In an era of budget cuts and declining resources, an increased need exists for government agencies to develop formal and informal partnerships. Such partnerships are a means through which government agencies can use their resources to accomplish together what they cannot accomplish on their own. Interagency partnerships may involve multiple government agencies, private contractors, national laboratories, technology developers, public representatives, and other stakeholders.
Four elements of strong and healthy interagency partnerships are presented as well as three needs that must be satisfied for the partnership to last. A diagnostic tool to measure the strength of these building blocks within an existing partnership is provided. Tools, techniques, and templates to develop these fundamental elements within a new partnership or to strengthen those within an already existing partnership are presented. This includes a comprehensive template for a partnership agreement along with practical suggestions as membership, operations, and decisions-making.