Provides executive directors or regional councils with self-assessment strategies on how to improve the overall performance and management of their regional planning and development organizations.
"The Regional Council Self‐Assessment and Resource Toolkit is intended to assist executive directors of regional councils, along with policy board members, in conducting a basic organizational analysis. The toolkit is based on extensive interviews, observations and input from national, state and local leaders involved in the regional council industry (including EDA’s 381 Economic Development Districts). The toolkit will help policy officials and executive directors think through the various aspects and challenges of governing and operating a highly successful regional council. It does not necessarily cover every aspect of regional council management, but it does provide a starting point for conducting an honest self‐assessment of the overall condition of the organization" (p. 2). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Key areas to assess when conducting an organizational analysis of a regional council’s ability to provide “an environment for local government officials to work together across jurisdictional boundaries” includes the following (p. 6): •“Regional Governance [including vision, mission, strategic alignment, and expanded partnerships]” (p. 12). •“Process [including strategic plans, collaborative networks and frameworks, and a focus on outcomes and results]” (p. 13). •“Open Access and Boundaries” [including active promotion of multi-jurisdictional collaboration, staff- and resource-sharing, and elimination of ‘silos’] (p. 14). •“Collaboration [including resource leveraging, expanded and “non-traditional” partnerships, and non-hierarchical partnership models]” (p. 16). •“Trust [including flexible processes and procedures and credibility development among new partners]” (p. 18). Seven significant issues facing regional councils to focus on when assessing a council’s strengths and opportunities includes: •“Relevance [of the council within the state and region]” (p. 21). •“Convener [and actor within] the region” (p. 24). •“Ownership and governance issues facing regional council” (p. 26). •“Relationship with local government, including counties and municipalities” (p. 30). •“Relationships with federal and state officials…[to ensure] strong professional ties” (p. 34) •“Lack of statewide uniformity and capacity…[to improve peer accountability, quality and performance standards, organizational and professional standards, and consistency in program design, deliverables, and accountability” (p. 40) •“Public relations and image…to [promote] a world class image and appearance” (p. 42). (Abstractor: Author)