Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Collaborative Governance

What is Collaborative Governance?

The University Network for Collaborative Governance defines Collaborative Governance as: "the community and public policy decision making processes and structures that enable participants to work together to enhance their communities and shape sustainable public policy decisions."

From a Statewide Interoperability perspective, we like to think about it as the process of getting participants around a table (literally or figuratively) and working together to collaborate on solutions that are mutually beneficial and help keep the public and first responders safe. Sometimes this means some out of the box thinking or coming up with a solution that no one's ever thought of. Maybe someone has already solved the issue and a solution is just a conversation away. Collaborative governance is ultimately about teamwork.

Another key part of ensuring the long-term success of collaborative governance is to ensure that we are building inclusive governance structures and that we are including the needed perspectives in the process so that we can evaluate problems from a whole of community lens. The fundamental question to ask for this process is who is missing from the conversation? While many governance structures' membership may be fixed by policy or statute, a commitment to collaborative governance principals requires that, to the extent reasonable and possible, we seek input into our decision making to ensure that we are making the best possible decision in a given set of circumstances.

Ultimately, we are stronger when we work together, and collectively through our diverse experiences, we are wiser than any one of us ever could be.

The SIEC maintains resources for building collaborative governance structures that support interoperable communications and encourages the development of Regional Interoperability Committees (RICs) throughout Oregon. To learn more about RICs, click here.

Resources for Building Collaborative Governance Bodies