Collaboration Toolkit

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Start Conversations with Trusted Partners

Find preparation tips and suggested conversation topics to help you get ready to talk with some of your trusted partners about forming a collaborative.

After you’ve identified some of the key partners who might take part in a collaborative effort, initiate conversations with some of your most trusted partners to gauge their interest.

What to Bring

  • Develop a clear understanding of the problem based on your perspective.
  • Outline priority or specific geographical areas for improvement, as well as key drinking water threats. GIS maps and source water assessment data can help partners visualize potential for collaboration.
  • Your vision of what the collaborative might do, and who should participate. (Don’t worry if you don’t have a well-developed plan – just be sure to present your initial ideas and questions for partners to consider.)
  • Description of what you (or your organization) can contribute to the effort.
  • Examples of other source water collaboratives.
  • Proposed ideas for next planning steps. (Use this toolkit to review the planning steps outlined in Forming Stage.)

What to Discuss With Your Trusted Partners

  • Consider potential multiple benefits from the partner’s perspective. Is there an opportunity for collaborative learning that might lead to a decision-making framework that includes impacts on drinking water sources?
  • Invite your trusted partners’ feedback on the problem you’ve defined.
  • Identify what ideas, leadership and support your partners might contribute.
  • Discuss other perspectives that can inform this planning process and make a list of organizations to contact during this exploratory phase.
  • Review any barriers you might expect to encounter when developing a collaborative.
  • Discuss how a collaborative might help meet the needs of potential partners.
  • Assess who has the means to help implement and sustain a collaborative effort.
  • Discuss options for planning a kick-off meeting to gauge partner interest. This might be a small-scale introductory meeting or workshop to gauge partner interest in forming a collaborative. If partners respond with interest during your conversations, you may wish to schedule a kick-off meeting about forming a collaborative.

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