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Collaborative governance is a process and a form of governance in which participants (parties, agencies, stakeholders) representing different interests are collectively empowered to make a policy decision or make recommendations to a final decision-maker who will not substantially change consensus recommendations from the group.
In regional development, collaborative governance structures are often used to promote regional thinking and facilitate regional-level cooperation. For example, in Victoria, Australia, 'Regional Management Forums' facilitate collaboration between government departments and local governments in each of Victoria's regions.
Governance can employ different degrees of public consultation and participation, ranging from non-participation (the community is unaware of any decisions taken), informing (telling the community what is planned and to understand problems, alternatives and solutions), consultation (to obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions), collaboration (to partner with the public to develop alternatives, identify preferred solutions, and make decisions), to empowerment (placing final decision-making into the hands of the public). Collaborative governance is governance with characteristics of both collaboration and empowerment.
Some models of collaborative governance have been criticized as allowing ad hoc deliberation to drown out minority opposition.
- Wear, Andrew (2012). "Collaborative Approaches to Regional Governance – Lessons from Victoria". Australian Journal of Public Administration 71 (4): 469. doi:10.1111/1467-8500.12002.
- Roger Sidaway, 2005. Resolving Environmental Disputes: From Conflict to Consensus. London: Earthscan
- Fung, A. (2002), "Collaboration and Countervailing Power: Making Participatory Governance Work" (PDF), Am. Sociol. Assoc., Chicago, Ill., Aug 17, retrieved 2010-06-12
- Collaborative governance on the website of the Metagovernment
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