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Collaborative approaches to complex problems should only be undertaken when necessary. Although there is a conviction about the effectiveness of collaboration, there is also a warning about its selective use.
Making collaboration work effectively can be resource intensive, costly and time consuming, and a long term view may be required to obtain positive results. Competing political and community agendas can undermine its objectives. It is not the preferred approach for dealing with issues that can be handled effectively by one agency. It can, however, be particularly suitable for complex and/or longstanding policy issues which defy traditional agency boundaries.
There is no strict formula for deciding when to involve other Government agencies and each situation should be examined on a case by case basis, weighing up the costs, benefits and risks. The following questions may assist in making an informed decision:
The more ‘yes’ answers you give to these questions, the more likely it is that you have a whole-of-government project to manage, and other Tasmanian Government agencies and potentially other external stakeholders will need to be involved.
 Huxham, C and Vangen, S “Doing things collaboratively: Realising the Advantage or Succumbing to Inertia?” in O’Flynn J and Wanna J (Eds), 2008, Collaborative Governance: A new era of public policy in Australia, p.42; and Institute of Public Administration Australia, 2002, Working Together: Integrated Governance, p.x.