DYCD’s Continuum of Partnerships was adopted from Arthur T. Himmelman, A Developmental Continuum of Working Together Strategies, 2017

Full definitions

Here are Himmelman’s definitions for the different stops along the Continuum:

NETWORKING is defined as exchanging information for mutual benefit.

Networking is the most informal of the inter-organizational linkages and often reflects an initial level of trust, limited time availability, and a reluctance to share turf.

Example: A public health department and neighborhood health center exchange information about how they each support healthy early child development.

COORDINATING is defined as exchanging information and altering activities for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose.

Coordinating requires more organizational involvement than networking and is a very crucial change strategy. Coordinated services are “user-friendly” and eliminate or reduce barriers for those seeking access to them. Compared to networking, coordinating involves more time, higher levels of trust yet little or no access to each other’s turf.

Example: A public health department and neighborhood health center exchange information about how they each support healthy early child development, and decide to alter service schedules so that they can provide their combined support in a more user-friendly manner.

COOPERATING is defined as exchanging information, altering activities, and sharing resources for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose.

Cooperating requires greater organizational commitments than networking or coordinating and, in some cases, may involve written (perhaps, even legal) agreements. Shared resources can encompass a variety of human, financial, and technical contributions, including knowledge, staffing, physical property, access to people, money, and others. Cooperating can require a substantial amount of time, high levels of trust, and significant access to each other’s turf.

Example: A public health department and a neighborhood health center exchange information about how they each support healthy early child development, decide to alter service schedules, and agree to share neighborhood outreach resources to increase the effectiveness of their support.

COLLABORATING is defined as exchanging information, altering activities, sharing resources, and enhancing the capacity of another for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose.  This includes sharing risks, responsibilities, and rewards.

The qualitative difference between collaborating and cooperating in this definition is the willingness of organizations (or individuals) to enhance each other’s capacity for mutual benefit and a common purpose. In this definition, collaborating is a relationship in which each organization wants to help its partners become the best that they can be at what they do. This definition also assumes that when organizations collaborate they share risks, responsibilities, and rewards, each of which contributes to enhancing each other’s capacity to achieve a common purpose. Collaborating is usually characterized by substantial time commitments, very high levels of trust, and extensive areas of common turf. A short definition of organizational collaboration is a process in which organizations exchange information, alter activities, share resources, and enhance each other’s capacity for mutual benefit and a common purpose by sharing risks, responsibilities, and rewards.

Example: A public health department and a neighborhood health center exchange information about how they each support healthy early child development, decide to alter service schedules, share neighborhood outreach resources, and provide skill development training for each other’s staff to enhance each other’s capacity to support healthy early child development. As you move along the Continuum, the “working together” strategies move from informal to formal, require more and more time investment and higher levels of trust and turf sharing.   There is no ideal stage to be at on the collaboration continuum. Each individual or entity needs to discern for themselves what type of partnership they need depending on the goals, expectations, and needs of a partnership.


Expectations for DYCD providers

As DYCD continues to work with and adopt the Continuum, we’ve begun to develop some sharper expectations of how these different stops on the Continuum for working together might look if they’re being done effectively and well.  Here’s what we are beginning to look for in our DYCD funded agency partnerships as they work along the Continuum:

TO NETWORK

DYCD Expectations Definition Exchange information for mutual benefit The program intentionally connects with other organizations in the neighborhood, especially other DYCD-funded programs, for the purpose of (a) building/strengthening local provider networks; (b) helping ensure that everyone has reliable information about each other’s services; and (c) sharing experience and best practices.
Examples   Program attends convening of local providers where there are opportunities for everyone to exchange information, get to know each other, learn from each other, and develop relationships. Program possesses or can access up-to-date information about other neighborhood services, especially, other DYCD-funded programs.Program joins with others to create and maintain a shared resource directory for use by all local network providers. Program keeps abreast of local issues, e.g., by attending public hearings or meetings of the local community board or neighborhood coalitions, where important information is shared and discussed.

TO COORDINATE

DYCD Expectations Definition   Exchange information and modify activities for mutual benefit. Program makes formal or informal arrangements with other organizations that cause a change in the way it operates, benefiting participants and partners.
Examples   Event synchronization.  Program checks in with other local providers before fixing dates for major events to prevent scheduling clashes.Coordination of schedules. Program coordinates its schedule with others to ensure that everyone who provides services at the same site is able to take advantage of key resources/facilities – e.g., gym, cafeteria, library, computer lab, auditorium, etc.Referrals.  Program has a formal or informal arrangement whereby it refers its participants to another organization for services beyond its scope–e.g., ESOL program refers participants to a Legal Services provider; RHY Drop-in center refers participants to a Health/Mental Health services provider; Beacon program refers older youth to a workforce training program.  Occasional joint outings/projects.  Program intermittently participates in a joint outing or project with another organization for the benefit of participants- e.g., to take advantage of cheaper ticket prices for shows or events made available to larger groups, or to help build relationships between participants enrolled in separate programs.Agreements that result in a new program practice –e.g., where a program and ACS agree that their case managers will, on a regular basis, schedule “joint case conferencing” sessions on shared participants.

TO COOPERATE

DYCD Expectations Definition Exchange information modifies activities and share resources for mutual benefit to achieve a common purpose. Program has a formal arrangement with another organization for the explicit purpose of enriching/expanding its services for the benefit of participants or meeting a program requirement mandated by DYCD. The arrangement is defined and documented through, e.g., a written agreement, formal contract, MOU, etc., and often involves the delivery of specified program services by the partner.
Examples   Arrangements whereby two programs agree to share specialist staff – e.g., arrangements to share an education specialist, STEM expert, sports instructor, etc. Partner provides specified program services on a regular basis Partner delivers some portion of program services, onsite or offsite, for an entire year or another specified period, under a co-locator or subcontract agreement. The services are integral to the program design and may fulfill a program component mandated by DYCD (e.g., employers who agree to provide job/internships for participants in workforce programs).Such partnerships allow organizations to specialize, thereby raising overall program quality.  Examples include sports, arts, music, poetry, drama, and STEM activities; health or dental services; legal services; ESOL/computer classes; job/internship placements. Partner provides specified program services on an intermittent basis. Examples include:Annual/quarterly health fairs or job fairs that are part of the program services but are organized and delivered by partners who are specialists in the field of healthcare or employment. Organized museum tours that areintegral to a program activitybut conducted by museum staff.Satellite site agreementsPartner makes a site available for regular use by the program so that certain activities that could not otherwise be offered to participants can be scheduled–e.g., basketball in an offsite gym; performance arts in an offsite auditorium, swimming classes at an off-site pool. Services at a satellite site are delivered by the program, not the partner who controls the site.

TO COLLABORATE

DYCD Expectations Definition Exchange information, modify activities and share resources, and enhance the capacity of another for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose by sharing risks, resources, responsibilities, and rewards Partners embrace shared goals and commit to working together to implement a jointly-planned program/initiative in accordance with an explicit agreement that sets out, at a minimum, the parties’ respective roles, responsibilities and contributions, and an agreed process for addressing challenges and settling disputes.
Examples   School Partnership Agreements (SPAs)–e.g. SPAs with the host school in school-based COMPASS or Beacon programs. SPAs set out in writing points agreed by the partners prior to contract award and include the following kinds of terms:School Principal and Program Director will meet regularly to promote the achievement of agreed goals.School will make specified classrooms, facilities and resources available for program use and the program will comply with protocols regarding their useProgram will coordinate its activities with any other activities that take place at the School.School and Program will resolve conflicts through timely joint problem-solving at appropriate levels.School will encourage students to participate in the Program; Program will encourage student engagement in school.