New Resource: Rethinking Common Backbone Functions as Capacities

Posted by Equal Measure on March 16, 2021

In 2011, John Kania and Mark Kramer issued a foundational article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review that identified five conditions for organizations to achieve large-scale social change and the instrumental role backbone organizations have coordinating and facilitating cross-sector collaboration.

Today, backbone organizations and partners are still well positioned to assess and respond to community needs—particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice movements, and economic hardships. But shifting systems requires repurposing certain functions from the backbone and devolving some of them to partners for stronger community ownership. In this resource, Mathematica and Equal Measure grouped backbone functions into four categories and identified some of the key capacities to perform these functions effectively to achieve collective goals throughout a community.

To learn more about the P-16 Community Investment initiative, and to access the resources and tools as they are published, please visit P-16 Tools and Resources. Mathematica and Equal Measure welcome the insights and perspectives of readers and hope to inspire a vibrant dialogue that will further strengthen investments in place-based systems change.

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