Collective impact initiatives have data at the core of their efforts to improve communities, but when partners in a collaborative don’t necessarily collect, value, or have access to the same data, it’s a challenge that calls for creative solutions.
At the Institute for Youth Success (formerly, Oregon Mentors), we work with Communities Supporting Youth—a collective impact collaborative convened by the SUN Service System, and within the All Hands Raised backbone organization. Together, we are dedicated to improving outcomes for underserved students in the Portland area. The collaborative’s specific focus is to improve attendance for Multnomah County students. School and county personnel have begun tracking chronic absenteeism in six demonstration sites and are simultaneously instituting a series of interventions that have been pulled together in a best practices tool kit. We lead a subgroup of the collaborative that includes around 30 local nonprofits—we’re called Youth Development Partners (formerly Youth Engagement, Motivation, and Development work team.)