Striving Toward a Brighter Future in Ohio Through Intergovernmental Collaboration
Motivators for Collaboration*
For the past several years, the KSU Center has produced reports and studies on intergovernmental collaboration. These studies have been funded by a number of supporters, including the Fund for Our Economic Future (FFEF), the Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration (OCLGRC), and the Northeast Ohio Research Consortium (NEORC). Collectively, these reports and publications provide knowledge regarding who is collaborating, why they are collaborating, what motivates them and what hinders collaborative progress. They also identify factors leading to progress in initiating and maintaining collaborative efforts. The Center’s reports and publications on local government collaboration can be found on Our Research Page.
Some key findings from these reports and studies are as follows: Timeline of Beginning Efforts*
- Intergovernmental collaboration provides opportunities for cost savings, economic development, and local government service improvement.
- Successful collaborations are occurring in a range of policy areas, including economic development, emergency services, and infrastructure management.
- Two factors appear to be particularly important in fostering progress in inter-governmental collaboration: (1) external incentives through grants or mandates, and; (2) patterns of past interaction that build trust among participants which enables progress.
- In one survey, 60% of the local collaborators surveyed in 2009 (n=52) stated that economic development was a motivator of their collaboration.*
- Local government collaboration also appears to be growing: in one survey, 40% indicated their collaborative efforts began as recently as 2009, an increase from previous years.*
Intergovernmental Collaborative Inventory
Based on our inventory work to date, we know that intergovernmental collaboration is happening in Ohio. Between the Center’s inventory of local government collaborations and the Ohio Auditor’s Shared Services Idea Center, we have identified 143 collaborative actions already taking place in the 16-county region of Northeast Ohio. In addition, there are many more ideas for collaborative projects in our communities. If these collaborative ideas became collaborative actions, NE Ohio could nearly DOUBLE the number of local government collaborations actively taking place. Fostering collaboration to improve efficiency and effectiveness in government is only possible if local governments move from talking about collaborating to actually doing it.
Collaborative Ideas make up almost HALF of the collaborations tracked by the Centers Collaborative Inventory and the Auditor of states Shared Services Idea Center.