You need inter-agency support in order to establish credibility, win political support, and connect with other planning efforts by your government. Use the following questions to guide discussions about how to invite participation from other agencies.
1. In view of the issues that are likely to arise in the strategic planning, which other agencies, institutes, directorates, and commissions need to be your partners? (for each agency, state the reasons for including it)
2. Exactly what do you need from each of the agency representatives that will work with you? (be specific by agency and by name of the official, if possible)
3. What is your strategy to involve these agency representatives in the planning? (Who will participate in design of the planning? In technical advisory committees? In period planning reviews? In inter-agency task forces? In other ways?)
4. What is your record of successes and failures in working with other agencies? What are the reasons for this? (try to be specific in each case)
5. If your efforts to collaborate with other agencies have not worked well in the past, do you have new approaches that may help you overcome old obstacles? (if yes, what are they?)
6. Are there new government groups with whom you have not worked previously that you should be contacting now? Who are these new groups, and why do you want them to participate with you in the planning?
7. In what ways, if at all, will you have to adjust your procedures or share your authority if other agencies participate with you?
8. What will you do to get participation from the highest administrative levels (where appropriate) rather than from officials of lesser authority?
9. Do you anticipate a confrontation with any of the agencies you intend to invite? What will you do to avoid or mitigate this? (link this with conflict negotiation, CH 6)
When you conclude with these questions, list the officials of other agencies that you want to invite as partners in your planning, specify their roles, and indicate how and when they will be contacted. Assign responsibilities for this.
Source: Adapted from J.L. Creighton, 1981, The Public Involvement Manual, Abt Books, Cambridge, MA, pp. 159-164.