What is interagency coordination?
Interagency coordination involves a process in which two or more organizations representing different agencies and/or disciplines come together to solve a specific problem or meet a specific need. These types of partnerships can be formed among all levels of public and private sector agencies, including Federal and state agencies, regional and local agencies, private and nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups representing a variety of disciplines. Agencies that have participated in coordination efforts have seen the following benefits: increased effectiveness, resource availability, and decision making capabilities, which thereby more effectively assist in the resolution of a community need or problem that could not be met by any single agency acting alone.
Interagency coordination comes in a variety of forms. At its most basic level, coordination simply involves familiarity with the personnel and programs of other local organizations and information communication and knowledge sharing. An example is membership in joint councils. Taken a step further, agencies can develop formal exchanges of information, resources, and personnel. In these instances, agencies participate in joint projects, although specific tasks and responsibilities will not have been clearly identified. The highest level of coordination involves joint budgeting of programs, joint agreements with clearly understood goals and policies, and representation on overlapping boards and councils.
Why and where are they applied?
Communities of any size and economic situation can benefit from some level of coordination. It is particularly beneficial to rural communities who are often most in need of additional resources to handle growth pressures or to address economic problems. Demands for new services and fast-changing needs and problems caused by growth can often be more easily resolved by agencies working together. However, not all growth impacts lend themselves to interagency/ multidisciplinary coordination. It is first necessary to correctly identify the problem to be solved.
Where can I get more information?
- Land Use and Economic Development in Statewide Transportation Planning. Prepared by the Center for Urban Transportation Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in cooperation with the Wisconsin DOT, for the FHWA (1999). This report provides an overview of state DOT activities related to land use planning in six categories: land use/ transportation planning; state land use planning capabilities; education/technical assistance; access management; land use controls; and economic development.
- The Wisconsin DOT has provided internal guidance and training for its headquarters and district staff on participation in local comprehensive planning activities (Wisconsin DOT Transportation and land use). Wisconsin DOT also has developed guidance for local jurisdictions on considering local and statewide transportation issues in their comprehensive planning activities.
- Transportation Research Circular Number E-C100, Linking Transportation and Land Use. A Peer Exchange. The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Transportation and Land Development Committee (ADD30) and Statewide Multimodal Transportation Planning Committee (ADA10) sponsored a national Land Use Peer Exchange during the summer of 2005. The report presents the results of both the discussion and written responses of participants in the peer exchange.
- Action Plan: Resulting from the 2003 Conference on Transportation and Land Use for Economic Development, February 2004a
- Planning at the Edge: Communication, Coordination, Consultation to Address Common Issues across Regional Boundaries. Delaware Valley Regional Planning published this study which summarizes examples of successful formal, informal, and ad hoc interregional cooperation initiatives.