What is cross-sectoral collaboration?
Partnership, consultation, cross-sectoral measures, cross-sectoral collaboration, etc. One thing that is essential to creating and maintaining a cross-sectoral collaboration is that professionals from different sectors share a common language. We have put together a few definitions collected over the course of our research that will allow you to clarify certain concepts :
A partnership consists of carrying out a joint project among several stakeholders that is founded on a
contractual commitment that can take the form of a contract or a formal agreement. This association leads to
responsibilities for the stakeholders with respect to planning, implementing the project and evaluating the mandates and planned actions. For a partnership to be successful, it is essential that the partners come to an agreement on the objectives and principles of which they have a shared understanding.
“We need very specific partnerships and agreements […]. The partnership could be temporary; however, it has to be clearly defined.”
— Institutional stakeholder
Faced with a common issue, stakeholders voluntarily commit to consulting with one another as part of
a formal and informal process to develop and implement collective strategies. Pooling resources through consultation makes it possible to jointly tackle complex issues. However, it is important to be aware that disagreements may arise due to the wide range of viewpoints and issues originating from the multitude of stakeholders, organizations and sectors involved in the consultation.
The prior existence of a partnership is essential to cross-sectoral measures. This process involves stakeholders coming from various activity sectors who have distinct mandates, organizational philosophies and modus operandi, even if they are complementary. In order to resolve a complex problem, cross-sectoral measures require the establishment of a global action plan, which is the result of sustained collaborative efforts by the stakeholders involved.
Cross-sectoral collaboration takes place when stakeholders from different activity sectors work closely with each other on a common issue by sharing skills, information, resources and activities. Cross-
sectoral collaboration makes it possible to jointly produce results that organizations would not be able to achieve by working only in their sector. This collaborative work also provides mutual benefit to the different sectors involved, which translates into a collaborative benefit for everyone.
“This means developing a common understanding while maintaining the special character of the intervention and combining the more structured and regulated intervention of the Youth Protection Act, with the community-based approach, which is very different.”
— Institutional stakeholder
- Centre de recherche Léa-Roback sur les inégalités sociales de santé de Montréal. (2018). Quels sont les effets de l’action intersectorielle locale sur les milieux de vie et comment sont-ils produits? Recovered from (PDF) (Only in french)
- Danaher, A. (2011). Reducing Health Inequities : Enablers and Barriers to Inter-sectoral Collaboration. Recovered from the website of the Wellesley Institute (PDF)
- Direction de santé publique de la Montérégie. (2012). Définition des concepts et des principes d’intervention en développement des communautés. Recovered from (PDF) (Only in french)
- Health Nexus. (2017). Planning for partnership. Recovered from (PDF)
- Leclerc, B-S. et Lessard, S. (2015). Évaluation de la qualité d’un partenariat dans le cadre de la mise en place d’une intervention intersectorielle de type école, famille et communauté. Recovered from (PDF) (Only in french)
- Marion, E. (2018). Construire la collaboration intersectorielle pour favoriser la réussite scolaire des jeunes en situation de placement : naviguer entre problématisations et controverses (Thèse de doctorat, École nationale d’administration publique, Montréal, Québec). Recovered from (PDF) (Only in french)
- Pedneault, J. (2013). Pourquoi et comment développer des partenariats intersectoriels? Bulletin du printemps 2013. Réseau Conseil Interdisciplinaire du Québec (Only in french)
- Public Health Agency of Canada. (2016). Canadian Best Practices Portal : Key Element 6 : Collaborate Across Sectors and Levels. Recovered from (Link)