We’re all for evidence-based policy making. But there are moments when the use of the “evidence” card just rings false. Brookings Senior Education Fellow Mark Dynarski’s reprised conclusion that existing research on afterschool programs does not support the current federal investment has that telltale clank.
In a blog series on the Collective Impact Forum, the staff of the Forum for Youth Investment taps into their experience to tackle major questions about how to align multiple initiatives.
Take a look at any set of youth issues that you hear people complain about in the news: youth mental health, youth violence, youth homelessness, you name it. Each of those issues is not squarely in the hands of any one federal, state or local agency to tackle. But because our government agencies aren’t set up to work together very well, they don’t typically tackle these issues very well.
People who run collective impact efforts say one of their toughest tasks is keeping community engagement going beyond the “summits” where everyone gets fired up. What does it mean to keep communities engaged in the mission that they’ve signed on for? Why is it so hard to do this well?
I’ve spent much of this year helping people learn collective impact strategies in communities around the United States, but last week I did some learning myself – by seeing how collective impact is done in the country of Honduras.
“In any given week, you could go to three meetings and hear the same report three times.” “Too many people are coming to us with too many asks.” These are some of the recurring sentiments that prompted the leaders of collective impact initiatives in Northern Kentucky to ask, “What would it look like if we realigned?”
Anyone working on collective impact strategies for children and youth should review this issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review – the journal that helped to launch the collective impact movement. A special supplement, Collective Insights on Collective Impact, offers nine articles from leading practitioners, funders, and thought leaders in the collective impact field, curated and funded by the Collective Impact Forum.