An Analysis of What Makes Collaborative Efforts Successful

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Our world’s problems are complex, often crossing boundaries between different communities and sectors. However, many of our attempts towards solutions remain siloed. These silos prevent information sharing and create inefficiencies. When entities work alone efforts can be duplicated, which can stifle knowledge growth. Research agencies, funders, and policies are pushing for more collaborative approaches, but success is not a foregone conclusion. The Bridge Collaborative is a new effort between public health, development, and environmental sustainability organizations that works across silos to support evidence-based research, design, and planning. Based on a literature review and interviews, 10 findings were identified from this analysis as preferably needed in order for efforts, including the Bridge Collaborative, to be successful. The findings fell into three types of categories: foundational conditions, structure and governance, and outcomes and accountabilities. Foundational conditions are needed to initially convene the effort and get it off the ground. They serve as the base from which everything else develops. Structure and governance is the glue that successfully holds the effort together. Without these components, the effort may get started but struggle to take off and be successful. Finally, there are outcomes and accountabilities that need to happen for long-term success. Without these components the others may eventually fall apart and the effort fade away. For the Collaborative specifically, a majority of these findings are in place, especially the foundational conditions. Outcomes and accountabilities is the main area that will need attention if the Collaborative is to succeed long-term.





Remlinger, Lisa (2018). An Analysis of What Makes Collaborative Efforts Successful. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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