An interconnected group of agents working together in order to achieve a goal or make a decision. Ideally, these groups need to be able to communicate with one another and take into account each other’s needs, which makes the MAC group challenging and more difficult than traditional single agency decision-making.”

A MAC group is a network of agents across multiple organizations that work together collaboratively in order to achieve their goals or make their decisions. The term “multi agency decision-making” refers to the idea that each individual entity has its own needs for itself but simultaneously must take into account those of other members within the MAC group.

Which nims structure makes cooperative multi agency decisions :

A NIM is a method for making the decision-making process more efficient. In the case of NIMS, this is done by establishing a hierarchy of needs and then identifying the point at which each individual agency will meet its needs. This is done in order to ensure that everyone within the MAC group knows what they need and how to achieve it.

What on earth are multi-agency councils ?

Multi-agency councils are simply MACs (multi-agency committees) where there are multiple parties involved and decision making must be shared along with information about why certain actions were chosen or actions were not taken. There are certain key agencies whose participation is essential for decision making in these councils (e.g. justice, education, social services).

What is a multi-agency committee (MAC)?

A MAC is a group of people with different roles and responsibilities, who come together to make decisions and solve problems. The goal of this structure is to make the decision procedure more efficient and possibly avoid bureaucratic hurdles that could slow down or prevent a decision from being made.

Multi-agency planning refers to the process by which state agencies, regional agencies, local government agencies and non-governmental organizations work together to plan for events or disasters. The focus of multi-agency planning is on working together as a team in order to ensure that every aspect of possible intervention has been considered as thoroughly as possible before any action is taken. This planning is often referred to as “all-hazards planning.”

How is MAC Group Responsible for Multi-agency Decisions?

1. The agency that is responsible for the process of making a decision:

This is the entity (e.g., justice, social services) responsible for making all decisions which affect other agencies in the MAC group.


Poor disadvantaged youth who are addicted to drugs, violence, and overall bad behavior. They are living in shelters, hotels and abandoned buildings. They have nowhere to go and no one to look up to. They either run away or get taken into custody by police. 

In order for the MAC group to reach a decision on how these disadvantaged youth can be rehabilitated they must first “know what they need.” Some of the needs of this specific group include: housing, food, clothing, medical attention, counseling (spiritual), etc. So in this case justice is the “agency responsible for the process of making a decision.

2. The agency that is responsible for the people involved:

This means each agency within the MAC group must take responsibility for their staff and other individuals who may be directly part of a decision, or indirectly involved in it (e.g., social services – decisions that impact education).

 This includes health care providers and any work related to public policy development. This function of MAC groups exists to ensure members are communicating and coordinating with each other in accordance with the goals of the MAC group.


 The justice system needs to find a way to actually treat kids who have committed violent crimes. Therefore, they are responsible for the people involved and need to evaluate what they already have in place (treatment programs) and how they are being funded as well as how effective they are. Then, determine what additional funding or changes need to be made (e.g., adding more treatment programs; changing how the programs are funded).

3. The process of making a decision:

In order to make the decision, an agency must decide upon one of three approaches: 1) Risk Management; 2) Risk Reduction; or 3) Risk Mitigation. The first way is the most permanent and thorough and involves having a plan that is implemented with lots of input from many people (e.g., mental health center). 

The second way involves implementing programs that are less permanent but are more specific and better suited to the needs of the MAC group, for example, substance abuse programs for prisoners. The third way attempts to minimize risk by choosing smaller scale action plans that may be more focused on a particular group or individual based on need (e.g., drug rehabilitation centers).


 Drug rehabilitation centers are located in many cities and states. The process of making a decision is made easier by being able to know what the main issues are, who is involved (e.g., counselors, lawyers, judges), what services the various locations need, whether or not they are receiving enough funding to run the programs effectively, and what new programs may be needed.


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