Bright Beginnings uses an approach called Collective Impact. In order to create lasting solutions to social problems on a large-scale, organizations — including those in government, civil society, and the business sector — need to coordinate their efforts and work together around a clearly defined goal. Collective Impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem.
In Monterey County, we have a general commitment to work together in partnership, both in small and large-scale collaborative groups, on social issues.
So what’s different?
Collective Impact has a data focus that includes more dedicated administrative support than traditional collaboration amount organizations. There are five conditions that, together, lead to meaningful results from Collective Impact:
- 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 how success will be measured and reported, with a short list of identified indicators 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 and structured open communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation.
- 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 shared measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy, and mobilizing resources.
Collective Impact takes our existing partnerships and makes them intentional, broad, and coordinated towards a common impact – all young children thriving.