stay within program guidelines. DHS used a centralized hierarchic approach to program development and funding for management-control and accountability reasons, and this resulted in a program that has not effectively supported and enabled community-level collaboration.
There is always a political dimension in an effort to form a collaboration of citizens, community organizations, and businesses. The community organization process itself can be coupled with and supported by a political agenda or can be seen as a threat by political parties or candidates. Once empowered, private–public collaboration may challenge existing assumptions that are themselves embedded in politics, such as assumptions about the need for unfettered community growth even in areas vulnerable to floods or other locally known threats and even if such growth may lead to larger disaster losses. To the extent that community-based coalitions become involved in debates over land use and codes, government priorities, taxes, government accountability, provision of assistance to groups to enable them to become more resilient, and participation in federal programs, their activities will be framed as political and responded to accordingly.
Overall, there is a lack of trust among parties that collaborate to build resilience. Federal agencies compete over program dollars. State and local agencies resent federal interference. Businesses fear government regulation, direction, or control that will limit creativity and market flexibility. There is a wide cultural gap between private-sector managers and public-sector officials. Their organizational cultures, standards, and languages are different. There are too few opportunities and minimal motivation to build relationships and trust. Building the trusting relationships necessary for collaboration requires the mutual understanding of the motivations and needs of stakeholders. Once trust and collaborative relationships have been developed, there is a need to nurture them constantly. Sustainability of collaboration is dependent on collaborators trusting that the collaborative structure and strategies are correct, on their familiarity with the strengths and resources of the collaborative network, and on their commitment to collaboration for the long haul.
In a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) white paper on private–public partnerships, Flynn and Prieto (2006) traced barriers to DHS participation in collaboration and in effective enabling of the development of a community-based culture of sustainable resilience. For example, DHS management was made up primarily of personnel from the agencies that merged to form DHS and of temporary detailees from other agencies, many of whom may have remained more loyal to their parent agencies than to DHS. The agency relies heavily on contractors, including contractors in such key fields as policy and strategy development. Turnover tends to be high, morale tends to be comparatively low, and DHS personnel generally lack familiarity with the needs and resources of the private and nonprofit sectors. Those