Collaborative Governance. What, When, and How?. Chris Ansell Department of Political Science University of California, Berkeley.
What, When, and How?
Department of Political Science
University of California, Berkeley
Collaborative governance is about multiples: we use it to manage conflict, improve coordination, and harness creativity where we have multiple stakeholders engaged in multilateral interactions about multi-dimensional issues.
A governing arrangement where one or more public agencies directly engage non-state stakeholders in a collective decision-making process that is formal, consensus-oriented and deliberative and that aims to make or implement public policy or manage public programs or assets.
The Desert Tortoise Steering Committee
Cities and Counties: Clark County, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas,
Henderson, Boulder City, Mesquite
Nevada State Offices: Office of Governor, Congressional
Delegation, Dept. of Wildlife, Dept. of Agriculture, Farm Bureau
Federal Agencies: Fish & Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service
Industry Groups: Summa Corp., So. Nevada Homebuilders Assoc., Joyce Advertising, Nevada Cattleman’s Assoc., Nevada Mining Assoc.
Environmental Groups: Desert Tortoise Council, TORT Group Nevada, Defenders of Wildlife, NRDC, EDF, Nature Conservancy
Exs: Natural Resource Management Disputes; Regulatory Negotiation
Ex: Social Work or Mental Health Case Management
Exs: Community health, Juvenile Justice, Crime Prevention
Conditions Favoring Collaborative Governance
1. Multiple interdependent stakeholders
2. Weak or absent hierarchy; where success depends on the voluntary commitment or investment of independent stakeholders or where stakeholder ideas or opinions are important for agenda-setting
3. Where the character of interdependence requires multilateral cooperation
4. Where the multi-dimensional character of issues requires high quality communication
Incentives for and Constraints on Participation
Prehistory of Cooperation or Conflict (initial trust level)
Clear Ground Rules
Commitment to Process
Four Process Thresholds
(1) Stakeholders agree to “come to the table.”
(2) Stakeholders recognize other stakeholders as legitimate interlocutors
(3) Stakeholders have a commitment to the collaborative process itself
(4) Stakeholders develop a sense of “joint ownership” of the process
Ansell, C. and A. Gash. 2008. “Collaborative Governance in Theory and Practice,” JPART,
C. Ansell and A. Gash. 2012. “Stewards, Mediators, and Catalysts: Towards a Model of Collaborative Leadership,” The Innovation Journal, 17, 1.
The Desert Tortoise Case
J. Wondolleck and S. Yaffee. 2000. Making Collaboration Work. Island Press.
Thom Reilly. 1998. “Collaboration in Action: An Uncertain Process,” Administration in Social Work.
Colorado Nurse-Family Partnership
Darin Hicks et al. 2008. “The Influence of Collaboration on Program Outcomes,” Evaluation Review, 32, 5: 453-477.
Eric Johnston et al. 2010. “Managing the Inclusion Process in Collaborative Governance, JPART, 21: 699-721.