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Stanford Social Innovation Review | August 2017

Funders are increasingly interested in applying the principles of collective impact—a structured, cross-sector approach to solving complex social problems—to collaborations across national borders.

This article examines successful transnational initiatives addressing a range of issues, from fishery sustainability in Mexico to social mobility in Israel, and shares 2 considerations for other global funders interested in applying the collective impact approach to their work. 

Top Takeways

  1. Identify local organizations interested in championing collective impact ideas and providing backbone support in advance of launching a new initiative.

  2. Be aware of power dynamics that could detract from the more equitable approach that collective impact embraces.

  3. Build relationships with government officials and develop a clear understanding of the role governments play in each country involved in a collective impact effort.

Building relationships with stakeholders on the ground is especially important when working in a developing country. Local organizations can be understandably wary of external groups coming in and pitching a new idea as a panacea for the local community.