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A Look at Collaboration National Extension Family Life Specialists Conference April 27, 2005 Ellen Taylor-Powell, Ph.D. Evaluation Specialist University.

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Presentation on theme: "A Look at Collaboration National Extension Family Life Specialists Conference April 27, 2005 Ellen Taylor-Powell, Ph.D. Evaluation Specialist University."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Look at Collaboration National Extension Family Life Specialists Conference April 27, 2005 Ellen Taylor-Powell, Ph.D. Evaluation Specialist University of Wisconsin-Extension

2 Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

3 Today’s discussion Types of collaborations currently engaging Extension educators Types of collaborations currently engaging Extension educators Lessons being learned Lessons being learned 5 key dimensions of collaboration 5 key dimensions of collaboration Hope to unbundle some of the complexity of collaboration Hope to unbundle some of the complexity of collaboration Conceptual and empirical research from fields of educational research, organizational development/management, community psychology and community coalition building, public health; and newer models in evaluation – participatory and collaborative evaluation

4 Current context – Why the bandwagon? Complex problems Complex problems Hard-pressed resources Hard-pressed resources Social fragmentation Social fragmentation Disengaged citizens Disengaged citizens Rapid, sweeping change Rapid, sweeping change Vs. Lone Ranger model

5 Metaphors of collaboration Table talk: Think about one collaborative that you are a part of. Describe it to your neighbor using a metaphor to capture its essence. Table talk: Think about one collaborative that you are a part of. Describe it to your neighbor using a metaphor to capture its essence.

6 Definition Collaborative: structure or group working together to achieve a shared vision Collaboration: the process through which parties who see different aspects of a program can explore constructively their differences and search for (and implement) solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible (Gray, 1989)

7 Better together “Joint work toward a common end” (Roget’s, 1995) To achieve a mutual goal that couldn’t be accomplished independently

8 An elusive concept: Navigating the language Confusing language: known by many names; used to mean many things; common vernacular Confusing language: known by many names; used to mean many things; common vernacular collaboration, partnership, coalition, alliances, strategic alliances, consortia, networks, intersectoral groups collaboration, partnership, coalition, alliances, strategic alliances, consortia, networks, intersectoral groups A catchall – signifies almost any type of inter- organizational or inter-personal relationship, making it difficult to put into practice or evaluate A catchall – signifies almost any type of inter- organizational or inter-personal relationship, making it difficult to put into practice or evaluate Need for clarity in language – create shared understanding; language does have meaning Need for clarity in language – create shared understanding; language does have meaning Collaboration is a means to an end and an end itself Collaboration is a means to an end and an end itself

9 Seen as most effective way to address complex issues Seen as most effective way to address complex issues  Political mandate – funding imperative  Public sector  Nonprofit sector  Organizations – team culture Unfortunately, the pervasive requirement for partnership has not yet been matched with corresponding understanding of how to translate the rhetoric into practice (Halliday et al, 2004)

10 Collaboratives in Extension: A Heuristic multi-multi-multi- Multi-state Extension projects; Research projects; Integrated Multi-institutional 1862, 1890, 1994, Hispanic serving, other educational institutions Multi-agency Various agencies, may be within one sector or one federal agency Multi-sector Public, private, non-profit, voluntary; publics

11 Heuristic of collaboratives Multi-discipline Cross program area Cross academic disciplines Multi-site Program implemented at different sites; may be county faculty implementing Multi-level Different levels, status Work unit Self-directed teams; county offices working as single unit

12 Multi-state collaboration

13 Education and Research Network

14 Our heuristic… Range in: no two are alike; what we might expect of each or how each functions will vary Geographic focus: international, national, multi- state, regional, campus, multi-county, county, multi-community, local community Geographic focus: international, national, multi- state, regional, campus, multi-county, county, multi-community, local community Internal – external: Internal – external: Extension as member Extension as member Extension as consultant, trainer… Extension as consultant, trainer… Life span: short – many years Life span: short – many years Origin Origin Purpose: 5 C’s Purpose: 5 C’s

15 What is the group’s purpose? StructureProcessIntegration NetworkCommunication Support group Contribution Independent goals Task force, council, alliance Coordination Complementary goals Partnership, consortium Cooperation Joint goals, individual identities CollaborativeCollaboration Joint goals, joint identify

16 What about our roles? What roles do we play in collaboratives?  Leader: promotes vision and direction  Facilitator: guides the process  Coach/mentor: encourages excellence; supports relationship  Trainer: skill developer  Modeler: demonstrate behaviors  Linker/networker: access resources; new partners; build bridges  Mediator: facilitates conflict management  Evaluator: appraises processes and results  Cheerleader: spreads spirit; celebrates  Champion: advocates of collaborative, collaborative approach and issue

17 What do we know about roles? Roles change Roles change Internal - external roles Internal - external roles May play multiple roles simultaneously May play multiple roles simultaneously Clarity is important; open conversations about role Clarity is important; open conversations about role Negotiate/renegotiate roles Negotiate/renegotiate roles

18 Benefits of collaboration – Expected Outcomes Personal growth; encounter multiple perspectives Personal growth; encounter multiple perspectives Increased productivity Increased productivity Enhanced motivation Enhanced motivation Advanced thinking, creativity; quality of work Advanced thinking, creativity; quality of work Combined insights and wisdom enriches field Combined insights and wisdom enriches field Solve more complicated issues Solve more complicated issues Access to resources/additional sources of funding Access to resources/additional sources of funding New areas of research; new opportunities open up New areas of research; new opportunities open up Access to and development of instruments Access to and development of instruments Access to and development of data Access to and development of data Increased visibility, recognition Increased visibility, recognition

19 Synergy “The power to combine the perspectives, resources and skills of a group of people and organizations to create something new and valuable.” Laskar, 2001

20 The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

21 Phases of collaborative development Loose chronological phases - continuum Loose chronological phases - continuum Form, Norm, Storm, Perform, Adjourn Form, Norm, Storm, Perform, Adjourn Series of tasks and activities with the various phases Series of tasks and activities with the various phases Negotiated order: social order is shaped through self-conscious interactions of participants Negotiated order: social order is shaped through self-conscious interactions of participants  Collaboratives evolve  Make meaning through interaction

22 Phases of collaborative development Define goals and expected outcomes Set structure, procedures Create shared vision Develop relationships Identify, mobilize stakeholders Form and Focus Celebrate progress Ensure support Design and implement actions Develop action plans Organize and Act Transform, terminate Sustain capacity Achieve individual, system, community change Achieve and Transform Form Norm Storm Perform Adjourn

23 Unbundling collaboration 1.Self-Interests 2.Feasibility of collaboration 3.Collaborative relationship 4.Collaborative product 5.Collaborative effectiveness: Value added from collaboration

24 Self-Interests Collaborations are initiated and driven by individual interests. For collaboration to occur, individuals must believe that working together serves their own interests and is worth the costs. Expectancy theory: degree to which individual believes the linkage between his/her action and resultant outcome. Expect team work to lead to desired goals.

25 Why do you participate? What do you hope to gain? Productivity – papers, curricula; can’t do it alone Productivity – papers, curricula; can’t do it alone Collegiality Collegiality Passion for the issue Passion for the issue Credibility, recognition Credibility, recognition To feel less isolated To feel less isolated Enhance learning, creativity Enhance learning, creativity Required - recommended Required - recommended

26 Feasibility of collaboration - Readiness Is collaborative warranted, needed, likely to succeed? Is collaborative warranted, needed, likely to succeed? Is timing right? Is timing right? How ready is the community – agency – environment for this collaboration? How ready is the community – agency – environment for this collaboration? What is the historical context? What is the historical context? What are the facilitators/barriers? political realities/liabilities? What are the facilitators/barriers? political realities/liabilities? Resource availability? Resource availability?

27 Feasibility Collaboration is not always best or appropriate, depending upon issue/situation and purpose. Feasibility in terms of: Collaborative (the group) Collaborative (the group) Individual member Individual member Agency/organization Agency/organization Not a bandwagon but a thoughtful, intentional choice

28

29 OUTCOMESINPUTSOUTPUTS Collaborative Product Collaborative Relationship AssumptionsExternal factors Building a logic model of collaboration EVALUATION SITUATION Collaborative Effectiveness

30 Partners Funding Research- based Key stake holders Change in behaviors Value- added Clientele Users Policy makers Policy changes Change in Knowldge Attitudes Skills Motivation Intent Self- efficacy Implement activities – action plan Monitor and evaluate Communicate Advocacy/ Policy Collaborative Relationship building Individual members Group Change in behaviors decision making Change in KAS Self- efficacy Intent Effective functioning partnership Member satisfaction Changes in conditions Collaboration: Theory of change C O N T E X T: political environment, organizational cultures, regional turf, funding System changes Community changes Capacity building - TA

31 Collaborative Relationship - Internal functioning Burgeoning research since mid ’90’s because found to be so central to performance and outcomes. Community coalitions have not lived up to expectations. Emphasis on internal dynamics; factors linking to effectiveness and efficiency Little empirical support about best practices given variation in practice

32 What seems to matter  Capacity  Operations  Climate  Context Open conversations in all these areas facilitates more effective collaboration

33 Capacity  Member attributes: gender, career status, professional status, cultural heritage; skills, expertise, work style, tolerance for sharing power; flexibility/willingness to adapt Group size, diversity Group size, diversity Complementarity of members Complementarity of members  Attitudes: interest in collaboration; open  Status differentials  Standards and expectations

34 Operations Operating procedures Operating procedures Planning – goal setting (logic modeling) Planning – goal setting (logic modeling) Roles and responsibilities Roles and responsibilities Member participation Member participation Leadership Leadership Decision making Decision making Communications: within and outside Communications: within and outside Capacity building Capacity building Conflict management Conflict management Linkages: external, internal Linkages: external, internal Accountability: to individual, to team Accountability: to individual, to team

35 Climate Trust: character-based; competency-based Trust: character-based; competency-based Communications Communications Interactions Interactions Respect Respect Compatibilities Compatibilities Satisfaction Satisfaction

36 Context Culture Culture Value of collaboration Value of collaboration Incentive and reward system Incentive and reward system History of collaborative work History of collaborative work Credit, authorship Credit, authorship Resources Resources Collaborative origins Collaborative origins Proximity of partners Proximity of partners

37 Collaborative Product – External focus Products, services, activities, networks, curriculum, etc. that collaborative creates Note: community coalitions often not to provide services Note: community coalitions often not to provide services Outcomes = changes; desired conditions the collaborative seeks to achieve; what you are creating as a result of working together. Behavioral change: Individual, group Behavioral change: Individual, group Policy change Policy change System change System change Community change Community change Ultimately, change in conditions Ultimately, change in conditions

38 Collaborative Outcomes: Issues Who decides and defines? Who decides and defines? Horizontal complexity Horizontal complexity Vertical complexity Vertical complexity Are outcomes important, realistic? Are outcomes important, realistic? Underlying theory of change Underlying theory of change Time frame Time frame External factors External factors

39 Collaborative Effectiveness – Ultimate outcomes Value added: partnership as a whole yields more than what could have been accomplished by individual Value added: partnership as a whole yields more than what could have been accomplished by individual Value added indicators: dependent upon particular collaborative Value added indicators: dependent upon particular collaborative May be difficult to set a priori May be difficult to set a priori You get what you measure You get what you measure

40 Collaborative effectiveness: Ultimate outcomes Value-added Value-added Quantitative and qualitative synergistic program outcomes Quantitative and qualitative synergistic program outcomes Linkages with other programs and actors Linkages with other programs and actors Enhanced capacity and influence Enhanced capacity and influence Other multiplier effects Other multiplier effects Partners meet own objectives Partners meet own objectives Enhanced performance in pursuing own mission Enhanced performance in pursuing own mission Enhanced performance in satisfying constituencies Enhanced performance in satisfying constituencies Partnership identify Partnership identify Partnership culture and values Partnership culture and values Name recognition Name recognition Partnership constituencies Partnership constituencies Brinkerhoff, 2002)

41 Lessons learned It is hard and time consuming but benefits can be more than worth it It is hard and time consuming but benefits can be more than worth it No two are alike No two are alike A journey, as well as a destination A journey, as well as a destination Personal is as important as procedural Personal is as important as procedural Process is as important as outcome Process is as important as outcome Demands time and investment of resources Demands time and investment of resources Key aspects: Commitment to need of the partnership; Clear, defined agreed upon goals; Defined operating procedures; Atmosphere is one of trust and respect; Mutual accountability

42 “We build the road and the road builds us.” -Sri Lankan saying

43 Web address http://www.uwex.edu/ces/pdande http://www.uwex.edu/ces/pdande What’s New


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