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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

Intergovernmental Models for the 21st Century


In the 21st Century, no significant public problem fits entirely within one government agency or even one level of government. Our federal system presupposes that all levels of government have an important role to play in the democratic process. Effective problem-solving requires federal, state, and local governments to work successfully together and often with the private and nonprofit sectors. And yet, we have not prioritized developing collaborative capabilities to create and implement effective policies and programs across levels of government and sectors of society.


The Academy’s Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships assessed the intergovernmental system’s current dysfunctions, evaluated promising intergovernmental collaborations, and created a high-level agenda to apply changes in various policy contexts. The result is a Toolkit that will serve as a launch pad for additional research on modernizing and optimizing the intergovernmental system.

The Modern Intergovernmental Governance Toolkit:

  • Describes the most significant practical problems with the current intergovernmental system,
  • Assesses the most promising new models in use,
  • Develops the key tenets and practices of a new model that can address current challenges; and
  • Creates an action plan that guides effective, efficient, and equitable partnerships.

The Jane G. and Mark A. Pisano Fund funded this study. It occurred over six months with the guidance of an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) of Academy Fellows.

Click the button below to view the Modern Intergovernmental Governance Toolkit.

Modern Intergovernmental Governance Toolkit


Please direct any questions about this project to Nancy Augustine, Director of the Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships ( or Miles Murphy (

Study Fellows