Complex challenges require complex action

Central Indiana has a wealth of dedicated and passionate groups focused on addressing problems that arise from childhood obesity. Jump IN for Healthy Kids does not replace or compete with any of them. Rather,  Jump IN exemplifies Collective Impact: an approach championed in the winter 2011 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review that incorporates the contributions of all players, from families to cities and towns, to academia, nonprofits and businesses. This strategy concentrates on bringing these same passionate actors to a single table and working together toward significant, measurable improvement in all facets of central Indiana’s struggle against childhood obesity.

Five essential elements comprise collective impact:

  • Common Agenda. All participants will embrace a shared vision for change and align around specific goals.
  • Shared Measurement Systems. A common agenda falters if there is no agreement on the ways success will be measured and reported. Consistent measurement of a short list of indicators ensures the agenda remains aligned across all partners, and that each can learn from others’ successes and failures.
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities. While each participant will elect a different, specific set of activities focusing on its own expertise, its activities must coordinate with and support the action of others.
  • Continuous Communication. Developing a common agenda and measurements is just one part of collective impact. Participants must also share a common motivation and a common vocabulary to effectively value and understand measured results.
  • A Backbone Support Organization. To enable each participant to concentrate on its own strengths, a separate organization with its own staff and specific skills serves as the backbone for the initiative. Planning, managing, and supporting the initiative is the key role of the backbone, as it handles facilitation, technology and communication, data collection and reporting, and other logistical and administrative details.

Jump IN for Healthy Kids is proud to be that backbone support organization for the initiative to reduce childhood obesity in central Indiana.

Our Healthy Kids Blog showcases what a diverse array of partners can do—and are doing—to create healthy places for children and families. Take a look and subscribe for updates.