Co-Development of Solutions
Utilizing voice and perspective as qualitative data is critical, however it is not enough on its own. Diversifying the perspectives and experiences in the room leads to more comprehensive and effective solutions. The network is working to support decision-making tables to include those impacted by systems and/or those who have lived experience in order to achieve results towards economic and social mobility for the community.
Why is this important? If you asked a friend to bake a cake with you, you wouldn’t be pulling it out of the oven when they arrived, asking them to put on the frosting. You would start by agreeing what you wanted to bake (maybe they want to make cookies instead) and what flavors you both like, and then you’d start with the raw ingredients, each prepping a part of the recipe based on your skills and interests. The community should similarly be involved throughout the process: setting goals, deciding on solutions and contributing to strategies alongside leaders with formal authority.
We don’t have all the answers on how to get there. But we are going to work together to figure it out.
As a first step, The Partnership is working to ensure that the composition of the network is reflective of the community. This means understanding the current composition of The Partnership and identifying where opportunities exist to build on the strengths of this community by bringing additional, much needed voices to the network as change agents and develop strategies to this end.
Leadership table members are contributing to a key data set by answering questions regarding their demographic characteristics and network affiliation (including role within their organization, age range, geographic scope, race/ethnicity, political typology, socioeconomic class, gender identity, and sexual orientation). Their responses support the network to:
1. Understand the current state: Who is currently engaged in the network’s collective work through participation in its leadership tables?
2. Set targets for the future state: Where do opportunities exist to build on the strengths of this community by bringing additional, much-needed voices to network leadership tables as change agents rather than informants or by tokenizing folks?
3. Develop strategies to reach the end goal: How specifically can the network further leverage the strengths of this community by ensuring those impacted by systems and/or those who have lived experience in co-developing solutions that support achieving shared targets?