Recently, the Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships worked with Results for America staff on a panel addressing effective intergovernmental collaboration. During that session, RFA referenced several programs, some of which reflect concrete steps towards making better intergovernmental partnerships a reality.
Their flagship local program, the What Works Cities Certification, is the first of its kind to establish a national standard of excellence in city governance. The certification program evaluates cities’ management practices and whether they have the right people, processes, and policies in place to put data and evidence at the center of decision making. Read more about the What Works Cities assessment.
Next, we have RFA’s Good Jobs & Equity Project. This program focuses on leveraging evidence-based practices and policies to create high-quality jobs. It aims to deliver subject matter expertise, hands-on learning, personal coaching, and ready-made templates, equipping leaders with the tools, knowledge, and skills to advance equitable outcomes for all. The first cohort participates in online, interactive sessions and one-on-one meetings with subject matter experts designed to help jurisdictions develop a strategic foundation.
Last, but certainly not least, is The Opportunity Accelerator. This RFA initiative helps governments build their capacity to collaborate with place-based partnerships and directly with residents. The accelerator identifies barriers to economic mobility by designing programs and solutions to meet the needs of residents, reduce inequity, and increase community well-being. Jennifer Park, the Opportunity Accelerator’s Executive Director, believes that “Governments at all levels can use their resources and services to open opportunities and dismantle the systemic inequities that have held back communities, especially communities of color, for generations. The Opportunity Accelerator aims to transform the way governments work by building a new model where the people served by government programs help redesign them to actually work. We must build systems that create thriving communities and boost economic mobility for residents.”
Programs like these align with the Academy’s Grand Challenges and emphasize the importance of local buy-in for future wins. They encourage collaboration, data sharing, and analysis of systemic intergovernmental policy problems around public governance and engagement, social equity, and resilient communities.
The Center, like RFA, knows that there is no single, simple strategy to address intergovernmental complexities in the United States. It will take a consistent effort to break apart siloes, increase collaboration, and rebuild government into a cohesive system that effectively supports its citizens and governs efficiently. The Center is grateful for the developing relationship with RFA and looks forward to future opportunities to work together on intergovernmental initiatives.