Collaborative Development Tools
Collaborative strategy is called for where the need and intent are to change fundamentally the way services are designed and delivered. Successful collaborations bring together individuals, agencies, organizations, and community members to systematically solve existing and emerging problems that could not easily be solved by one group alone. Collaborations should focus on increasing capacity, strengthening communications and efficiencies while improving outcomes.
Each community collaborative becomes a partner-supported and sustained initiative. Coordinating existing services, sharing resources, and leveraging available funds will help ensure the long-term sustainability of efforts. Duplication will be minimized and service capacity increased. Funding is a finite resource however it shouldn't be a barrier. Many Kansas community collaboratives have launched initiatives without new funding by capitalizing on existing resources. Understanding what resources are available among partners can help you collectively design a model that leverages systems, services, and resources more effectively.
Assessing the current infrastructure (partners, services, programs, and resources) provides the foundation for developing a sustainable community collaborative. This also provides the mechanism to determine service gaps and identify current and emerging community needs.
Key questions to consider:
- Who are the Maternal and Child Health champions in your community?
- Who are the top five organizations that should be included in the collaborative effort?
- What roles could each partner agency fulfill?
- Who could serve as the lead agency(ies) in your collaborative?
- How will you collectively promote programs in your community?
- Where will your clients come from? Who can make referrals?
- How can you target specific disparity groups (low income, African American, Hispanic, etc.)
Tools to Assist
Tools to assist with the community infrastructure assessment (intended to be used by key stakeholders present at first perinatal community collaborative planning meeting):
Next Steps After the Initial Meeting
- Decide when and how often the group will meet again. Set a target date.
- Determine who will be in charge of contacting everyone to schedule the next meeting, assuring the work will continue to move forward.
- Confirm contact information for initial and proposed participants. Designate individuals to reach out to new partners.
- Decide if there are tasks to be completed before the next meeting and determine who is charged with each of these tasks.