Hundreds of different groups – across eight states and two provinces –invest billions of dollars in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes, but we don’t currently have a way to measure how effective these efforts to protect ecosystems, safeguard human health and strengthen the economy really are.
Blue Accounting fills this void. It provides services to three sectors of the Great Lakes community: to leaders and their staff who make decisions on Great Lakes management, to collaboratives focused on working together to address key Great Lakes issues, and to those that collect and provide the relevant data needed across the region.
How will Blue Accounting serve decision-makers in the Great Lakes region?
First, Blue Accounting will provide reliable, timely, and easily understandable information to help Great Lakes leaders assess how their investments and actions are improving the ecological and economic condition of the Great Lakes region. This information will allow them to make more informed strategic decisions about how to allocate limited resources. Second, Blue Accounting will facilitate improved coordination, leveraging and accountability among agencies and programs, resulting in more transparency and better outcomes for the Great Lakes.
For Great Lakes decision-makers and their staffs, Blue Accounting will provide:
- Information on shared goals and strategies for key issues for the Great Lakes
- A summary of progress toward these goals; where we have been and where we intend to go
- Background information about key Great Lakes issues that provides context for decision-making
Collaboration means “to work together.” It is a mutually beneficial relationship between two or more parties to achieve common goals. In the Great Lakes region, collaborative groups – or “collaboratives” – work together to create a shared vision and joint strategies to tackle basin-wide issues.
However, those wanting to create a collaborative and address issues of common concern in the Great Lakes often face challenges of time and capacity. Working together creates better outcomes, but many leaders do not have the bandwidth to create or maintain a working collaborative on their own.
Blue Accounting fills this void; program staff are experts in the formation and facilitation of collaboratives and the management and delivery of information to decision makers. Blue Accounting provides services to three sectors of the Great Lakes community: to collaboratives focused on working together to address key Great Lakes issues, to leaders and their staff who make decisions on Great Lakes management, and to those that collect and provide the relevant data needed across the region.
For collaboratives, Blue Accounting will:
- Provide best practices for collaboratives and advise on implementation
- Help facilitate communication and key activities of the collaborative
- Manage and deliver information to key Great lakes decision-makers