Contingent Collaboration: When to Use Which Models for Joined-up Government

  • 1h 52m
  • Eleanor R. K. Merton, Rodney J. Scott
  • Cambridge University Press
  • 2022

The question of how agencies can work together has been central to the field of public administration for several decades. Despite significant research, the process of collaboration can still be a fraught endeavour for practitioners. Nevertheless, agencies keep trying to work together because it is the only way to make progress on the biggest challenges facing public administrators. This Element reveals the deeply contingent nature of collaboration, rejecting the idea that collaboration can be reduced to a universal best practice. The New Zealand government has implemented such a contingent approach that maps different collaborative methods against problem settings and the degree of trade-off required from the actors' core or individual work. This Element provides a detailed case study of the New Zealand approach, and 18 embedded elements or 'model' collaborative forms for joined-up government. It explains how New Zealand public servants approach the important question: 'when to use which models?'.

About the Author

Rodney Scott is an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales. Since 2014, he has worked for the State Services Commission and Public Service Commission in a variety of roles, including Director of Research and International Engagement, Chief Policy Advisor, and Chief Science Advisor. In 2017 he led the project to develop the Commission’s Toolkit for Shared Problems. He is a member of the New Zealand Chief Science Advisors Forum, the Chair of the Victoria University of Wellington School of Government Trust, and a board member of the Institute for Public Administration of New Zealand.

Rodney completed a PhD in Public Administration from the University of Queensland, was a 2017 Innovations Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a 2018 Fellow in Practice at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, and is an Affiliated Researcher with Cambridge University’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy. He has written extensively in books and journals on public administration, including several texts on interagency collaboration.

Eleanor Merton is a researcher and public servant. She has worked for the Public Service Commission since 2020 in a variety of roles, including as Research Advisor and was formerly Head of Research for the McGuinness Institute, a leading non-partisan public policy think tank in New Zealand. Eleanor has edited and published on a range of public policy and public administration issues, including interagency collaboration, the New Zealand system of government, and public sector reform. The views and opinions expressed in this Element are the authors’ own and do not represent the Public Service Commission or the New Zealand government.

In this Book

  • The Necessity of Interagency Collaboration
  • The Contingent Collaboration Toolkit
  • Interagency Collaboration for Public Policy
  • Interagency Collaboration for Public Administration
  • Interagency Collaboration for Service Delivery
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • References