This month the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released a new report on collaboration titled What Makes Collaborative Initiatives Work? As an extension of its efforts to share information on topics beneficial to state and local government, NASCIO released a follow-up report focusing specifically on governance and its importance in the success of these intergovernmental partnerships.

“With this report, we’re highlighting a key factor to the success of any collaborative,” said Sonny Bhagowalia, co-chair of the NASCIO Cross-Jurisdictional Collaboration working group and chief information officer for the state of Hawaii, in a statement. “We’re developing a growing library of resources that can assist states and local governments in the evaluation of opportunities for collaboration and the successful implementation of formal arrangements.”

According to the report, effective governance means explicitly outlining who makes the decisions and how, who has a say in important matters, who must approve versus who must provide input as well as when decision-makers convene during a decision-making process.

The report highlights examples of effective governance in government collaboration, including Local Government Information Systems (LOGIS) – a consortium made up of local government agencie in Minnesota. LOGIS members maintain control of funding decisions, guided by an annual budget and workplan.

“Governance for LOGIS has maintained a fairly simple arrangement,” the report said. “Advice for other collaboratives – keep it simple – sometimes less is more.”

The full report can be found here in NASCIO’s list of publications.

Last year, NASCIO launched the Cross-Jurisdictional Collaboration Working Group and re-chartered it this year in order to learn new and effective methods of collaboration in state and local government.