Collective Impact in the NH Food System
What is Collective Impact?
Collective Impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem. The idea is that greater connectivity and goal alignment between key players (in any complex system) ultimately leads to more effective action and impactful change in both the short and long term. As diverse groups and individuals build relationships and learn from one another, they reduce redundancy, share resources, and collaborate more effectively.The 5 main conditions for collective impact success include:
- Common Agenda
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities
- Continuous communication
- Shared Measurement
- Backbone support
What might collective impact look like through this effort to develop a NH Food Strategy and Food System Network?
- Common agenda: The NH Food Strategy will articulate a shared vision and identify ways to strengthen the NH food system in the next 5-10 years.
- Mutually reinforcing activities: The NH Food System Network will support existing programs, projects and organizations; advance new ideas; and coordinate actions among members.
- Continuous communication: Network participants will communicate, share resources, learn from one another and coordinate initiatives through easily accessible communication channels such as a list-serve and a collaborative website platform.
- Shared measurement: The NH Food Strategy will develop a set of indicators and metrics, consistent with others in New England, for measuring progress towards goals and monitoring strategy effectiveness.
- Backbone support: The University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute (UNHSI) will provide logistical and administrative support to coordinate the network building and strategy development process. This role may change if other, more appropriate backbone structures are found in the future.
Your experience, understanding and involvement in the NH Food System, as a farmer, distributor, value-added producer, business owner, social service provider, food service director, or waste manager will shape this Food Strategy and help define how a network of food system players can benefit from working together. YOU are key to the success of NH's future food system!