UNCG Collaborative Competencies

The UNCG Guide to Collaborative Competencies is designed to help teachers, leaders, trainers, public managers, and practitioners think about what it means to be competent in collaboration and how to develop skills to become more competent in working with others to solve shared public problems. Written by Kirk Emerson (University of Arizona) and Steve Smutko (Ruckelshaus Institute, University of Wyoming) this guide draws on the collective knowledge and experience of their olleagues from more than 25 university-based centers who are part of the University Network for Collaborative Governance.

You can download the guide here at http://www.policyconsensus.org/uncg/collaborativecompetencies.html


Back in Wyoming, folks would get together to resolve an issue by dropping by the house, leaning on the hood of a pickup truck for a  chat, or going inside for coffee and a visit around the kitchen table. Typically, when we agreed on a course of action, a handshake or a simple nod sealed the deal. Issues were resolved and commitments were made around the kitchen table. In that tradition, I see a   great need for public managers who tackle the toughest and most sensitive issues in the same manner, such as the Guide to Collaborative Competencies describes. We can solve the toughest and most sensitive issues facing our states, communities and country, if we have leaders who are well-versed in the skills the Guide covers.

Jim Geringer, Former Governor of Wyoming

No less an authority on citizen participation than the late John Gardiner, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, stated, ‘With all due respect to the ancient arts of law and diplomacy, the recent development of systematic, teachable techniques for getting at the roots of conflict, and engaging multiple parties in disciplined and voluntary collaborative problem solving, represents something new in the 5,000 years of recorded history.’ This Guide to Collaborative Competencies, designed for current and future public managers, is an impressive compendium of the techniques Gardiner referred to. Knowledge of collaborative decision-making processes and skills is essential to insure the onward march of our democracy. This Guide helps to understand the nature of these processes and skills. Its framework will prove an invaluable tool to achieve the promise of Gardiner’s belief.

 Bill Ruckelshaus, Chairman Emeritus of the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources Board, Chair of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center Advisory Board, and 1st and 5th Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency