If your child were struggling with their grades, you’d likely ask their teacher for help. The teacher may suggest involving a guidance counselor and even the principal to develop a performance improvement plan.

Advancing upward mobility—or ensuring all residents, regardless of their race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, have a chance to thrive—requires a similar approach. It involves engaging experts from across sectors to help achieve shared economic and social outcomes.

As part of the Boosting Upward Mobility project, from January 2021 to June 2022, the Urban Institute partnered with eight county and city governments to help them identify local conditions that enable or prevent mobility and equity. We found that by partnering with an established network of community organizations and the private sector, local governments could more effectively coordinate and sustain momentum toward their collective upward mobility goals.

Insights from two participating counties—Riverside County and Alameda County, California—offer lessons on how local governments can use cross-sector partnerships to promote economic and social well-being in their communities.

  1. Build a cross-sector coalition.
  2. Create an inventory of relevant municipal plans and identify opportunities for alignment.
  3. Engage residents and those with lived experience.
  4. Sustain momentum. 

Read the full article about cross-sector collaboration by Lee D. Evans and Jessica Perez at Urban Institute.