Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance
& Training Manual

A Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance

A Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance

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Excerpt: Understanding The Spectrum of Collaborative Governance Processes (58kb PDF)  


This 62-page step-by-step handbook walks readers through the stages of sponsoring,convening, organizing, and participating in a public policy collaborative process. Designed primarily for elected and appointed government officials and civic leaders, the guide also is useful for those who provide leaders with the staff assistance, facilitation services, and support they need to employ these approaches effectively.

The Practical Guide was developed and written by Chris Carlson, founding director of PCI and a leading authority on consensus building in the public sector.

The Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance will help equip more leaders - present and future, in the public, private, and civic sectors - with the information and tools they need to bring about better governance through the use of collaborative practices, with instructions on how to:

  • Understand the spectrum of collaborative processes
  • Identify when collaborative processes will work and when they won't
  • Sponsor a collaborative process
  • Conduct an assessment
  • Choose and use a neutral forum and facilitator
  • Identify and work with a convener
  • Ensure legitimacy for the process through inclusive participation
  • Plan and organize the process
  • Develop ground rules to guide the process
  • Conduct problem-solving discussions and reach consensus agreements
  • Create Mechanisms for implementation and on-going collaboration


What Leaders Are Saying About the Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance

"PCI's Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance is indeed practical. It is also succinct, thorough and wise. Municipal officials and other leaders will appreciate the careful outlines of steps and considerations. Especially important are the balanced assessments of what works when and how - and what doesn't. This is an excellent resource for local leaders."

Bill Barnes, National League of Cities

"PCI has provided yet another practical publication for legislators and other government officials. The chapter on "The Role of the Convener" gives lawmakers clear examples and tips about how they can lead and promote collaborative problem solving in their communities. The helpful guidelines should greatly assist legislators who want to try on this important convener role."

Bruce Feustel, National Council of State Legislators

"A Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable tool for anyone seeking to develop a consensus-based solution to a complex or contentious public issue. Whether the goal is conflict resolution or the development of sound public policy that all comers can support, users of the Guide will find helpful process-oriented suggestions based on the real-world experiences of those who have successfully employed collaborative governance techniques in a wide variety of circumstances. The Guide will help lawmakers and other elected officials fulfill their unique potential as “conveners” of collaborative initiatives designed to produce lasting policy results."

Mike McCabe, Council of State Governments

Trainer's Manual: Getting the Most from a Collaborative Process

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Trainer's Manual: Getting The Most from a Collaborative ProcessThis Manual contains the essential information for training leaders from agencies and organizations interested in learning more about how to use collaborative processes to address public issues.

These materials are practical and problem-centered, designed to capitalize on people’s experience and to help them integrate new ideas with their existing knowledge. They are presented in eight modules, each module covering an aspect of the “best practices” for sponsoring, organizing, and conducting a collaborative governance process.

Each module includes descriptions of key points to cover and activities to address the key points. The Manual also provides audio visual materials in the form of a CD with PDF handouts and slides and a video DVD of various leaders describing their roles in collaborative processes. These materials are designed to be used in conjunction with the PCI Practical Guide to Collaborative Governance.

The first step for workshop sponsors and trainers is to decide on your objectives, target audience, and the format and length of the workshop. Then you will be able to decide which modules will best serve your objectives.

At minimum, if all modules are used, the workshop will take six to seven hours. With the use of speakers, panels, and time for group interaction, the workshop will take eight hours or more. However, effectively covering all of the material in one day can be a challenge, even for experienced trainers. An alternative is to hold a series of workshops, so that each module can be covered in a more in-depth fashion. This could take the form of a two - or three-part workshop, or even a “Module a Month.” The more time spent with each module, the stronger the chances are that the material will be used effectively.

Table of Contents

Planning The Workshop

  • Introduction
  • Responsibilities of Workshop Sponsors
  • Responsibilities of Trainers
  • Steps In Planning The Workshop
  • Planning The Workshop
  • Confirming Workshop Participation
  • Preparing And Assembling Materials
  • Preparing An Example For Module 3

Keys To A Successful Workshop

  • Workshop Modules (See PDF slides and handouts provided on CD)
  • Module 1: Collaborative Governance Processes: An Overview
  • Module 2: When to Sponsor a Collaborative Process
  • Module 3: How to Assess the Potential for Collaboration
  • Module 4: Working with a Neutral Forum and Facilitator
  • Module 5: The Role of Convener
  • Module 6: Participation: Who Needs to be at the Table
  • Module 7: How to Plan and Organize the Process
  • Module 8: Tools and Techniques for Reaching and Implementing Agreements
  • Module 9: How to Close the Workshop