Four general designs for collaboration


 Search conference

  • The focus of the search conference is (...) enhancing the stakeholders'  shared understanding of the dynamics that operaate on the domain.
  • Staeholders come together for two to three days in a workshoplike setting.
  • The first session examines trends in society as a whole that will impact the future of the domain.
  • In the second session a historical analysis of the problem domain is reconstructed by the stakeholders
  • (I)n session three the participants examine the gap between the current state of the domain and thier idealized future.
  • (D)uring session four, when relevan constraints and opportunities are considered.
  • Three important outcomes are evident; First, (...) communication between stakeholders is opened up. Second, group articulation of and identification with a set of ideals occurs. Third, a basis for self-regulation of the domain emerges from the acknowledgment of shared values. Search conferences serve primarily as problem-setting and direction-setting mechanisms for the domain.

Community gatherings

  • These gatherings are often inspired by the efforts of a local group for a limited purpose but eventually assume a larger community agenda.



Public-pricate partnerships

  • are designed to merge public- and private-sector resources to counteract a community problem.
  • PPP often begin as partnerships among business leaders and then expand to include nonprofit and public-sector stakeholders. e.g. David Rockfeller assembled business leaders from major NY corporations to form the NYCP (New York City Partnership) in 1979. The partnership combined the NY Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Dconomic Development Council.
  • obstacles for PPP: differences in motivations, long histories of political maneuvering and suspicion of each other's motives among the public, pricate, and nonprofit sectors

Joint ventures

R&D consortia



Public meetings

  • to gather information about a problem

Policy dialogues

  • to open up discussion among the parties, to identify and promote increased understanding of the issues that may be subject to debate, and to assess the extent of controversy that exists.



Site-specific disputes

  • numerous site-specific environmental and development disputes have the potential to be resolved using collaborative approaches.
  • site-specific disputes have several key features that distinguish them from policy-level collaborations: (1) involve parties whose personal and economic well-being is directly tied up in the dispute. (2) frequently involve groups who are not formally organized and may not have leadership or representative spolespersons. (3) involve very complex technical issues. (4) parties bring to the negotiation very different assessments of the risk associated with the proposals and different confidence levels about the possibilities of ensuring against risk.
  • NIMBY problem: "not in my backyard." The nimby problem results from an unequal distribution of costs and benefits.
  • traditional efforts to address the conflicts associated with site-specific disputes have focused on either the technical or the legal aspects of these disputes. however, these approaches fail to address the underlying reasons for the conflict and usually prove to be stopgap measures rather than long-term solutions.
  • Under these circumstances collaborative designs offer the most promise for resolving disputes fairly and wisely.

Negotiated rule-making


  • one form of dispute resolution that has proved particularly useful for resolving multiparty disputes
  • a structured, nonbinding proceedings in which the principals themselves negotiate a settlement after hearing summaries of the evidence from all sides.
  • it avoids extended pretrial preparation and protracted evidentiary hearings on the legal and technical details of the case.*1

*1:Gray (1989) "Collaborating - Finding common ground for multiparty problems -". Jossey-Bass Publishers. pp.177-225