Model Of Operation
5×2 operates according to a collective impact model that was developed in the U.S. as a methodology for addressing and solving complex social problems. The assumption underlying the model is that in order to produce a significant social change, it is necessary to enlist numerous and diverse organizations from the three sectors that will take action based on a collective definition of the mission. There are several initiatives in the U.S. designed to promote science education (STEM Education) that operate according to this model, and we rely on the knowledge and experience that have been gained thus far. The model is founded on a number of basic principles:
Setting a Common Agenda
Setting a common agenda, which entails reaching a consensus about the definition of the problem and formulating a shared vision, mission and objectives, is a prerequisite that constitutes the starting point for implementing the collective impact model. The common agenda also includes a decision regarding clear boundaries within which the initiative will operate.
One of the key engines for creating coordination among the organizations and obtaining results is the emphasis placed on designing a shared measurement system. This system should contain shared and agreed upon measures that track how the targets are being met and examine the results of joint actions in the short and long term. A measurement system necessitates the establishment of shared infrastructure for gathering and analyzing data, reporting and sharing knowledge. A shared measurement system will ensure that an actual consensus exists regarding the objectives and the required results throughout the joint undertaking. To a great extent, this component is one of the most difficult to implement. Based on collective impact initiatives in the U.S., it appears that initiatives manage to develop and assimilate shared measures only in their second or third years.
According to the collective impact approach, every organization and every stakeholder continues to operate autonomously in the ways they best excel in, while identifying their respective and unique added value. Success is not inherent in uniformity, but rather in the coordination and synchronization of the organizations and their activities in relation to the shared objective – which comprise a single comprehensive plan, based on shared measures. Mapping out the different action strategies and creating mutually reinforcing activities are one of the major challenges in an initiative's second year.
Open and Continuous Communication
The collective impact approach is built on trust, on creating a common language, and on solidifying relationships. Open and continuous communication by means of formal and informal tools and infrastructures, both web-based and interpersonal, is a decisive factor in building the trust and the relationships between the partners. At the initial stage, it is necessary to create communication mechanisms for designing the network and the new action arena. That is achieved through regular updates, transparency and knowledge sharing. The diverse communication mechanisms subsequently constitute the platforms for developing trust, dealing with disagreements, and motivating action.
The existence of a backbone organization, which has a separate organizational infrastructure and a special team of professionals who can guide the partnership, is a unique aspect of the collective impact model, distinguishing it from other collaborations existing in the social field. The backbone organization is a neutral body that has gained the trust of the different stakeholders, and its role is to design, manage, facilitate, and support the process. The backbone organization must hold the various components of the process and ascertain that the ship is sailing in the right direction, while involving and coordinating between all the different players.
Sheatufim is the backbone organization of the 5×2 Initiative and, together with the founding bodies, has spearheaded its establishment. In its capacity as the backbone organization, Sheatufim brings expertise and widespread experience gained from facilitating single-sector complex dialogs ("third sector impact spheres") and cross-sector dialogs ("roundtables at government ministries), as well as in-depth processes aimed at promoting and strengthening civil society organizations. Additionally, Sheatufim provides the needed organizational infrastructure of web-based platforms, such as Sheatufim's website and newsletter, its offices as a place to convene, and administrative support.