The role of multisectoral collaboration in supporting community action

Project status Active

The Wales Centre for Public Policy and the Resourceful Communities Partnership (RCP) are working together on a research project aimed at better understanding the role of multisectoral collaboration in supporting community action that enhances wellbeing.

The project involves two phases:

1) A review of evidence published since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic on the role and effect of multisectoral collaboration on community action from:

  • practice-based case studies across Wales;
  • UK-based academic literature; and
  • grey literature (e.g., practice-based reports and blogs)

This evidence review is accompanied by a state-of-the-art summary of pre-pandemic literature on collaboration in community action, which is being conducted by the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University.

2) A workshop to engage with key findings from the evidence review and explore what they might mean in different contexts across Wales.

Across the practice-based case studies, academic and grey literature, is extensive information on what effective community-public sector collaboration looks like. This includes features of effective community-public sector collaboration (e.g., trust, respect, ownership, mutuality, shared goals) and factors supporting effective community-public sector collaboration (e.g., social capital and connections, capacity and resources, digital and physical infrastructures). These provide a valuable overview of general contributors and characteristics of effective collaboration, but they are vague, general and decontextualised, which can make it difficult to determine what is important in different contexts, and how they might actually be achieved there. Particularly in places where certain ‘ingredients’ may be missing or difficult to initiate.

Through our review of evidence (phase one) we have identified practical actions taken across diverse UK contexts to support community-public sector collaboration that benefits wellbeing. We organised these actions into three (often overlapping) categories:

  • activities;
  • governance arrangements; and
  • financial structures.

We held a workshop in January 2024 which focused on what our review findings mean in practice for a range of bodies and organisations across Wales. We want to better understand how the different actions identified from the evidence might be suited to different aims of collaboration and the different contexts in which it happens. We aim to produce practice-oriented outputs from these workshops that go beyond listing ‘ingredients’ for effective collaboration, and offer a range of tangible actions that could be taken in specific contexts.

Download the background and details of the workshop itself.

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