Effective collaboration is a critical aspect of USAID’s work. It ensures that the Agency establishes and leverages relationships with key stakeholders, including other U.S. government actors, donors, host government counterparts, partners, civil society, and the private sector. Collaboration is important in order to identify areas of shared interest and potential cooperation, avoid duplication of efforts, share knowledge about what works and what needs adjustment, and develop new, innovative ideas to address shared development challenges.
A collaboration map is one approach, developed by USAID/Rwanda, to graphically depict USAID’s relationships with its key stakeholders. As a learning tool, it helps a mission or bureau create a shared understanding of who its key stakeholders are, what their levels of interaction and influence are with USAID, and based on these findings, where USAID should strategically place time and effort cultivating relationships. This tool, however, is not USAID-specific, and could be equally relevant to USAID’s implementing partners or other development actors.
Resources on this page include a facilitation guide, an interactive Excel-based mapping tool, and a link to a webinar/presentation by Preston Sharp (USAID/Rwanda), who originally helped develop the collaboration mapping approach.
Note: In July 2018, the Collaboration Mapping Excel worksheet was updated with additional functionality, including space for 200 stakeholders (up from 75) and more customization options.