Using a Regional Approach

The Regional Approach – Best Practices

The Regional Approach: Collective Impact

“It’s an approach to collaboration that has proved successful in some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable…The benefit of finding such partners is that the program can be tailored to the local context, encouraging buy-in from the community and local stakeholders and ultimately reaching more people.”

What is Collective Impact: a group of important actors from different sectors committing to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem

What is a Regional Approach? A regional approach takes collective impact practice to heart by collaborating with two or more jurisdictions/counties/regions to share information, resources, activities and capabilities of organizations in order to achieve an outcome one organization could not achieve alone; through a systemic approach building relationships between organizations and progression towards shared objectives. It creates a strong, local team built by recruiting and working closely with leaders and stakeholders from the social benefit or non-profit sector, local government, the business sector, and philanthropists.

Benefits of a Regional Approach:

Cross-sector coordination rather than the isolated efforts of organizations operating alone with limited staff and capacity, will make larger scale changes. Substantially greater progress can be made in alleviating complex social problems and service gaps regionally if multiple stakeholders coordinate around a common agenda to create collective impact at the regional level.

  • The complexity of social problems requires cross-sector coalitions to engage with stakeholders outside of the nonprofit sector, which increases resources, funding possibilities, buy-in and overall support
  • Additional funding can be mobilized from other donors and partners working in the region
  • Pools resources to reduce costs and improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Consensus among regional stakeholders ensures and enforces data and information system standards
  • Builds and empowers regional/local expertise in problem-solving through sharing experiences and resources
  • Provides a forum for future innovation and maintained sustainability for change projects

Where can a regional approach be used? When is it a useful strategy for problem-solving?

  1. Education Reform
    1. Imagine trying to fix one specific problem in education—such as drop-out. Even if more after-school programs were provided, under the assumption that it will reduce drop-out, other social supports would remain unchanged.
    2. No single organization, no matter how innovative or powerful, can accomplish comprehensive education reform alone.
    3. Solution:a regional approach that coordinates between school districts, school administrators, counselors, parents, special education coordinators, students and community stakeholders to develop and coordinate improvements across the education system
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