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Strengthening Your Collaboration

Meeting the needs of survivors with disabilities and Deaf survivors requires a mutual understanding of issues, agreement regarding needs, and a joint effort to implement those responses. In many communities, the expertise in different areas – including violence, disability, Deaf, mental health and substance abuse – lacks coordination and operates according to different understandings of the problem and how to address it. In order to ensure seamless services, it is essential to develop strong collaborations between organizations that serve victims of violence and organizations that serve people with disabilities and those who are Deaf.

Collaboration Defined

In its most concise form, collaboration means "to work together." According to the Fieldstone Alliance This link will open a new browser window., collaboration is "a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve results they are more likely to achieve together than alone.” This relationship includes commitment to mutual relationships and goals; a jointly developed structure and shared responsibility; mutual authority and accountability for success; and sharing of resources and awards. In an effective collaboration, members are committed as much to the common collaborative objectives as they are to their own organizational goals. As a result of a successful collaboration, services are coordinated and improved, and each individual agency is able to respond more effectively with new expertise developed through the process.

Factors Influencing Successful Collaborations

There are many factors that contribute to a successful collaboration. According to a study of collaboration research by the Fieldstone Alliance This link will open a new browser window., factors that lead to the success of a collaboration can be divided into six categories:

  • Environmental Factors
  • Membership Characteristics
  • Process and Structure
  • Communication
  • Purpose
  • Resources

In This Section

We provide you with several how-to strategies for developing and maintaining a successful collaboration.