Collaborative governance is a type of process that ensures that those people who have interest in a public policy issue are directly involved in a way which allows for them to provide input and recommendations.
The typical participants in a collaborative governance process are government agencies, community groups, organizations, businesses, non profits, individuals and First Nations.
The collaborative processes usually involve the following components: sharing of background information, gathering input from participants, an analysis of the input, the development of various options, a process to determine how the group will form consensus and the provision of recommendations on the issue.
Certain issues may be more appropriate for collaborative processes and their success seems to depend on variables such as the history of the issue, how long the issues has been a conflict or concern, incentives for participation, power and resource imbalances, and the conflict resolutions skills of the facilitator.
Policy makers are starting to use the concept of collaborative governance for many reason included the following: to ensure that people are well informed about the issues, to build relationships and trust with various types of participants, to save time and money by addressing concerns versus avoiding the conflicts and allowing them to escalate, and to find better ways to collective learn and solve problems.
Over the last two decades I have observed a growing interest and acceptance of the collaborative processes within governments. The issues facing public policy decision makers today are complex and involve diverse stakeholder groups. The use of collaborative processes has proven to be an effective way to address these types of issues for the betterment of all involved.
Collaborative governance processes have been proven to be effective in the development and implementation of public policy issues.
So why not use a collaborative process to address an upcoming public policy issue within your government?
All for now, Gillian