Off the Shelf of l’EWBibliothèque

The problem of poverty is one that is large-scale, multifaceted, global, and yes, complex. This post from the EWBibliothèque discusses how teaming up with other players, such as other NGO’s could create lasting large-scale impact.

Here are some notable quotations from the article:

The complex nature of most social problems belies the idea that any single program or organization, however well managed and funded, can singlehandedly create lasting large-scale change.

Collaborating with other players is probably the (smarter) way to solve large social problems. The various groups could play to their strengths and compliment each other to achieve solutions that systemically address the complex challenges. Gone are the days when one NGO could go at it alone and be the hero.

The most critical factor by far is an influential champion (or small group of champions) who commands the respect necessary to bring CEO-level cross-sector leaders together and keep their active engagement over time.

It’s so important to have the leadership from each group to buy into the collaboration effort. Sometimes initiatives fail when the leadership or decision makers do not agree with the idea because they might not have been consulted in the first place. Also, the leadership needs to commit to collaborating over a period of time.

A strong framework for change, based on strong research and input from local players, shapes the strategic thinking of the group, helps them make tough choices about where to spend their time and energy, and guides their efforts at monitoring and evaluating their work.

Having a common framework and evaluation for the collaborative impact helps keep the groups focused on solving the large-scale complex problem. Common expectations would help all the groups work off the same page.

How would you gauge EWB’s capacity creating collaborative impact? Where else would collaborative impact be needed?


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