Case and Materials

Design Decisions for Cross-Sector Collaboration: Mini-Case Modules

  • Authors Jan Rivkin, Susie Ma, Michael Norris

Last Updated


North America, United States


These five short cases aim to help city leaders explore whether working with sectors outside their own government organizations is the right path forward, and how to be effective if/when they choose to engage in cross-sector collaboration.


The cases especially highlight key design decisions that every cross-sector collaboration must make, to help students reflect on design decisions of their own collaborative efforts.

12 for Life—a partnership between a public school district in Georgia and a local wire and cable manufacturer.

Golden Triangle Development LINK—a group of cross-sector leaders working toward economic redevelopment of the rural Golden Triangle region of Mississippi.

The Itasca Project—a loosely-structured group focused on civic initiatives in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

One Fund Boston—a collaborative effort by Massachusetts city and state government to quickly stand up a new fundraising organization.

StrivePartnership—a cradle-to-career education project in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Learning Objectives

Examine the variety of forms that collaboration can take and the circumstances under which those forms can create public value.

Enable participants to reflect on these forms of collaboration and challenges–and the extent to which they are fit-to-purpose.

Explore the full range of assets used to produce public value in a collaboration, including tangible and financial assets, regulatory authority, and moral suasion.

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