Through lessons learned from years past and the ever changing political climate, demonstrated collaboration is quickly growing as a way for funders to measure an organization's capacity and willingness to really address a public health issue. Quickly fading are the days when services and funds were siloed within one organizations. However, many organizations have not caught wind of the necessity of collaborations or are not demonstrating robust collaborations in, for instance, program plans or in grant proposals. Many organizations only see the added work and cost of collaborating. However, an effective collaboration will pay for itself through efficiency. When efforts are focused and concerted, practices such as recruitment and retention and continuity of care are often less cumbersome by virtue of the streamlined efforts from multiple agencies. Furthermore, where collective effort is utilized, costs are often spread amongst collaborators, reducing the cost and manpower necessary had the task been done by a single organization.
Effective collaborations are those that have a shared vision, data and collection methods or tools, shared measurements, well delegated tasks, regular and consistent communication methods. Technology has made this all too easy. It is also very important to have at least one staff person whose job is to ensure cohesion between the collaborators and provide support for planned activities. This central contact could be administrative or upper level staff. The intent is to have someone whose job (or part of their job) is to keep the partners on track. Another important detail that should be ironed out very soon in the collaboration process is determining who can realistically do what and applying timelines and measurable outcomes to those task. Of course, a good collaboration evaluates itself on an ongoing basis and takes meaningful feedback constructively and with the intent to act upon recommendations quickly.
Book a consultation call with us to chat more about improving your collaborations.