Published: Feb. 24, 2015
“Collective impact – a collaborative approach to solving social problems – is a popular tool used by the government and community-based organizations. Communities across the country are embracing this approach to help children and young people access the fundamental resources – what we call the Five Promises – that they need to succeed.
Decades of community change efforts demonstrate, however, that this strategy is far from a silver bullet. America’s Promise Alliance and its research center, the Center for Promise, presents a series of in-depth case studies highlighting collaborative efforts in the cities of Atlanta, Orlando, and New Orleans that distill important lessons about how organizations can work together effectively – and, ultimately, put young people on positive pathways.
Drawing on multiple data sources, these timely reports show that transformative change is possible when initiatives employ evidence-based practices. Such practices include using research to guide the development of programs and services, carefully creating governance structures and processes, and focusing on a defined geographic area.
- In Atlanta, the East Lake Foundation (ELF) designed a multi-pillar model involving mixed-income housing, a cradle-to-college educational pipeline, and community wellness. This model reflects a process of systematic intentionality that guides all work.
- The Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) in Orlando represents another example of a comprehensive, coordinated approach to respond to the multifaceted needs of young people. This city-led initiative adapted the Harlem Children’s Zone model, partnering with local organizations to deliver a cradle-to-career pipeline.
- Similar to Atlanta and Orlando, New Orleans is implementing a collaborative effort to bolster supports for the city’s youth. Operating within the increasingly common context of school choice, New Orleans Kids Partnership (NOKP) is striving to identify an optimal strategy for providing necessary resources. Collectively, these cases provide practical examples, lessons learned and offer stories of hope to those engaged in catalyzing systemic change for children, youth, and families.”