Key questions for cross
sector collaboration

‘Intersectoral collaboration’ is a fine mouthful. Fortunately, it’s purpose is far more palatable than it sounds. It describes the deliberate effort to find practical on ground solutions for objectives shared across multiple sectors. This is particularly challenging when there is no new investment as well as high levels of change. The pursuit of innovation is also difficult when the people doing the doing have limited time or reach.

In Western Australia, a change of government has meant changes to the machinery of government and service priorities are under review. The roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is another layer of change and with it comes changes to the way disability organisations and local governments need to operate. There is a risk that with the massive focus on service delivery, access and inclusion will become even more compliance driven and even less about real community participation. That is not what many passionate local governments, advocates and mission-led service providers want. They share a vision of individual and community involvement.

A forum is being held in Perth in late August to hear from these voices for inclusion. It is intended to be an information exchange but also a starting point in identifying how we can best achieve inclusion, navigate the changing landscape and find the triple wins for government, service providers and most importantly people with disability.

About 150 delegates are expected to participate. As the facilitator for the day, I’m wondering what questions would best be put to a panel of experts and what participants themselves should work on during the day. I’d be grateful for your ideas and to stimulate and invigorate conversation on this topic.

  • Have you brought two sectors together to achieve common goals?
  • What mechanisms were available to you to ensure there was on ground action?
  • Did you identify things that could be achieved by an individual, group or organisation?
  • Were there systems or processes that helped foster collaboration in a really practical way?
  • What was most useful in getting people to take tangible action?
  • What was the role of central government and was it essential?
  • How did you measure your effectiveness?
  • What were your key learnings?