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More Shared Measurement Questions Answered

Posted by: FSG Collective Impact on 1/30/2012

In November 2011, FSG conducted a webinar to discuss Shared Measurement in Collective Impact (CI).  During that webinar, FSG received over 150 questions from participants, and in the time allotted we were unable to address all of them.

Clearly the issues of Shared Measurement are vitally important to understanding how to create CI and help solve complex social issues.  Thus, as a continuation of the webinar’s learning agenda, we have asked one of our panelists – Patricia Bowie of Magnolia Place Community Initiative (MPCI) – to respond to two additional and critical questions from the audience, providing her perspective as a CI practitioner.

Her responses will be separated into two posts in order to center the conversation on each issue – this week’s post will focus on the role of funders, while next week’s post will focus on the level of community engagement in creating shared measurement for collective impact.

We would love to hear from you about your thoughts on these questions, or about other questions you would like to see profiled with future CI practitioners. Please comment below to continue the dialogue.

Question: What was the role and contribution of funder(s) in creating shared measurement for collective impact in your initiative? Did funders drive the effort, or was it community driven? How did you convey the need for shared measurement to funders?

Magnolia Network Partners (MPCI), while not supported [or funded] directly to work collectively or to create a shared measurement system, are still individually accountable for short and long term outcomes prescribed by multiple public and/or private funders. These funders were not the direct impetus or drivers for developing shared measures or a shared measurement system.  However, their interests, and the agency’s already existing commitments, were certainly considered and influential in the determination of the shared outcomes and indicators. 

In terms of resources [required to create a shared measurement system] – an individual’s time, expertise and the measurement system (e.g., data collection tools, analysis and distribution) are certainly required. However, Magnolia does not have one funder or funding source for this. Rather the Network relies on the voluntary contributions of individual partners who are paid through their existing resources. Partner agencies are not asked to change their mission – rather, they are asked to coordinate, align, and cooperate with others to achieve a larger result. It is the Network’s shared vision and theory of change that is the driving force for action.

Visit the webinar page where you can download the Magnolia Place sample dashboard, an excellent example of shared measurement in practice.

About Patricia Bowie, MPH, Consultant, Magnolia Place Community Initiative: For more than a decade, Patricia has been helping Los Angeles based organizations develop cross-sector relationships to effectively and efficiently work with each other to achieve common goals and to implement change that results in real improvement.  Two of her long-term endeavors have been the Magnolia Place Community Initiative and the South LA Child Welfare Initiative, both recognized as promising Collective Impact strategies.



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