Giving Compass' Take:
- Zachary Slobig shares how EYElliance worked with federal administrators in Liberia to quickly and effectively expand access to vision health through schools nationwide.
- How do systems change approaches differ from other nonprofit and organization strategies? How can funders support systems change and transformative approaches to addressing global issues?
- Read about impact-driven philanthropy.
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Systems orchestrators are leaders and organizations who shape transformational social change behind the scenes by connecting people, providing resources and support, and mobilizing collective, unified efforts. At the Skoll Foundation, we recognized the potential for impact in these types of leaders and organizations several years ago and made an early investment in one that exemplifies this approach: EYElliance.
With its government led national school eye health programs, EYElliance embraces the conviction that every school aged child has the right to sight and equal opportunity to succeed in school. Given the strong connection between vision and learning, EYElliance believes that children should receive their first pair of eyeglasses at no cost from the government and works to enable governments to own this responsibility and pay for it. In Liberia, EYElliance convened a consortium that works in service of the Liberian Ministries of Health and Education to integrate school eye health into policy and practice, a model they intend to scale globally.
In a few short years, the Liberian Ministries of Health and Education have engaged in a system of mutually reinforcing collaboration, working with INGOs to deliver vision screening in schools conducted by trained teachers. The program includes delivery of glasses by eye health professionals, backed by a referral program for more advanced eye care.
EYElliance has catalyzed a sea change shift in the eye health status quo in Liberia—a piece of their work that exemplifies a model of transformative impact. It has orchestrated systems of government, large institutional funders, INGOs and other implementing partners to produce sustainable impact on a massive scale. To fit those puzzle pieces together, to unlock resources and systematize efforts, its co-founders intentionally lead from behind.
Read the full article about transformative change in Liberia by Zachary Slobig at Skoll Foundation.