In a decade, the world will assess its progress on the collectively agreed upon Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These ambitious goals have made global development leaders acknowledge that the size and complexity of outcomes we need to achieve, far exceed the individual capability and resources of any one stakeholder. It is not surprising then that collaborative platforms and initiatives have begun to emerge across the globe, especially in the last five years, to aggregate resources and solutions for addressing these large problems. Collaboratives that exist today range from collective funding models like Co-Impact , Blue Meridian, and ClimateWorks Foundation that focus on specific sectors, to sector agnostic ones such as The Audacious Project and 100 & Change. Some collaboratives pursue one outcome for a specific target group globally, like the Girls First Fund and Michelle Obama’s Global Girls Alliance, while others rally global and local players to pursue a comprehensive set of outcomes for a specific target group in a single geography, like the 10to19: Dasra Adolescents Collaborative.
This article shares key insights from Dasra’s experience of instituting and running the 10to19: Dasra Adolescents Collaborative, since 2017.
10to19: How an outcomes-led collaborative was put into action
India is currently home to over 250 million adolescents. A majority of them face multiple challenges including poor nutrition and health, lack of access to quality education, threat of early marriage and early pregnancies, limited skills and job prospects, little agency, and an overall compromised potential. It was clear that the complexity of issues surrounding this group cannot be addressed through individual efforts.
Thus, we instituted 10to19, a high-impact platform that fosters collective action between a range of investors from public and private sectors, on-ground implementers, policy experts and government authorities, to empower five million adolescents by pursuing these four carefully selected outcomes:
To achieve these, 10to19 has adopted three promising strategies, stated below:
1. An outcomes-led approach to attract and align a range of strategic partners
10to19 is comprised of a range of giving partners and perspectives, including bilateral organizations, national and international foundations, CSR givers and individual philanthropists. Funder commitment to the above-mentioned outcomes was priority, rather than the type or size of funding they brought on board. Being outcomes-led also enabled the collaborative to select the most suitable NGOs to lead program delivery on the ground; a cohort of four was shortlisted from the 100 carefully evaluated NGOs.
Even in the day-to-day, keeping outcomes for adolescents at the centre of 10to19 facilitates alignment between NGOs, their frontline teams, technical experts and funders; converting them into co-creators and co-owners of progress milestones for the collaborative.
2. Distinct programs but collective impact
10to19 is operating in six districts of Jharkhand, India through four domestic NGOs: Aangan Trust, Centre for Catalyzing Change, Child In Need Institute, and Quest Alliance. Each NGO has a distinct entry point for its work with adolescents in Jharkhand, ranging from health services to child safety to education. While each organization is laser focused on successful delivery of its own program, they also stay connected as players operating in tandem to complement each others’ interventions and comprehensively support adolescents across the four connected and equally critical outcomes.
Further, the collaborative has designed evidence collection and assessment in a way that 10to 19’s aggregated impact on the four outcomes can be established, while also establishing the impact of each NGO program on the outcomes. While it is as complex as it sounds, it is imperative that we get it right, not only for the collaborative to assess its own success, but to create reliable evidence for what works in adolescent programming.
3. Local design and ownership for sustainability
10to19 is one of the few collaboratives across the developing world which is conceptualized and instituted in the targeted geography, in this case India, leveraging local partners and expertise. The impetus has been to engage the broader community in solution design and shared ownership in order to ensure that the change effected far outlives the tenure of the collaborative.
Challenging yet necessary, collaborative action is our best bet to achieving the SDGs. It requires all stakeholders to come in with an unwavering commitment to common goals, and trust in the allying partners. In return, it multiplies the impact of your individual contribution, while offering philanthropists a diverse peer group to share, problem-solve and learn with.
We invite you to join us!
This is better experienced than read. To enable this, Dasra invites you for an immersive visit with peer philanthropists, to the 10to 19 sites in Jharkhand so you can witness and get inspired by the spirit of collaboration that seeks to transform change in the lives of 5 million adolescents in India.
To know more email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original contribution from Shruti Parikh and Shivani Gupta from Dasra’s adolescents team.
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