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Towards a collective impact initiative for children? Ced Simpson Chair Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa February 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Towards a collective impact initiative for children? Ced Simpson Chair Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa February 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Towards a collective impact initiative for children? Ced Simpson Chair Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa February 2012

2 Some problems are simply too complex to solve with any single approach ‘Nothing will work, but everything might’ Clay Shirky

3 The social sector has 1.4 million nonprofit organizations, most of which work independently, and tens of thousands of government agencies which are notoriously inward-looking. When it comes to solving social problems, society often behaves like a drowning man whose arms and legs thrash about wildly in the water. We expend a great deal of energy, but because we don’t work together efficiently, we don’t necessarily move forward. David Bornstein (2011) Is this also true of New Zealand, albeit on a smaller scale?

4 ‘Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations.’ John Kania & Mark Kramer (2011)

5 Most funders, faced with the task of choosing a few grantees from many applicants, try to ascertain which organizations make the greatest contribution toward solving a social problem. Grantees, in turn, compete to be chosen by emphasizing how their individual activities produce the greatest effect. Each organization is judged on its own potential to achieve impact, independent of the numerous other organizations that may also influence the issue. And when a grantee is asked to evaluate the impact of its work, every attempt is made to isolate that grantee’s individual influence from all other variables. In short, the nonprofit sector most frequently operates using an approach that we call isolated impact. John Kania & Mark Kramer (2011)

6 Problem  Single-provider/single-programme solutions are often insufficient for complex problems  Even a range of good programmes, when not aligned, will not be as effective as a coherent collective effort  Social capital can be lost when ‘willing workers’ are discarded because their ‘underperforming’ programmes are ditched

7 ‘collective impact’ initiatives A disciplined effort to bring together dozens or even hundreds of organizations in a city (or field) to establish a common vision, adopt a shared set of measurable goals and pursue evidence-based actions that reinforce one another’s work and further those goals. David Bornstein (2011)

8 Needed? A collective impact initiative to deliver results

9 US examples

10 A US example

11 Communication of the challenge





16 The insulated pipeline Communication of the challenge

17 approach Broad partnerships A common agenda & shared measurement systems – A common framework: goals, language, measures Mutually reinforcing actions Continuous communication – Website & updates, workshops, webinars Backbone support organizations

18 5 conditions for success a common agenda shared measurement systems mutually reinforcing activities continuous communication backbone support organizations John Kania & Mark Kramer (2011)

19 Broad partnerships


21 Ready by 21 National Partnership Mobilization PartnersTechnical Partners Founder & Managing Partner Signature Partner Broad partnerships

22 A clear strategy

23 The Pipeline The Building Blocks The Readiness Target The Big Picture Ready Communities Ready Leaders Ready Youth A clear strategy


25 A common framework

26 is used to A common framework Describe overall outcomes Map contribution and align effort Encourage results-oriented activities by using common measures


28 Some core activities  Communicating the challenge in simple, compelling, repetitive ways  Communicating the strategy in simple, compelling, repetitive ways  Mapping contributions to agreed outcomes & assessing degree of success using standard tools

29 The national backbone support organisations for Ready By 21 are (the ‘managing partner’) a key ‘signature partner’ (United Way), ‘mobilization partners’ and ‘technical partners’

30 Reasons for success? Fit all the success criteria for ‘collective impact initiatives’ Instigated in civil society, not by a particular government

31 Proposal: A collective impact initiative based on Ready By 21-like methodology + the human rights framework

32 Why use the human rights framework? 1.It gives emphasis to the moral/legal imperative Action for children is not just another priority; we have moral and legal obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of children

33 Why use the human rights framework? 2. Provides a broadly-agreed accountability framework for human and societal development, applying to all actors New Zealand has voluntarily entered into legally- binding commitments to our children. All agencies, groups and individuals have responsibilities, and the state (and its agents) are accountable through treaty-reporting and other systems

34 Why use the human rights framework? 3. A common framework for cross-disciplinary/ sector collaboration, anchored in something deeper that professional ethics & policy of the day Different frameworks used by different professionals, sectors and agencies can be a stumbling block to shared understanding, aligned effort and collaboration, and effectiveness.

35 Why use the human rights framework? 4. Includes functional principles such as non- discrimination, participation & empowerment, responsibility Established human rights principles reflect effective working principles

36 For more information... David Bornstein (2011) ‘The Power of Partnerships’ The New York Times, 10 March 2011. power-of-partnerships/ power-of-partnerships/ John Kania, & Mark Kramer. (2011). Collective impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review, (Winter 2011). e_Kania.pdf e_Kania.pdf

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