Governance is a broader concept than government and also includes the roles played by the community sector and the private sector in managing and planning countries, regions and cities. Collaborative governance involves the government, community and private sectors communicating with each other and working together to achieve more than any one sector could achieve on its own. Ansell and Gash (2008) have explored the conditions required for effective collaborative governance. They say “The ultimate goal is to develop a contingency approach of collaboration that can highlight conditions under which collaborative governance will be more or less effective as an approach to policy making and public management” Collaborative governance covers both the informal and formal relationships in problem solving and decision-making. Conventional government policy processes can be embedded in wider policy processes by facilitating collaboration between the public, private and community sectors. Collaborative Governance requires three things, namely: support; leadership; and a forum. The support identifies the policy problem to be fixed. The leadership gathers the sectors into a forum. Then, the members of the forum collaborate to develop policies, solutions and answers.
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There are many different forms of collaborative governance as such as Consensus Building and a Collaborative Network:
- Consensus Building – "A process where stakeholders build consensus on actions to address specific public policy problems; Community visioning is a process where members of a community build consensus on a descriptions of the community’s desired future and on actions to help make goals for the future a reality."
- Collaborative Network – “This system is meant to accomplish more alignment among community needs, strategies of service agencies, priority outcomes, and resource allocation. It’s also meant to accomplish building social capital; integration of human service delivery; and interconnected strategies for relationship building, learning processes, and measurement and modeling among the participants.”