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Over the past few weeks, we have spoken a lot about governance and in particular corporate governance. However, the definition of governance does not refer to management only at a business or a corporate level-governance covers all governing processes that can be undertaken at a lower level, like managing a household or at a higher level, like the government of a state. Governance in itself is a vast topic and has multiple subdivisions under it. Today, we will discuss about a particular model of governance- collaborative governance.

In the recent years, technological development and globalization have taken over the way business is carried out. Subsequently, a certain new form of governance called “collaborative governance” has emerged. This model sprouted by replacing adversarial and managerial methods of drawing out policies and implementing them.

As per Wikipedia, 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.

According to the definitions given by Ansell and Gash (2008), collaborative governance is A governing arrangement where one or more public agencies directly engage non-state stakeholders in a collective decision-making process that is formal, consensus-oriented, and deliberative and that aims to make or implement public policy or manage public programs or assets’.

This definition has the following criteria-

The forum is to be initiated by pubic agencies

Participants of the forum must include non-state actors

Decision making shouldn’t merely be restricted to consultation

Forum is organized formally

Consensual decisions are taken

Focus remains on public policy or management

To make it simpler, imagine three individuals who want to head a successful online food delivery company. These three people have the same goal, but different capabilities. One of them has excellent technical skills, the other one is a managerial wizard, whereas as the third one is the finance genius. Now if all these people try to achieve this goal individually, they might either face utter failure or may generate lukewarm response. However, if they join forces and manage all the aspects of the company according to their acumen, their business has a greater chance of booming and achieving success.

The three most important aspects to be considered in this model are-

Support: Pin points the discrepancy in policy that needs to be fixed

Leadership: Gathers are the various participating sectors into a forum

Forum: The members collaborate, develop policies and the solutions to the problems

These three aspects come together to give fruit to this form of governance.

Collaborative governance can itself take various forms such as consensus building and collaborative network.

In consensus building, in order to rectify certain specific public policy problems, the stakeholders generate consensus as to what the suitable course of action should be.

In collaborative network, the focus is more on the needs of the community, strategy of service agencies, priority outcomes and resource allocation.

This form of governance can be implemented in a wide range of fields such as environmental management, urban and regional planning, etc.

Evidently, collaborative governance is a new form of governance. But why the need for it? According to Wikipedia, has emerged as a response to the failures of government policy implementation and to the high cost and politicization of regulation and as an alternative to managerialism and adversarial approaches.

There has been a noticeable shift from bureaucracy to collaboration and networking. The people, the private sector and the government have a say in the administration.

To make governance activities easier, software tools like VComply can be used which let you manage and see your organization’s progress-all in one place. It also helps in policy making.

In today’s day and age, everyone has a voice and every voice matters. Collaborative governance furthers that belief.

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