Coordinating Plans and Policies: The challenges and strategies

Wednesday, February 17, 2016. 1:30-1:40 Poster Presentations

Planners coordinate - that's our job. However, due to myriad factors, this activity is often pushed to the side of our desks in favour of higher priority items that have more immediate results. Why is coordination becoming increasingly difficult in a field that depends on it? My Masters thesis contributed to a three-year study aimed at identifying coordination barriers and strategies across Canadian municipalities. Studies show how shared benefits through joint action can result from coordination. Resource constraints including staff turnover, lack of time and finances are common barriers to coordination. Factors contributing to coordination include staff buy-in, a common organizational vision, relationship-building and even working in closer proximity to colleagues to foster easier communication. Findings from this study are important for northern planners due to the frequency of intergovernmental collaboration between First Nation, municipal and federal governments.