Collective Impact and Teen Pregnancy Prevention

The Collective Impact framework (first introduced in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in January has certainly captured the attention of the nonprofit world.  On September 25, a webinar was hosted by FSG, the drivers of the Collective Impact (CI) framework movement.  The webinar focused on introducing funders to CI and over 300 people attended.  Among the folks that have been attempting to utilize the CI framework are those working in teen pregnancy prevention and adolescent sexual health.  Recently, however Emmett Carson, writing in The Huffington Post challenged readers and nonprofit leaders to “rethink” CI, especially in relationship to teen pregnancy. (Be sure to also check out FSG’s response.)  If you are a professional working in teen pregnancy prevention or adolescent sexual health AND you’ve been attempting to use the CI framework to engage your constituents and sustain your work, I’d like to hear from you.  Take a couple of minutes to review the Carson article and FSG response.  Then, I’d love to hear from you on the following questions:  First, briefly, how have you been attempting to use the CI framework?  Second, have you encountered challenges, like those mentioned by Carson, related to setting a common agenda?  Third, if so, how have you addressed it?  Finally, in light of your experience in teen pregnancy prevention/adolescent sexual health, how do you evaluate Carson’s criticism?

More later,


Copyright 2012 by Thomas W. Klaus

2 thoughts on “Collective Impact and Teen Pregnancy Prevention”

  1. Thanks,Kim. Carson makes the point that people drawn to involvement in nonprofit organizations and causes are people who are fervent in their beliefs. He argues creating a common agenda when there are diverse beliefs on an issue, such as teen pregnancy and adolescent sexual health, is not likely. What has been your experience with this in the formation of your group? Is it a groups of “choir members” that have already been “singing the same tune” for a while on teen pregnancy and sexuality? Or is it a group with diverse and even opposing viewpoints? If the latter, how has it been possible to work through the disagreements to arrive at a common agenda? T.W.K.

  2. We have been using the CI framework for teen pregnancy prevention in Georgia. The biggest challenge we’ve had is finding continued funding to support the backbone organization. we are 10 agencies commited to collective impact. For the last 18 months we’ve worked together to develop our common agenda. We worked with a fabulous facilitator who helped us reach agreement all along the way.

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