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Systems Collaboration: Social Business, Companies, Nonprofit, Community, & Government Partnership

Social issues are complex, multi-faceted, & interconnected, so 1 actor, or a single-dimension intervention, is unlikely to easily solve a problem. Thus, coordinated efforts between different organizations are important to broaden & deepen impact.

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I just came across one example of this type of collaboration to increase school attendance (and much more) in an article: How TOMS and Buy-One-Give-One Really Help.

Through coordination of social business (TOM's buy one give one model supplies shoes), nonprofit ("Good for Good" distributes surplus pens & fabric for uniforms donated by traditional for profit companies), community (local tailors create uniforms & give parents vocational tailoring training to create uniforms for their children, local teachers/community leaders identify child/community needs), & government (providing notebooks & de-worming tablets), the following was achieved:
  • children are cured of existing parasitic infections, protected from future infections by shoes, equipped to study with school materials & uniforms 
  • 25% increase in school attendance
  • schooling for girls decreases early marriage & pregnancies
  • trained >200 people to tailor & earn income, who then created >24,000 school uniforms

This example also illustrates the interrelationship between economy, health, education, gender, etc.

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