Five key conditions for collective impact

The following key conditions for collective impact and shared success are from an article, which is based on a blog series from 2002 in the Stanford Social Innovative Review:

  1. Common Agenda: There is a shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach through agreed upon actions.
  2. Shared Measurement: Data and results are measured to ensure that efforts remain aligned.
  3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities: Participant activities are differentiated while still being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
  4. Continuous Communication: Trust is built through consistent and open communication, which also assure mutual objectives and common motivation.
  5. Backbone Support: Separate organization(s) serve as the backbone for the entire initiative coordinating participating agencies.

Over the lifecycle of the initiative the backbone organization(s):

  1. Guide vision and strategy
  2. Support aligned activities
  3. Establish shared measurement practices
  4. Build public will
  5. Advance policy
  6. Mobilize funding

Reference: Shiloh Turner, Kathy Merchant, John Kania and Ellen Martin, Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact, FSG and GCF


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