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In Layman’s Terms

At the 100th Annual Conference last week, ICMA’s Center for Management Strategies launched its Collaborative Service Delivery program. I for one had no idea what it was—that is, until about five minutes ago.

The official definition of ICMA’s Collaborative Service Delivery program is a “service to help local governments evaluate opportunities for collaboration, including public-public partnerships, public-private partnerships, and public-to-nonprofit partnerships.”

But I needed it explained in layman’s terms. What I’ve gathered is that local governments can sit down and say “Hey guys, City X has a great grasp on environmental sustainability and we don’t. Let’s team up with them.” Or they could say, “We don’t have the ability to do our own waste management, so let’s contract out to X company.” Or the conversation could go like this, “Our city would like to have X nonprofit take care of animal control and animal shelters.”

ICMA has a plethora of resources for local government professionals looking to collaborate:

  • There’s a free webinar (open until October 15) and an assessment tool that can be found here.
  • You can also go here to find over a dozen case studies and other resources under the Collaborative Service Delivery section.
  • And there was a question posted a while back when ICMA was developing this project that got great responses. So go here to see those.

In addition, ICMA recently published Alternative Service Delivery: Readiness Check, an e-book by Kurt Thurmaier and eight other contributors. This handbook offers information and insights that local governments can use to provide public services more effectively and efficiently. Check it out and the full library of ICMA e-books here.

I hope these resources have given you something new today that will help you and your local government be the best that it can be. Be sure to leave your comments below, answer and/or ask questions on the Knowledge Network, and send me your funny stories.

Jesse Himes
Knowledge Network Intern