Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Angela Kline, PhD

Committee Member

Kristen B. Crossney, PhD

Committee Member

Mark W. Davis, PhD


Collaboration between organizations across all sectors - public, private, nonprofit, for-profit, etc., has evolved into the mechanism by which complex modern societal problems are solved since several government organizations struggle to meet their objections and goals independently without the assistance of other agencies. Contracting out of social services, e.g., child welfare services, has been used as one way for public organizations to formally partner with external sectors, to not only reduce government spending, lower the cost of doing government business, increase efficiency, and provide high-quality goods and services, but to also provide the expertise required in client treatment and service.

However, to always ensure that these overall objectives are being achieved, and that the general good, interest, and value added to the public remain the underlying principle throughout these relational systems and inter-organizational efforts, the performance of these systems must be continuously assessed. To assess the productivity and performance management and outcomes of these systems however requires the development of clear measures, methods, performance indicators, monitoring, evaluation, and appraisal processes by governments, yet the process of evaluating the performance of networks and systems engaged in collaborative governance is not only complex but also seen to be often convoluted by other challenges.

This study, therefore, provides the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) with a clear view of how the collaborative governance regimes (CGR) framework developed by Emerson and Nabatchi (2015) can be utilized to assess its contracted service providers and affirm the value of these existing relationships.