Collaboration is a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve results they are more likely to achieve together than alone.  – Winer, Ray

ASPHN members are routinely asked to participate in collaborative efforts.  Collaborative work doesn’t just happen, based upon good will and expectations; it requires a set of skills, knowledge and practices to be effective.  ASPHN has developed a primer that presents a guide to effective collaborations.  This primer:

Outlines principles of collaboration.
Lists factors that affect successful collaboration.
Provides an example of ASPHN’s recent experiences in this area and
Offers a resource for more information.

Click here to view the ASPHN Collaboration Primer.
Books and Articles
Collaboration: What Makes It Work (2nd Edition), (2001) Mattessich P, Murray-Close M, Monsey B. St. Paul, MN: Amherst Wilder Foundation. This book explores what makes collaboration a failure or a success.

Collaboration Handbook: Creating, Sustaining, and Enjoying the Journey (2nd Edition), (2012) Winer, Michael and Ray, Karen. St. Paul, MN: Amherst Wilder Foundation. This book is a complete guide to putting together a collaboration effort and it includes case studies, worksheets, and evaluation tools.

National Housing Institute Shelterforce Online. Can this Collaboration be Saved? Paul Mattessich. Issue #129, May/June 2003. This article lists 20 factors necessary for any group effort.

University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG) Guide to Collaborative Competencies. This guide was developed to help build collaborative competencies within the private, public and civic sectors.

Assessing Your Collaboration: A Self-Evaluation Tool. Borden, L. & Perkins, D. (1999). Journal of Extension, 37, 2. 67-72  This brief article examines thirteen factors that can influence the collaborative process.

Online Resources
The Fieldstone Alliance offers useful articles about and tools for planning nonprofit collaborations.

The National Network for Collaboration’s Collaboration Framework is a good resource for those starting or wishing to strengthen an existing collaboration.  The Network also has a Collaboration CD-ROM Training Program Manual.

The Foundation Center’s Nonprofit Collaboration Resources Page offers a searchable database of more than 250 collaborations. Profiles include participants, motivations, successes, and lessons learned.

The United States Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Population Affairs, Collaboration and Sustainability has a Self-Directed Module that offers a good overview of this subject.

Tamarack is a Canadian Institute dedicated to the art and science of community engagement and collaborative leadership.

Checklists and Tools
ASPHN Checklist for Effective Collaborative Processes.  This checklist outlines key factors to be in place when starting a collaborative process.  The ASPHN checklist is a companion resource to the ASPHN Collaboration Primer.  Click on Continue Story below to view the checklist, which is at the end of the primer.

The University of Kansas School Program Evaluation and Research Group has a Levels of Collaboration Scale which measures progress over Hogue’s five levels of collaboration.

The University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension Program developed the Sustainable Communities Collaboration Checklist.  This self-assessment tool is based on the thirteen factors that can support or hamper collaborative efforts identified by Borden and Perkins.  Use this tool to identify strengths and areas that need improvement in your efforts.  See the Borden and Perkins article in the Books and Articles section.

Fieldstone Alliance. The online Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory assesses how collaboration are doing based upon 20 research-tested success factors identified by Mattessich and colleagues.  The Inventory is free to nonprofit organizations engaged in collaboration evaluation. See Collaboration: What Makes It Work (2nd Edition) in the Books and Articles section.

Examples of Effective Collaborations
Click on Continue Story below to learn about ASPHN’s experiences with its Mini Learning Collaborative.   Continue Story will also link you to three states’ experiences with collaborations, Kansas, New Hampshire and Oregon.

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