In almost every meeting during the January 2012 site visit, respondents acknowledged that there are many different initiatives in process at the moment and that coordinating them to enhance one another, rather than confuse potential service users or duplicate efforts, is a challenge. The individuals running the initiatives and local government officials working in the related areas of service interest are broadly aware of one another, but tend to communicate primarily on a case-by-case or project-by-project basis. While, in practice, individuals know who to call on related initiatives where questions arise, it does not mean these same individuals have been able to think strategically about these partnerships. For example, the county government, Memphis HOPE, and SEEDCO, a national nonprofit organization that advances economic opportunity for people, businesses and communities in need, may all have the same clients but do not have any clear mechanism available to learn about each other's services, goals, and strategies for serving these clients, or any specific way of knowing when one of these related providers' goals, funding, priorities or policies change.
Despite sharing goals and clients to serve, respondents concluded that federal and local agencies and organizations experience difficulties crossing silos to coordinate efforts, and share relevant organization information about current work. Two themes discussed repeatedly during the site visit were the possibilities for coordinating data systems and convening ongoing meetings to communicate during the planning and early implementation stages. Much of the coordination that currently occurs is based on individual relationships and for specific one-time needs, and most of the stakeholders volunteered that a better model for coordination services would be beneficial.
"Memphis Final Brief.pdf" (pdf, 717.21Kb)
"Appendix A-Focus Group Materials.pdf" (pdf, 174.61Kb)
"Appendix B-Maps.pdf" (pdf, 3.81Mb)