The Center for Public Collaboration offers organizations seeking our help a free initial consultation to determine your needs and how we can help. The Center for Public Collaboration manages projects in the following areas:
Community-Building and Neighborhood Development
Neighborhood and property owners’ associations, community development corporations, and other neighborhood and community-based groups face multiple and ever-changing challenges in meeting the needs of the communities they serve. We provide expert advice, strategic planning and data analysis services to neighborhood and community-based organizations to help:
- Assess neighborhood conditions and concerns
- Develop long-term community and neighborhood plans
- Mediate land use disputes
- Develop community identity
- Promote public participation in community affairs
- Collaborate with other neighborhood organizations and local governments to solve problems and plan for the future.
As part of these services, we can provide you with a plan for your neighborhood that describes its conditions; lays out your vision for the neighborhood’s future; and describes strategies tailored to your community and organization that you can use to reach that vision. Working with our partners at the Survey Research Center, we can offer additional data gathering and analysis services that your organization may require.
Issue Assessment and Collaborative Problem Solving
The process of developing effective solutions to local and regional public problems often becomes mired in disagreements between key stakeholders, public officials and private individuals. We work with local governments and community organizations seeking effective solutions for public problems affecting multiple stakeholders to help them:
- Define, measure and describe the nature and scope of public problems that affect multiple stakeholders
- Identify and contact relevant stakeholders towards developing solutions.
- Design collaborative arrangement amongst stakeholders that will mitigate public problems that they share.
- Troubleshoot dysfunctional collaborative arrangements and facilitate solutions to increase effectiveness.
As part of these services, we can prepare a technical report for you that fully describes the problem at hand and that lays out a range of options for how stakeholders can work together to address the problem. In addition, with our partners in the Survey Research Center we can offer additional data gathering and analysis services that your organization may require. We will work with your organization to develop solutions that meet the circumstances that you face.
Meeting and Process Facilitation
Clear communication among stakeholders is a necessary condition to successful public problem solving. Very often this is best managed through face-to-face meetings among stakeholders and/or in an open public forum. We act as an honest and impartial broker in meetings between stakeholders aimed at negotiating solutions to public problems. We can help this process by:
- Preparing pre-meeting briefing materials for participants
- Facilitating meeting and breakout sessions among stakeholders
- Organizing or moderating town-hall style public forums on pressing and sensitive public issues
- Preparing post-meeting materials that provide minutes or notes and that describe meeting outcomes
Public Collaboration and Conflict Management Training
Organizations often need in-house staff who can manage public conflict and negotiate collaborative arrangements with governments and other organizations. With our partners at the Arkansas Public Administration Consortium, we meet these needs by offering custom-designed workshops in collaboration and conflict-mediation. Our training is appropriate for government managers and employees, elected officials, and business and nonprofit professionals who are involved with public issues. Workshops may be from 2 to 8 hours in length. Among other topics, we offer training in:
- Skills and best practices for successful interagency and public/private collaboration
- Managing and negotiating public conflicts effectively
- Increasing public support for controversial state and local policies and regulations