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

Published by Jan Höglund

Jan Höglund has over 35 years of experience in different roles as software developer, project manager, line manager, consultant, and researcher. This is his personal blog where he shares his reading, book reviews, and learning.

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