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Ready News: September 12, 2014

Ready News
September 12, 2014

New Report: Collective Impact for Policymakers

News & resources from the Forum and the field about collaborative work to get young people ready by 21.

Collective Impact for Policymakers

Government policies must change to help partnerships improve the lives of young people.

That's the message of a new report and a journal article that examine how federal, state and local policies impede collaboration in the child and youth field - and how they can enhance collaboration instead.

"Government policies are far more likely to inhibit, rather than enhance, a partnership's ability to advance the types of comprehensive solutions that children and youth need," says the report, Collective Impact for Policymakers: Working Together for Children and Youth, released this week by the Forum for Youth Investment.

The report's release coincides with the publication of "Making Public Policy Collective Impact Friendly" - one of nine articles selected for a special supplement on collective impact in the latest Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR). The article was written by Thaddeus Ferber, vice president for policy advocacy at the Forum for Youth Investment, and Erin White, associate director at FSG, whose Collective Impact Forum curated the supplement.

Together, the article and the report examine: 

  • The factors that inadvertently drive public policies to inhibit collaboration among partnerships - even though policymakers favor such collaboration.
  • Types of interagency coordination efforts that mean well but fall short.
  • Examples of policies that enhance collective impact.
  • How public policies can better enhance collective impact efforts. Among the recommendations:
    • In legislation that calls for the use of coordinating bodies to carry out a task, include language specifically allowing the use of existing coordinating bodies if appropriate, rather than mandating the creation of a new one.
    • Focus on measuring the success of funded programs by the outcomes they achieve rather than the services they provide.
    • Allow funding to be used more flexibly, including "blending" and braiding" among different funding streams, coupled with accountability for results.

The report and article stress that government agencies at all levels must be proactive in supporting collective impact efforts. "It is not enough for a policy to be silent on the issue of collaboration," the report says. "If a policy is meant to allow collaborative actions, it must say so explicitly."

Working Together for Children & Youth 

Everyone enjoys folklore, but what about "Folk Law"? It's one of the policy barriers that routinely prevent partnerships from working together better. Explore that and other issues in this free webinar about how public policies impede collective impact - and how they can enhance it instead. The Forum for Youth Investment's Thaddeus Ferber and Elizabeth Gaines will provide analysis and examples, answer your questions and point you toward opportunities for action. 

Oct. 22, 3 p.m. ET. Find out more and register.

Achieving Collective Impact: How Partnerships Change Community Outcomes

The Forum and FSG are teaming up to help communities effectively carry out collective impact strategies. Join this three-day institute to learn how to create the five conditions for successful collective impact approaches through clear, sequenced steps: from partnership creation, community engagement, goal-setting and problem analysis to intervention design, implementation, evaluation and improvement. Participants will learn how to take a Big Picture Approach to tackle a range of issues in their communities, focusing on how to apply the nuts and bolts of collective impact strategies back home.

Oct. 14-16, St. Louis, Mo.

Find out more. 

Education Education
Quality Mentoring Supports Academic Success

MENTOR, one of the more than 40 national organizations participating in the second annual Attendance Awareness Month, is designating the third week in September, (Sept.15-21) as The Mentoring Effect & Attendance Week. The nonprofit will be promoting the message that quality mentoring can be instrumental in supporting increased attendance and academic success. Download the toolkit at the link above.

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