Collaborative Problem-Solving

Christian Braneon
Christian Braneon
Read more by Christian Braneon

How would you define this Big Idea?

Collaborative problem-solving (CPS) simply means that multiple stakeholders agree to work together to address community concerns. The CPS model provides a systematic approach for communities to build partnerships with other stakeholders as they address their challenges. Many challenges that communities face are deeply rooted and difficult to resolve without the concerted effort and active participation of all relevant stakeholders. When multiple stakeholders work together, they can create a collective vision that reflects mutually beneficial goals for all parties. Such collaboration fosters the conditions that enable communities to mobilize the resources necessary to realize stronger, more sustainable solutions.

CPS Element 1: Issue Identification, Community Vision, and Strategic Goal Setting

CPS Element 2: Community Capacity-Building and Leadership Development

CPS Element 3: Consensus Building and Dispute Resolution

CPS Element 4: Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships and Leveraging of Resources

CPS Element 5: Constructive Engagement by Relevant Stakeholders

CPS Element 6: Sound Management and Implementation

CPS Element 7: Evaluation, Lessons Learned, and Replication of Best Practices

How is this Big Idea included in your work?

In order to support the development of sustainable community solutions, the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain (CSLS) will form strategic partnerships with different types of stakeholders that can play a role in addressing community concerns. By bringing together varied stakeholders to reconcile divergent interests, CSLS can enhance the potential impact of individual projects or initiatives. The CPS model provides an ideal framework to utilize as the model is organized into seven elements that are flexible, cross-cutting, and interdependent.

Learn more:

EPA's Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Model
https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/epas-environmental-justice-collaborative-problem-solving-model

Use of EPA Collaborative Problem-Solving Model to Obtain Environmental Justice in North Carolina
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/41808827_Use_of_EPA_Collaborative_Problem-Solving_Model_to_Obtain_Environmental_Justice_in_North_Carolina

A Dream Realized: Community Driven Revitalization in Spartanburg
https://blog.epa.gov/blog/2014/08/a-dream-realized-community-driven-revitalization-in-spartanburg/