Collective impact is an advanced form of collaboration which brings together different sectors for a common agenda to solve large complex problems. Complex systems change requires leadership from various partners: government leaders, funding agencies, schools, hospitals, the private sector, the not-for-profit sector, community organizers and more. This is where collective impact comes into play – as a method to engage partners from different sectors to solve the complex social problems of the day.
Collective impact is built upon five interconnected components to produce strong alignment and lead to large scale results:
– Common agenda – All participants share a vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed-upon actions;
– Shared measurement – All participating organizations agree on the ways success will be measured and reported, with a short list of common indicators identified and used for learning and improvement;
– Mutually reinforcing activities – A diverse set of stakeholders, typically across sectors, coordinate a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action;
– Continuous communication – All players engage in frequent, structured and open communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation; and,
– Backbone support – An independent, funded staff dedicated to the initiative provides ongoing support by guiding the initiative’s vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing share measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy, and mobilizing resources.
Tamarack Institute: http://www.tamarackcommunity.ca/collectiveimpact