Over the past eighteen months the WI has undertaken a four part series of research and policy papers dealing with the issue of collaboration in the NFP sector. The first report in our collaboration series, We can’t do business like this, dealt with the need to change the funding and accountability model so that NFP executives could spend more time leading than administering.
Today’s release, From Many Voices: Learnings from the MISWAA Project Multi-Stakeholder Process, examines the complex collaboration process undergone by the Task Force for Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults (MISWAA). While collaborative working models are recognized as key for the long term well-being of the non-profit sector, the complexity and fluidity of multi-stakeholder processes and inter-agency collaboration often face a number of challenges in building, facilitating, and managing these innovative and rich working environments. This report by Margot Lettner and the Wellesley Institute, in conjunction with various MISWAA partners, aims to capture and explore the experiences, opportunities and challenges they faced in their multi-stakeholder process, and identify conditions needed for success in collaborative projects involving the non-profit, public, and private sectors. Some of the findings from today’s release show:
- MISWAA created “believers” in the multi-stakeholder process: after participating MISWAA, 100% of the respondents, representing all three sectors, stated that they would participate in a multi-stakeholder process
- It was the problem that counted: a clear, concise understanding of what brought the participants together, despite their diverse approaches to solutions, is what made the collaborative process succeed
- It was the “big picture” that made people resolve conflict and work for consensus: 75% of participants to the survey stated that, while they compromised their voice or changed their views during MISWAA, they did so because they believed that working together was more important
From Many Voices offers an invaluable stakeholder view of the multi-sector collaborative process, and over the next few weeks we will be adding to our knowledge base of best practices for collaboration in the NFP sector with the release of the last two reports in our collaboration series:
- Deliberate Relationships between Government and the Non-Profit Sector
- Collaboration in the Third Secto:; from co-petition to impact driven cooperation