Stanford Social Innovation Review features GAIN for collective impact.

Date:  13 February 2014

With significant gaps in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals still unaddressed, the status quo cannot be the path forward.  Advancing the post-2015 development agenda hinges on our ability to forge effective partnerships.

In its new article, “Shaping Global Partnerships for a Post-2015 World,” the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) features GAIN along with five other global initiatives that have forged effective collaborations creating positive change for the future: The Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the Global Road Safety Partnership, the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture, Global Partnership for Education, and World Wide Fund for Nature.

SSIR explains how “collective impact”, or structured collaborative efforts and partnerships which achieve substantial impact on large-scale social problems, require a set of conditions in order to flourish.  i.e. common agenda; shared measurement; mutually reinforcing activities; continuous communication; and backbone support.  
 
“Not surprisingly, the most successful global partnerships already embody the five conditions of success,” the article states. “[GAIN] can be credited with improving the nutritional content of food for an estimated 750 million people.”

Probably the most important condition is establishing a backbone structure that acts as the glue. The article highlights GAIN and The Roll Back Marlaria Partnership, who “both work through backbone organizations as their central nervous system. What’s different is that these global partnerships have a multi-layered backbone structure where each layer plays a distinct role.”

GAIN has provided the strategic coherence around a common agenda, establishes shared measurement and learning systems, supports the mutually reinforcing activities of the different partners, and facilitates continuous communication. 
 
Looking specifically at food fortification and the establishment and ongoing strengthening of national food fortification alliances, GAIN has mobilized hundreds of millions of dollars for nutrition from global actors while also strengthening the infrastructure on the ground to aid implementation and ultimately, improve the nutritional status of key populations.

“GAIN builds the infrastructure through the creation of and support for a national cross-sector group known as a national fortification alliance (NFA). The NFA is a collection of representatives from government, private sector including food processing industries (e.g., oil refineries, flour millers, and salt factories), civil society, international agencies, development agencies, and academia.”
 
Funders of collective impact efforts have understood that it is precisely by investing sufficiently into the right backbone support that the partners will be able to achieve “more with less”. GAIN is eager to continue to refine its model of collective impact towards the ultimate goal of ending malnutrition.

For the article, GAIN worked directly with the Stanford Social Innovation Review providing documentation on GAIN’s models and impact. SSIR also interviewed GAIN Director of Large-Scale Food Fortification, Greg Garrett.

Read the original article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review.