How can we make cross-sectoral collaborations successful?
Organizations often come up against several barriers when developing and maintaining cross-sectoral collaborations. Among others, they often have to deal with a high employee turnover, making it difficult to maintain contacts and to develop informal relationships between partners. The diversity of missions, approaches and professional practices can also be barriers to collaboration, as they can lead to confrontations between the partners involved.
In light of these observations, here are 11 tips to help a cross-sectoral collaboration succeed :
“I believe in collaborations, because I see the benefits […] I know that it’s worth it, but you have to put a lot of effort into the partnership, which not everyone understands.”
— Institutional stakeholder
Recognize the necessity and the advantages of working collaboratively and be willing to invest in it.
Sit down together to establish what knowledge is shared, and create a common language to define sexual
exploitation and its issues.
Know and respect the mandates, approaches, strengths, limitations and political-administrative context of your partners, among others things, in order to be aware of their expertise.
Respect your partners and have faith in their competencies.
Make sure that there is fairness and an equal sharing of power between you and your partners.
Together, clearly identify the vision, the values, the objectives, the expected results and the roles of everyone within the collaboration, in addition to making sure that they align with the organizational objectives of each of your partners. To do this, it is highly recommended that you draft a common action plan by using a participative and inclusive approach.
Select someone to represent the collaboration, a person who through their leadership skills will act as a spokesperson to represents everyone’s interests and to inspire trust, motivation and inclusion of all involved parties.
Obtain the support required from your management to ensure the long-term viability of the collaboration. This implies, among others things, freeing up time for the employees involved to ensure that they participate.
Provide ongoing training, networking and the sharing of experiences and good practices, to highlight everyone’s
expertise. These opportunities encourage feedback, and promote exchanges and the transmission of knowledge and information between those involved.
Plan activities and/or informal moments during meetings to encourage a sense of belonging to the collaboration and to help establish a relationship of trust between the stakeholders.
Evaluate the collaboration and its accomplishments by documenting lessons learned.
- Bodkin, A. and Kranias, G. (2017). What successful partnerships do : 6 key activities. Recovered from (PDF)
- CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale. (2018). Manuel du formateur : Prévention et intervention en exploitation sexuelle et prostitution juvénile. Unpublished document. 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)
- Hodgson, K. (2010). Governing for Partnership Success. Recovered from (PDF)
- Hope Corbin, J., Jones, J. et Barry, M. (2018). What makes intersectoral partnerships for health promotion work? A review of the international literature. Health Promotion International. 33(1), 4-26. Recovered from (link)
- 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)
- Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. (2017). Le soutien à l’action intersectorielle favorable à la santé : Stratégie ministérielle. 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)