Developing Sustainable Partnerships
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Developing Sustainable Partnerships Between Fire Scientists and Decision-Makers. Timothy J. Brown and Crystal A. Kolden Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV Barbara J. Morehouse University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Partnership.

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Developing Sustainable Partnerships

Between Fire Scientists and Decision-Makers

Timothy J. Brown and Crystal A. Kolden

Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV

Barbara J. Morehouse

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ


Partnership

  • Requires a necessary foundation for the development of an iterative science-society collaboration

    • Society must develop a proprietary interest in the science and its applications

  • A sustainable partnership

    • Stakeholders who have the interest, social and economic capital, and motivation to sustain the enterprise


Basic Questions

  • What are “partnerships”?

  • What makes a partnership effective?


Partnership Synergy Factors

  • Synergy measures and example characteristics

    • Collaborative thinking (e.g., creativity, practical, innovative)

    • Partnership action (e.g., pooling and coordination of resources)

    • Relationships with community (e.g., focus on community problems)

    • Partner participation (e.g., extent of individual and organization participation)

    • Planning (e.g., development of realistic goals)

    • Management/administration (e.g., understand and document impacts of actions)


Determinants of Partnership Synergy

  • Synergy measures and example characteristics

    • Resources (e.g., money, information, connections)

    • Partnership characteristics (e.g., leadership characteristics, flexible management/administration, efficiency)

    • Relationships among partners (e.g., trust, confidence, respect)

    • External environments (e.g., community characteristics, public policies, organization policies)


California and Nevada Smoke and Air Committee

(CANSAC)

  • Comprises 9 federal, state and local agencies

    • USFS R5, BLM (CA & NV), FWS, NPS, USFS PSW, CDF, CARB, SJVA

  • Mission

    • Oversee the implementation and operation of the CEFA Operations and Forecast Facility

    • Facilitate the transfer of MM5 and other mesoscale meteorology research done by various agencies to the field for operational applications

    • Work closely with the other regional mesoscale meteorology modeling consortiums to improve model accuracy and the implementation of “Bluesky” and other programs


CANSAC Structure

  • Board of Directors

    • 9 members

  • Operational and Applications Group

    • 7 members

  • Technical Advisory Group

    • 5 members


Survey Method

  • 45 questions/statements

  • Ranked 1-5

    • 1 (strongly disagree); 5 (strongly agree)

    • 1 (very poor); 5 (very good)


Survey Categories

  • Partnership structure

  • Organizational design

  • Availability of resources

  • CANSAC management

  • Leadership

  • Progress


Sample Statements

  • A sufficient level of trust exists among CANSAC members

  • CANSAC has the flexibility to be innovative in how it approaches its work

  • Funding is sufficient

  • Management accountability

  • Ability to harmonize differences in members’ perspectives

  • Level of integration with stakeholders


Results

  • BOD and OAG strongly agreed that their organization’s interests are well integrated into the partnership

  • TAG less certain on the level of commitment

  • Disagreement between all 3 groups on question of having satisfactory access to the resources it needs

  • All 3 groups concerned with flexibility to allocate resources


Results (cont)

  • All 3 groups concerned with funding stability

  • BOD and TAG concerned about motivating members

  • BOD concerned about harmonizing member differences

  • BOD concerned about external communications and evaluation

  • OAG concerned about project evaluation process


Summary

  • Survey indicated an overall moderate level of satisfaction in terms of a CANSAC partnership

  • BOD and OAG feel strongly that their organization’s interests are well integrated into the partnership

  • CANSAC resources and project/product evaluation process needs improvement


Conclusions

  • CANSAC can be identified with a number of observed and theorized aspects of synergistic partnership characteristics and determinants

    • Serves as a useful model for scientist and decision-maker sustainable partnerships

  • Claiming a partnership is not satisfactory, nor realistic

    • It must be evaluated on an on-going basis with synergistic characteristics and determinants as measures

    • Various levels of project/product use and value must be assessed (e.g., operations, management)

  • It takes time to establish a partnership

    • 3 to 5 years of continuous effort is common


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