Transparency, accountability, engagement (and all those other buzz words that we perhaps overuse), have a downside – heightened Public expectations for improved Service Delivery. The Public sees, ever more clearly, that we are not being cost and resource efficient in getting this done.
Collaboration as an approach to the delivery of local services, focuses on sharing costs and benefits by two or more organizations working together, to address a need in a way that achieves efficiency and effectiveness that would not be realized by one organization operating alone.
Most local government jurisdictions do “go it alone” by producing their services in-house. Certain services and certain kinds of communities may be able to develop alternative service delivery arrangements, such as a collaborative arrangement, that improves the quality of service and the satisfaction of citizens.
But the key to a true collaboration, as opposed to other alternative service delivery models such as contracting or privatization, is that all the partners in the collaboration must share in the burden of the costs as well as in reaping the rewards. In other words, all partners must have a stake in the joint endeavor for the arrangement to be considered a collaboration and for the collaboration to have a reasonable likelihood of succeeding.
Collaborative service delivery of local services is not new. What is new is the attention such collaborative approaches are receiving from academics, political officials, practitioners, and consultants. The ICMA, the Alliance for Innovation, and the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University, have developed a valuable decision tool to assist local governments in determining whether collaborative services are a good fit for them and suggesting ways to proceed accordingly.
The PSR Customer Service system is the perfect match for helping to achieve a smooth transition to collaborative services, gaining solid support from all stakeholders along the way.
Please come and see us at the 2015 ICMA Conference in Seattle, Booth 101. We’ll show you live implementations and perhaps help with your challenges.