Interagency cooperation

Published: 17 January 2023
Last edited: 17 January 2023

Government agencies often work in isolation from other government agencies, as well as from non-governmental organisations, private-sector entities, local communities and other potential partners. Interagency cooperation ensures that separate agencies with overlapping mandates or interests liaise and collaborate with each other to address common goals. The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism is the custodian of wildlife and other terrestrial resources in Namibia, mandated with their conservation and protection. The Namibian Police Force is mandated with maintaining law and order, including laws related to wildlife. The Namibian Defence Force is tasked with defending the state and its resources against threats. The Office of the Prosecutor General is responsible for prosecuting suspects in the name of the state in criminal proceedings. Other government agencies with some overlapping mandate include the Directorate of Customs and Excise, the Financial Intelligence Centre and the Anti-Corruption Commission. Government actions can be considerably strengthened through partnerships with NGOs, the private sector, local communities and international funding agencies. Active collaboration between government agencies, and between government and other stakeholders, facilitates effective countering of wildlife crime in Namibia.


Alliance and partnership development
Co-management building
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • Full commitment by all levels of government
  • Clear agency mandates with common goals
  • Active & ongoing communication & sharing of resources
  • Strong working relationships between key individuals
  • Trust in the integrity & competence of individuals & organisations
  • Full recognition of individual contributions
  • Recognition of defined roles at individual & organisational levels
  • Capacity building & empowerment at all levels
  • Fast & flexible external funding & technical support
  • Stakeholder recognition & support of government mandates

Lessons learned

  • Interagency cooperation must be formalised through written memorandums outlining aims
  • Interagency cooperation requires clear structures, chains of command & mutual trust
  • Roles and responsibilities at individual & organisational levels must be clearly defined
  • While working together, each agency must remain within & fulfil the requirements of its particular mandate
  • Overreach of agencies or individuals must be avoided
  • Effective cooperation is built through active, ongoing liaison between key individuals of different entities
  • Funding & capacity limitations of government must be overcome
  • Fast & flexible external funding support directly to government law-enforcement operations unlocks full potential & motivates individuals
  • A healthy mix of support from international funding agencies & local funding sources that bridges government gaps is ideal
  • Full recognition of all contributions is vital for broad engagement & support
  • Active communication & sharing of data & resources is vital for success
  • Sharing of resources between units is built on a foundation of trust

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