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Comprehensive Community Initiatives, Improving the lives of youth and families through systems change, a toolkit for federal managers
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How the toolkit was created What is a CCI? CCI Tools for Federal Staff
Develop your CCI Project
Guidelines to form Federal Partnerships
2. Make certain that partners share a common understanding of the CCIís purpose and goals.
What can I do to build common understanding among the partners?

Work with your partners to revisit and refine your logic model. (See Using a Logic Model.) Use this process to surface differing perceptions and assumptions and to forge a consensus about the mission and outcomes of the CCI. Make sure each partner has an opportunity to describe its interests in the CCI and any agency mandates or constraints that will impact its participation.

Bring in a facilitator (possibly a staff member from a partner agency) who is experienced with logic models to explain the approach and structure the discussion.

How do I determine each partnerís contribution to the CCI?
To determine partners' contributionsÖ
  • Use your logic model as a starting point.
  • Review the mandates and constraints that will impact each partnerís role.
  • Adjust the logic model to reflect mandates and constraints.
  • Inventory each partnerís interests and resources.
  • Shape a role for each partner that aligns with its agency mission.
  • Identify resources that are still lacking; consider inviting other partners.
  • Plan to reassess partner contributions over time.
  • Make expectations clear so they can be documented in an MOU.

Use the logic model as a starting point for defining each partnerís contributions. The logic model will identify the resources and activities necessary to implement, manage, and sustain the CCI.

Review the mandates and constraints that will impact each partnerís role. Pay particular attention to expected outcomes and limitations on the use of funding. Review:

  • Statutory history of mandated or proposed funding.
  • Original impetus for the project (Who wanted to do this, and why?).
  • Priorities of the authorizing authority.
  • Priorities of the Federal funders.

Adjust the logic model as needed to allow for mandates and constraints.

Inventory each partnerís interests and resources. Plot them against resources identified in the logic model. Note that resources go beyond funding; contributions might include the use of a Web site, technical assistance, evaluation expertise, a network of contacts, and staff time to liaison with sites or facilitate the partnership process.

Shape a role for each partner that aligns with its agency mission, priorities, and interests. This will make it easier for agency representatives to get buy-in from top leadership in each Federal entity. Leverage each partnerís strengths for the benefit of the total effort. See page 25 of the Safe Kids Safe Streets Joint Solicitation describing each bureau's contribution.

Identify resources that are lacking. Consider inviting other agencies that have these resources to join the partnership.

Plan to reassess partner contributions throughout the life of the initiative, as agency priorities shift, funding shrinks or expands, or new resources become available.

The final product of the discussion should be a clear set of expectations for what each partner will contribute to the initiativeóincluding investment of staff time and moneyóthat can be formalized in written MOUs or interagency agreements. For examples, see 1, 2, and 3.