Evaluation of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Teams Pilot: Final Report. Characteristics of the Federal SC2 Team Members


Several characteristics of SC2 team members were associated with success. SC2 team members with greater experience in their home agency, or greater content expertise, were frequently better able to help cities address their priority areas. In particular, senior staff members played key roles in connecting city stakeholders to high-level federal decision makers in order to resolve long-standing problems or to bypass bureaucratic barriers to progress. Additional SC2 team member characteristics that were important to success were the resourcefulness to identify solutions to challenges facing cities and an entrepreneurial and adaptable approach to the engagement, which was critical given the dynamic nature of low-capacity cities and the lack of direction SC2 teams encountered at times. The ability of SC2 team members to broker new relationships with city stakeholders, or to repair strained relationships that predated the pilot, was also an important factor affecting SC2’s success. Particular to team leads, their ability to work as generalists across various topic areas and with multiple city departments and federal agencies was more valuable to the pilot’s success than the leads’ content expertise.

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