The Intersector Project is a New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to empower practitioners in the government, business, and non-profit sectors to collaborate to solve problems that cannot be solved by one sector alone. We provide free, publicly available resources for practitioners from every sector to implement collaborative solutions to complex problems. We take forward several years of research in collaborative governance done at the Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School and expand on that research to create practical, accessible resources for practitioners.

This Toolkit is the cornerstone of The Intersector Project’s work. It provides practical knowledge for practitioners in every sector to implement their own intersector initiatives. At The Intersector Project, we think of a toolkit as a resource that provides actionable guidance on how to solve a problem. Toolkits can be broad or narrow in focus, providing general guidance or sector-, industry-, or issue-specific guidance. In a cross-sector context, toolkits assist practitioners in navigating the differences in languages, cultures, and work practices that exist across sectors, differences that can prove challenging to align when pursuing shared goals in a consensus-oriented environment. Our Toolkit is designed to be process-specific, rather than issue- or sector-specific because we believe there are common elements to all successful cross-sector collaborations and because we want to ensure that our Toolkit is accessible to practitioners working on a broad range of problems in varying types of collaborations.

Our Toolkit is composed of 17 tools organized into four stages of Diagnosis, Design, Implementation, and Assessment. It has been crafted as a flexible handbook that guides practitioners’ thinking on when and how to implement a specific tool, regardless of the practitioners’ sector affiliations. Each tool describes an action that practitioners can take together to help forge successful collaborations. These tools are not static. We encourage practitioners to select the tools that are most appropriate for their project stage and partnership structure, and to use them repeatedly at different stages when needed.

To date, this resource is informed by our library of case studies and correlating leadership interviews, literature reviews that address the theories and practices that characterize cross-sector collaboration, and in-depth analysis of similar guiding resources in the fields of collective impact, public-private partnerships, and other collaborative frameworks.

We consider this Toolkit a living document, which we are continually improving based on practitioner feedback. If you have suggestions on how to further enhance this resource, please share them with us at research@intersector.com.