National Network for Collaboration


Purpose: Our purpose is to expand the knowledge base and skill level of Cooperative Extension System Educators, agency and organizational partners, youth, and citizens by establishing a network that creates environments that foster collaboration and leads to citizen problem solving to improve the lives of children, youth and families.

Programs: We design programs offered by the network to help the clientele in addressing identified issues facing children, youth and families. These programs focus on the process of collaboration at both the community grassroots level and the more formalized agency and organizational level. We use various models and match them with the needs of the community. Program information would focus on such topics as:

understanding the audience being served;
needs assessment;
Coalition structures;
public policy;
youth and adult empowerment;
community mobilization;
overcoming turf issues/resolving conflict;
public relations;
working with diverse audiences; and

Materials Provided: Curriculum materials, journal articles, research reports, books, fact sheets, videos, newsletters, prototypes of grant proposals, bibliographies, evaluation examples and instruments, and training materials designed to facilitate train-the-trainer concept.

Two major pieces are the Collaboration Framework and the Interactive Training Package. The training package uses the principles and ideas set forth in the Framework, together with a number of other pertinent resources. It is written as a guide for facilitators to help collaborative, community-based efforts move forward. Five core units form the basis for this package.

Understanding Collaborations
Initiating and Advancing Collaborations
Focusing on Outcomes
Defining and Building Relationships
Insuring Successful Collaborations

They must be used to help people interested in learning about collaboration and/or to help develop, sustain, or evaluate existing collaborations.

Services: The National Network for Collaboration (NNCO) will provide professionals access to services deigned to provide educational information and assistance in a variety of methods that facilitate efficient and effective responses to their needs. The major services provided are:

teach (face-to-face) training, video, satellite;
consult (via telephone and face-to-face);
develop educational materials;
Interactive computerized trainings and information sharing;
collect materials, computerized learning tools, models, resources, and experts;
create a database related to materials, programs, models, resources, and expertise;
research; stimulate, conduce, interpret, disseminate;
expand existing and develop new collaborative models which address existing and emerging conditions based on issues;
provide evaluation/accountability expertise;
facilitate collaboration among professionals at the local, state and national levels (across program areas, among university departments, among universities, and among Extension and its partners, including collaboration with non-traditional partners) which build their capacity to solve their own problems.

Access to Information: Professionals may access the Network in several ways. The method will be dependent upon the type of information and/or assistance desired. The outcome will be to build systems of mutual support and information sharing among local, state, territory and national partners. Major methods for contact are:

Information Dissemination - telephone access, E-mail, CYFERNet data base, newsletter, mail service, FAX;
Program Development and Implementation - training, consulting and problem solving, mentoring, facilitation, think tanks.

The network can be accessed through contacting the National Network for Collaboration at or any other network member universities listed below. For additional information related to network services and resources, contact Jeff Miller, Assistant Director, 4-H Youth Development, North Dakota State University Extension Service, 219 FLC, P.O. Box 5016, Fargo, ND 58105-5016, Phone: 701.231.7253 or 701.231.7259, FAX: 701.231.8568, E-mail:

The National Network for Collaboration is a self directed team, made up of twenty-one Land-Grant Universities:

University of Alaska
University of Illinois
University of Guam
North Dakota State University
Purdue University
Iowa State University
Langston University
University of Florida
Rutgers University
University of Illinois
University of Tennessee
University of California
University of Minnesota
Oregon State University
University of Vermont
Pennsylvania State University
Washington State University
National Extension Center for Diversity at Kentucky State University
Ohio State University
Michigan State University

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