Memorandum of understanding creating formal partnerships
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Memorandum of Understanding: Creating Formal Partnerships. What is a Memorandum of Understanding ?.

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What is a memorandum of understanding
What is a Memorandum of Understanding?

  • Document describing a bilateral or multilateralagreement between parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action and may not imply a legal commitment. It is a more formal alternative to a gentlemen's agreement, but in some cases, depending on the exact wording, lacks the binding power of a contract.

Why do you need mous
Why Do You Need MOUs?

2008 USDA Guideline requirements for all contractors:

  • Describe efforts to coordinate, complement, supplement other FNS programs in order to deliver consistent behavior-focused nutrition messages.

  • FSNE projects delivered in coordination with other agencies to submit a written agreement (e.g. MOU) clearly outlining the responsibilities of all agencies involved in the collaboration.

  • Written agreements for all collaborations that involve any type of financial or budget management issues such as cost sharing, in-kind services, etc…


  • Creates an opportunity for dialogue

  • Clearly outlines expectations of partners

  • Ensure smooth operations where there are shared resources or workflows.

  • Establishes a more formal relationship

  • Strengthens credibility of partnership

  • Helps you measure if your partnership is accomplishing what you want

What should the mou cover
What Should the MOU cover?







Acs nci cdph

The California Department of Public Health, Cancer Prevention and Nutrition Section (CDPH) will participate in this partnership to support planning and implementation of the Body & Soul program throughout California to increase the fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity levels for Californians and reduce the rates of chronic disease. Specifically, CDPH will:

Acs nci cdph1

  • Identify lead contacts in each region to partner with the identified ACS and NCI/CIS contacts

  • Provide training to ACS and NCI/CIS regional leads on:

    • Body and Soul implementation and peer counseling

  • Provide training in conjunction with NCI and ACS to provide marketing, training and technical assistance to 25 churches per region to ensure at least 12 churches per region adopt and implement the Body & Soul program annually.

Acs nci cdph2

  • Communicate and coordinate on research, materials, and marketing of Body & Soul

  • Share program results with ACS and NCI/CIS

  • Ensure local CDPH staff is adequately trained to provide technical assistance to Body & Soul churches.

  • Ensure CDPH staff connects with regional NCI and ACS staff to develop coordinated action plans for implementing Body & Soul program within their region.

  • CDPH staff will inform NCI and ACS staff on the efforts, activities, and responsibilities of CDPH in the region.

Discussion questions
Discussion Questions

  • Describe a successful partnership between two agencies. Is an MOU in place? If no, how could this partnership benefit from having an MOU?

  • What challenges may you have in getting MOUs with partners? How have you overcome those challenges?

  • What resources do you need from the state-level Campaign to aid you in developing MOUs with partners?

Where do i start
Where Do I Start?

  • Identify an authorized representative(s) at each partner agency

  • Discuss purpose and benefits of having an MOU with partners and get buy-in

  • Outline roles, responsibilities, timeframe – Keep It Short and Simple

  • Request a review of the draft MOU prior to requesting signatures and allow time for changes

  • Obtain appropriate approvals and signatures

  • Review MOUs annually

  • When in doubt, consult legal counsel

Mous put another way
MOUs put another way

  • Document that expresses mutual accord on an issue between two or more parties. MOUs are generally recognized as binding, even if no legalclaim could be based on the rights and obligations laid down in them. To be legally operative, a MOU must (1) identify the contracting parties, (2) spell out the subject matter of the agreement and its objectives, (3) summarize the essential terms of the agreement, and (4) must be signed by the contracting parties.