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Collective Impact Through Partnerships

December 2017
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At the IDP Foundation, we believe that strong partnerships and collective impact are key components to tackling large problems. In order to create social change and take on the seemingly insurmountable issue of poverty, we know that we cannot do it alone. We have a growing number of strategic partnerships to further our mission: supporting the development of innovative and sustainable solutions to complex global issues.

Our keystone program, the Rising Schools Program (RSP), has become successful in conjunction with two of our partners, Sinapi Aba and Sesame Workshop. In 2009, Sinapi Aba, Ghana’s premiere microfinance organization, partnered with us to develop the innovative program and has worked diligently with us to make the program what it is today. Sinapi Aba provides staffing, expertise and a mission-driven approach, to ensure that the IDP Rising Schools Program continues to strive toward success and impact. Sesame Workshop joined us in 2014 to expand our program’s reach by developing teacher training videos and resources for Rising Schools Program schools. By collectively working with Sesame Workshop and Sinapi Aba, we have created a well-rounded program that empowers the efforts of the school proprietors, and further supports the efforts to achieve education for all.

While our partnerships with Sinapi Aba and Sesame Workshop support the IDPRSP directly, we also seek partnerships with organizations that provide rigorous and insightful research. One such organization is Capital Plus Exchange (CapPlus), a local non-profit organization that works closely with financial institutions in emerging markets, to serve enterprises and assist in growing their businesses more effectively. CapPlus learned about the IDPRSP through Sinapi Aba, and took interest in our approach. Our partnership with CapPlus began with an evaluation and analysis of the IDPRSP, released earlier this year. Their evaluation found that the program has benefited both Sinapi Aba as a finance institution and the overall low-fee private school sector in Ghana.

Additionally, in terms of research, we partnered with the Education Partnerships Group (EPG), a team within Ark, an international charity transforming lives through education. The EPG focuses on creating Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) between the government and the private sector. Ark’s EPG shares the same belief as the IDP Foundation: non-state actors play a valuable role in providing education, and it is important to create this understanding with the government as well. Our shared beliefs are what led us to enlist EPG in PPP research and design work in Ghana, encouraging the ministry of education to establish the viability of a PPP for education. We look forward to seeing the results of EPG’s research and their continued progress working in partnership with the Ghanaian Ministry of Education.

Another key partnership in our efforts to advocate for the low-fee private school sector is with the Imani Center for Policy & Education, a Ghanaian think-tank. Imani releases objective critiques and analyses about a variety of issues including education. Imani has become a major influencer in Ghana, and we have worked together in our advocacy efforts to shed light on the realities of education in Ghana. We are thrilled with Imani’s education series, one of which featured the IDPRS program.

While much of the social sector focuses on isolated interventions by individual organizations, we realize that collaboration is integral to achieving lasting change.

A new branch of the IDP Foundation strategy revolves around the support of social enterprise development in Africa. We already support school proprietors with the IDPRSP, but we decided to dig deeper and expand our focus on social entrepreneurs. We discovered an amazing organization, the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance (HEA), a network of highly educated young African entrepreneurs using their talents to build high impact social and business ventures across the continent of Africa.

By partnering with HEA and becoming a founding partner, we are able to support an organization made up of a network of innovative change makers that we believe hold the power to make real positive change, by addressing pressing social issues. Our partnership provides: a Changemaker Fellowship to an education-focused social enterprise entrepreneur; Support to promising scaling ventures; and an institute to promote social entrepreneurship to high school students.

While much of the social sector focuses on isolated interventions by individual organizations, we realize that collaboration is integral to achieving lasting change. The organizations we work with share this belief, and allow us to use our shared resources and expertise to address the issue of poverty together.

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