An additional structural consideration is dedicated staffing support for the collaboration.

Whether this consists of a paid coordinator or redeployment or assignment of staff in a partner organization, it’s essential that it’s someone’s job to shepherd the collaboration, particularly as it is moving from vision to action.

In the language of collective impact, the “backbone” of a collaborative, cross-system initiative provides essential support and dedicated staffing that enables the collaboration to be successful. The “backbone” may facilitate the leadership team, support the work groups, communicate with external audiences, and provide administrative support. Learn more about the role of a “backbone” here. But for collaborations just starting out, particularly in small communities, think of the “backbone” as the one or two people within 1-2 organizations that can provide some basic support to keep the work moving.

Partner, Plan, Act collects current job descriptions of staff roles within Illinois collaborations. Email us for more information.

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