Collective Impact for Children

Sep 24, 2012

As the Amway One by One campaign matures in each of our markets, we find ourselves looking for threads of innovation and impact that we can learn from and export to other areas of the world. We’re also constantly looking at models to plan and measure against.

One of the most interesting pieces we’ve seen recently was published by Stanford Social Innovation Review. Called “Collective Impact,” authors John Kania and Mark Kramer propose a framework of organized thinking around bringing many different players together to move the needle on social causes at the macro level.

We can’t help but compare this to the most successful Amway One by One partnerships, and the campaign as a whole. The Collective Impact framework proposes five conditions of success for large-scale social change through cross-sector collaboration:

  1. A common agenda
  2. Shared measurement systems
  3. Mutually reinforcing activities
  4. Conscious communication
  5. A backbone support organization

As a global program with grassroots mobilization, the Amway One by One campaign, while broad reaching and organic, is successful because of the way it supports these basic principles. More specifically, we are seeing exciting examples of Collective Impact models in countries where Amway One by One is the most mature:

A Common Agenda in Russia: A hospital experience can be scary for children, and often hinders the recovery process. Amway has worked with the government, NGOs, community hospitals and local Amway distributors across a vast geography to create a common agenda around creating great play spaces for children in government hospitals. To date, they have built more than 100 hospitals accessible by more than 130,000 children across the country.

Shared Measurement Systems in Mexico: As the Amway business grew around the world and Nutrilite products became a key part of our marketing strategies and scientific expertise, we knew we could use our expertise and influence to help with the issue of chronic malnutrition in children around the world. But we also knew that the scale could only be achieved through proven success and partnerships with on-the-ground agencies. In Mexico, we used global recommendations from the World Health Organization, partnered with a trusted organization called Un Kilo de Ayuda, and measured results through the Mexico Department of Health and Sciences. The results were outstanding, but made more significant because of the shared measurement during the clinical studies.

Mutually reinforcing activities in the United States: Inspired by an academic study around the phytonutrient gap in American diets and a subsequent campaign through our Nutrilite nutrition brand, Amway built a partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of America to teach urban youth about nutrition through hands-on gardening. While Nutrilite continues to provide thought leadership and research at the health and policy level, Amway distributors have plugged into Boys and Girls Clubs locally to mentor and provide expertise.

Conscious Communication in Korea: Collective impact programs can be difficult to coordinate, and even more so when a program is new and innovative. In South Korea, Amway is partnering with a number of stakeholders – the government, academia, NGOs and Amway distributors – to provide innovative education for underserved children. How is that accomplished? Constant, consistent, conscious communication from all parties. Not only do the programs include measurement and reporting, but program plans also include events that showcase learnings to all parties and reinforce the value of the partnership.

A Backbone Support Organization in China: Children of migrating families are often underserved when it comes to education and nutrition. To build sustainable solutions, Amway has used its local understanding of children’s issues, its national partnership experience with the government, and its ability to mobilize people to serve. The Amway Charity Foundation in China was created for that purpose, and has been successful because of a dedicated history of collaboration and support of children’s causes.

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