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The Innovator's Collaborative Series

Tuesday, June 28 2011.  Kent State University's (KSU) Center for Public Administration and Public Policy (KSU Center) is releasing information on 142 collaborative actions that are currently  being implemented in Northeast Ohio.  

The latest release can be accessed below, and from the left hand navigation menu.

Actions-Ideas by Service Area
This listing of collaborative actions has emerged from research conducted by the KSU Center over the past several years, and we are also transmitting this list to the State of Ohio's Auditor's Office for inclusion in their Shared Services Idea Center.
 
On May 31, 2011, the Center released 105 Ideas Sorted by County.  The Center has also released a brief summary of key information on local government collaboration that has emerged from the KSU Center's research, along with several short stories about initiatives that are being implemented. This information can be accessed through the links below, and the left navigation menu. 
                                                                                                                     Ideas by Service Area                            Actions by Service Area    

Some key findings and information emerging from the Center's work include:

  • In northeast Ohio, there a number of early adaptors and innovators in the field of intergovernmental collaboration - a movement which began before the announcement of the impending cuts in state funding for local governments.
  • Many of the local government collaboration efforts being investigated are moving beyond the stage of talk to action and implementation – 58% of the documented efforts are active in some fashion.
  • Participants in surveys and focus groups are voicing a need for information, assistance, and tools to assist them in transforming local governance through collaboration.
  • Among the service areas categorized by the Center, Public Safety, Economic Development and Transportation, and Public Works are most prevalent within the lists of ideas and actions being released.
  • Other categories of service such as Health and Environment, Planning, and Education are also popular among collaborative innovators.
Why Intergovernmental Collaboration?

State of OhioProposals to reduce local government funding have caught the attention of local governments in Ohio. At a time when local government revenue has been declining due to the impacts of the recent recession, the state appears to be sending a message to local governments: "find new, more efficient and more effective ways to operate."

Recent efforts by innovative leaders in Ohio suggest that intergovernmental collaboration can improve efficiency through cost savings, by sharing costs on supplies and equipment through group purchasing, and it can improve services by sharing resources of staff or specialty equipment. Working together in innovative ways to re-define the structures, roles, and sometimes jurisdictional boundaries are ways local governments can persevere through the budget cuts ahead. In fact, in northeast Ohio, innovative leaders have been forging the trail for others.

 
Innovative Leadership
 
CPAPPSeveral organizations have been developing ways to assist local governments in making the kinds of transformations that are needed to improve governance and move the state forward in the Twenty-First century. The State of Ohio Auditor's Office in fall of 2010 unveiled its Shared Services Idea Center. The idea is that local governments can use the web-based Shared Services Idea Center to look for innovative ideas on sharing costs or sharing services that they can then Auditorimplement in their communities.  Users of the Shared Services Idea Center can also enter collaborative ideas from their own communities on the website to assist others. Advance Northeast Ohio, an economic development initiative of the Fund for Our Economic Future, has also sought to improve government efficiency and effectiveness.  In 2009 and 2010, it provided financial incentives and recognition for local governments in northeast Ohio to collaborate through its EfficientGovNow initiative.  Through these efforts, both of these organizations have highlighted a number of initiatives undertaken by innovative local government leaders in Ohio. Valuable ideas and best practices are ANEOemerging from the efforts of these organizations and officials -- particularly in Northeast Ohio. 

KSU's Center for Public Administration and Public Policy (the KSU Center) has worked collaboratively with the Ohio State Auditor's office and with the Fund for our Economic Future to build knowledge on local government collaboration and to assist communities in becoming more efficient and effective.  This announcement provides some initial information growing from these FFEFefforts.
 
The KSU Center has a 30 year history of working with local governments to help them improve their capacities and performance. For the past several years, the Center has worked to expand its knowledge, through research, education, and networking efforts on intergovernmental collaboration and its benefits to local governments. The center has shared data, conducted research, published reports, informed the Ohio Legislature and conducted numerous educational sessions for local governments to learn about intergovernmental collaboration, its benefits, its challenges, and its impacts on cost savings and service improvement.  For more information on findings from the KSU Center's recent research, please access our Research Overview.