Overview of the Center
Rather than focusing
on particular issues or problems, the Center focuses on how issues
and problems are understood and solved. To explore collaborative problem
solving, the Center:
- Creates models
that conceptualize - in a measurable way - how collaboration strengthens
the ability of a group to identify, understand, and solve complex
- The Model
of Partnership Synergy describes the mechanism that gives
collaboration its unique advantage.
- The Model
of Community Health Governance describes how broadly participatory
processes lead to more effective community problem solving and
to improvements in community health.
- The Model of Influence
describes how experiential and expert knowledge
is contributed and used in collaborative community-level problem
- Conducts research
based on these models.
- Develops evidence-based
tools and practices that diverse people and organizations can
use to assess and strengthen the effectiveness of their collaborative
- The Partnership
Self-Assessment Tool, based on the National Study
of Partnership Functioning, enables partnerships to evaluate how
well their collaborative process is working and what they can
do to make the process work better.
- New public engagement
practices, developed through the Redefining
Readiness Local Demonstration Projects enable a large
and inclusive group of residents to contribute their experiential
knowledge in meaningful ways and enable communities to use the
public's experiential knowledge - as well as expert knowledge
- as a foundation for problem solving.
- A prospective tool
(currently being developed by the Pathways to Collaboration
Workgroup) will enable partnerships and other problem-solving
processes keep track of the influence of people in different groups
so they can make adjustments in real time to strengthen their
capacity to understand and solve problems.
Operationally, the Center
uses an integrated and collaborative approach to achieve its goals.
The Center carries out its work through joint-learning workgroups that
involve people and organizations around the country who are actively
involved in community-level problem solving, consultants with expertise
in a variety of relevant areas, as well as staff members. As it conducts
its work, the Center develops new kinds of investigative tools and practices
that enable people from diverse backgrounds to participate meaningfully
in collaborative research and analysis.