Close your eyes, Kevin said. Imagine what an organization would look like if it was making maximum social impact. Tell me what you see.
The Waipareira whānau attending the Impact-Led Design Foundations session by ThinkImpact spoke of the eventual invisibility of the organization. They said that an organization which was making a true difference in a community would come to take a backseat role, for they had equipped their community with the tools required to ensure change would be in the hands of the whānau. Whānau would therefore decide on the issues important to them, the outcomes they wanted to see, and work together to engender this change.
But how is this grand impact realized? And furthermore, what impact is our organization currently delivering, and what might we have to do differently to achieve this grand impact?
The answers to these questions, as Kevin explained, are complex and contextually specific. But achieving the grand impact boils down to considering our desired impact in every piece of work, asking partners to consider it, and asking individuals who make up our organization what their own contributions to this grand impact might be. Essentially, what Kevin says, is that impact-led design of programs with a clear theory of change may lead to effective interventions where social impact is actually maximized. And that grand impact is agreed on by the communities an organization aims to serve, in collaboration with partners and funders.
At the session and in the context of Waipareira’s work, impact-led design was considered by the group in a whānau-centric way. Utilizing Kevin’s scenarios of community restoration, the participants road-mapped a pathway for change for a hypothetical community, with whānau naturally at the heart of their strategies. This exercise especially emphasized the degree to which the kaimahi of Waipereira understand the impact they have on the self-determination of all Māori. Kevin gave these kaimahi more tools to aid their journeys in making positive impacts, and an opportunity to self-reflect on where they and Waipereira are, and what might be done differently in the future to ensure whānau in West Auckland and all of Aotearoa are flourishing.
Kia ora Kevin and ThinkImpact.
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