Planting the Seeds for Systemic Change
The challenges facing New Orleans did not arise all at once, nor can they be solved by any single school of thought or organization. To create large scale, lasting solutions for our community’s systemic problems, New Orleans organizations must work together to achieve collective impact. This is what New Orleans Kids Partnership (NOKP) is all about.
So just what is collective impact? It is defined as a commitment from a group of diverse, cross-sector leaders to a common agenda in order to solve a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration. This is an idea first introduced by John Kania and Mark Kramer in their benchmark article “Collective Impact” for the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Across the nation, this type of work is being utilized to create social change in diverse regions and socio-economic landscapes. When executed right, it is a proven method.
Five Conditions to Successful Collective Impact
These are the conditions outlined by Kania and Kramer in order to successfully execute collective impact. NOKP is dedicated to integrating these conditions into our daily operations. We are excited to align with the YouthShift “A Call for Connection” which is the foundation for creating a shared vision for the children and youth of New Orleans. Within this report is The Youth Index published by the Data Center, which reveals a set of data and a baseline report on the wellbeing of children and youth. By working collaboratively with these organizations and many others across sectors, we are able to determine NOKP’s role in realizing our vision for every child in New Orleans to reach successful adulthood.
Each year NOKP conducts 200+ hours of phone, video and face-to-face meetings in order to maintain constant communication with our stakeholders. Our backbone staff coordinates these meetings and prepares research, resources and day-to-day operational functions to keep this train moving forward. Finally, we seek constant feedback from families and youth in order to better understand the needs of the community we serve. Our partners are direct service non-profit organizations that interact with the community on a daily basis, and with their input along with surveys and data collection, we can keep our work relevant and meaningful for the children, youth and families we serve.
Collective Impact work is ongoing. We have many more hours to dedicate toward scaling-up current projects, developing new ideas, providing improved resources for our partners, and engaging the community around collaboration as an effective tool for social change. We ask that you support us on this journey to better the life of every child in New Orleans by visiting our donation page.
Collective Impact Resources
Want to learn more about collective impact? Here are some of our favorite resources for learning more about the ins and outs of collective impact work.