Interdisciplinary Problems and Agency Boundaries: Exploring Effective Cross-Agency Collaboration
Posted: 30 Jun 2009
Date Written: July 2009
Interagency collaboration is frequently described as a pivotal element of environmental and public health problem solving; yet, there is little systematic evidence to document the conditions under which interagency collaboration is effective. If, as is widely believed, collaboration can promote comprehensive problem solving, then understanding the determinants of interagency collaboration is fundamental to improving environmental quality and promoting public health. This article examines factors promoting or inhibiting effective working relationships between environmental agencies and state and local public health departments in Wisconsin on a range of environmental and public health policy problems. Data collected using a web-based Internet survey of agency personnel are analysed. The results suggest that previous collaborative experience is important for public health departments at the state and local level, and structural incentives to collaborate are systematically linked to effective interagency collaboration.
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