Overview

The Collaborative Governance Initiative (CGI) is a proactive approach to improve municipal business and intermunicipal relations. The program gives municipal leaders an opportunity to look internally at their organizations or intermunicipally with their neighbours to find creative, locally-relevant ways to improve communication, better engage with internal and external stakeholders, and build better relationships.

The CGI has 2 phases:

  1. Assessment phase: collaborative principles, processes and protocols are created by consensus.
  2. Implementation phase: municipal organizations implement the principles, processes and protocols which arose from the assessment phase.

Services

Through the CGI, the Intermunicipal Relations team can help municipalities assess whether collaborative governance is an appropriate fit and help convene the process and ensure all the prerequisites are in place.

Where appropriate, municipalities can apply for an Alberta Community Partnership – Mediation and Cooperative Processes cost-sharing grant to cover part of the consultant’s costs. The matching grant funding for the assessment phase is available for up to $50,000 for a $100,000 project, and up to $30,000 matching for the implementation phase. We assist municipalities in completing the necessary forms to access grant money.

Municipalities contract directly with consultants for their services. We also provide a list of consultants with municipal and / or CGI experience.

Protocols and agreements

Municipalities across Alberta have developed collaboration protocols and agreements to guide their business activities in ways that limit opportunities for conflict escalation. A few examples are showcased below.

Strathcona Country and City of Fort Saskatchewan

Town of Cochrane and Rocky View County

Foothills County and Town of Okotoks

Town of Peace River and MD of Peace No. 135

Northern Sunrise County and Town of Peace River

Successes

Municipalities have had great success with the CGI and have realized the benefits of cooperation.

Town of Canmore

Sturgeon County, City of Edmonton, City of St. Albert and Town of Morinville

Town of Okotoks

CGI video testimonials

Municipal leaders from across Alberta have sat down with us to discuss their experiences with collaborative governance.

View the Youtube playlist.

Resources

For more information on the CGI, download the printable brochure The Smarter Way to Build Win-Win Solutions in Municipal Government.

It's All About the Process (2006, 24 minutes) provides an inside look at how a controversy laden public meeting can be reframed into a productive encounter. Building on a municipal council’s desire to construct a new municipal building, it shows how a neutral facilitator, using interest-based techniques, can guide and focus the discussion, reducing the animosity and gain public acceptance for a decision making process.

Video resources are available from the University of North Carolina School of Government. The School’s YouTube channel features three 3 videos on the topic of collaboration and strategic partnerships, originally created for Rick Morse’s workshop for elected officials, Saving Money by Doing Business Together.

Want to create more collaborative processes for intermunicipal planning? Download the report: A Process for Resolving Intermunicipal Issues.

Contact

To connect with the Intermunicipal Relations Team:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Fax: 780-420-1016
Email: mdrs@gov.ab.ca

Address:

Intermunicipal Relations Team
Alberta Municipal Affairs
17th Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4L4