"Change on a grand scale ... is hard, but it’s not impossible." Living Cities, a long-standing collaborative of 22 of the world’s leading foundations and financial institutions, created the Integration Initiative to accelerate the pace of change in U.S. cities.
We worked with five cities tackling seemingly intractable challenges such as urban revitalization in Detroit and education and health in Newark.
Get the right players to the table. ...We asked cities to start from the results that they wanted to achieve, and then to determine who needed to be at the table in order to achieve them. Often, this meant bringing people together who were not used to working together.
We saw the greatest success when ….strong chairs who had credibility in multiple sectors, were willing to push the group to prioritize, and were committed to changing how their own institutions worked in order to push others to do the same. …achieving their goals required significant behavior change from multiple players who didn’t necessarily see themselves as part of the same systems even though they served largely the same families and neighborhoods.
For example, …a school superintendent and the head of a community development bank …both play an important role in connecting underserved communities to jobs and essential services such as education, training, child care, health care and housing, and ensuring that those opportunities exist in the first place.
Also: Reimagine roles. …challenge long-held orthodoxies that can limit progress….
Build, measure, learn, and declare. …The most successful cities have adopted a lean “build, measure, learn” approach. They use data to measure, in real time, whether their indicators are trending up, learn whether their approaches are working and then stay or change course as needed.