Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are four lessons in nonprofit collaboration with government partnerships, and key takeaways for the two entities working together. 

• The author suggests that both sides need a "big dose of humility" to make these types of partnerships successful. How would that help drive progress?

• Read about why philanthropy should partner with the government. 

Nonprofits involved in areas that address basic needs like education or health often expect that if a project or intervention is successful, government will ultimately adopt and manage it for the longer haul. For a project to reach its potential scale and sustain impact over time, many view this as the most realistic end game. Conventional wisdom holds that governments want fully formed, tested versions of programs or interventions so that it can easily scale them up.

To reach this point, we’ve made many mistakes, and our painful lessons may help others undertake a similar journey.

  • Lesson one: Begin at the end. Start by thinking about your goal, and work backward from there.
  • Lesson two: Cost really matters.
  • Lesson three: Working well with governments is itself a core competency.
  • Lesson four: Adopt an “insider-outsider” approach.

Perhaps it’s time for a new approach—a turn away from the “lean startup” lens we normally apply to social entrepreneurship—and to rethink the image of the rugged entrepreneur going it alone. This new mentality would promote “lean collaboration” with governments: An approach based on mutual commitment, co-creation, iteration, and—on both sides—a big dose of humility.

Read the full article by Sharath Jeevan on The Center for Education Innovations.