According to John Kania and Mark Kramer, the authors of the original 2011 article on Collective Impact, equity is a vital component for collective impact. The following is an excerpt from their recent article The Equity Imperative in Collective Impact in the Stanford Social Innovation Review:
The five conditions of collective impact, implemented without attention to equity, are not enough to create lasting change.
With input from thoughtful partners, clients, and community members, we’ve come to understand that most efforts to achieve collective impact inevitably take place within a context of structural inequity that keeps people of different backgrounds and races from achieving equitable outcomes.
If participants in collective impact initiatives are to make the lasting change they seek, they must pay explicit attention to policies, practices, and culture that are reinforcing patterns of inequity in the community. They must develop targeted strategies that specifically and differentially take into account any underlying advantages that some people have, as well as the disadvantages that other groups face. And throughout every aspect of the collective impact process, they must bring to the table those whose lives are affected by the results of the work.
Without vigilant attention to equity, efforts to align and coordinate resources can inadvertently reinforce institutional patterns that promote disparities and constrain progress for our most vulnerable community members.