is "ripe" for collaboration
- The five stages of a collaborative process
- Key communication skills for building effective relationships
- How to look for and use stakeholder interests
- Skills for working with groups
- Techniques for making decisions using consensus
- How to implement collaboration projects in their organization
Training targets the development of the following key competencies:
- Ability to identify key principles and stages of collaboration and to distinguish this approach from other public involvement processes
- Ability to analyze a situation and strategically assess the potential for collaborative success
- Ability to design a process to build collaborative relationships
- Ability to analyze the need for forum neutrality and facilitator impartiality
- Ability to think creatively and use external awareness to frame an issue for collaborative engagement
- Application of effective interpersonal communication skills to build collaborative relationships
- Use of political awareness and strategic thinking to explore and identify stakeholder interests fundamental to collaborative problem solving
- Ability to apply fundamental group facilitation skills and team building, including organizing information and tools for partnering groups
- Ability to work toward consensus and resolve impasse through negotiation and conflict resolution