Integrating Experts by Experience in Collective Impact Initiatives
Summary of a paper written in Hebrew by Mirit Sidi, Gily Baruch, Yael Maoz Shai and Michal Rom, November 2022
The term Experts by Experience refers to people who have gained lived experience of problems which Collective Impact and other social change initiatives attempt to solve. Experts by Experience hold valuable first-hand knowledge, hence their indispensable contribution to the development of solutions for social problems and services for communities in need.
In this paper we outline a theoretical and methodological roadmap for promoting equal participation of Experts by Experience in Collective Impact initiatives alongside professionals from social, public, and business organizations. Faced with this unique challenge we identified the need for initial conceptualizations of methodology and theory. The current paper draws on theory of Collective Impact and insights of those who work with Experts by Experience in different settings. By applying these two strands of knowledge we discuss the meaning and the implications of engaging Experts by Experience in Collective Impact initiatives. We offer a basic rationale followed by a discussion of the importance of full and equal partnership. We describe the added value and the challenges and present a set of initial principles for action and possible methodologies.
Sheatufim is an Israeli backbone non-profit organization focused on promoting system change at the national level. Using the framework and model of Collective Impact Sheatufim brings together social, public, and business organizations to solve complex social problems. Currently, we are leading three Collective Impact initiatives: “Drawing The Lines” to prevent intimate partner violence in Israel; “TOP15” to improve STEM education; and a cross-sector initiative to improve the quality of life and reduce loneliness among the elderly. This paper is part of Sheatufim's effort to develop knowledge and practices that will enable full and authentic engagement of Experts by Experience in Collective Impact initiatives.
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