October 27, 2015
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in•ter•sec•tor |in,tersektor|
1. a space where government, business, and non-profit sectors share expertise, resources, and authority to address problems that cannot be solved by one sector alone



Research to Practice: Mitigating risk in cross-sector partnerships for public health

Public health partnerships with the private sector have become increasingly common over the past 20 years. While the private sector can add value to public health partnerships, the authors of new research published in the Annual Review of Public Health warn that “poorly chosen partnerships with industries implicated as drivers of the obesity and non-communicable disease (NCD) epidemics for easy money have tarnished public health’s brand and the reputation of many health organizations.”

How can public health organizations mitigate the risk of partnering with the food and beverage industry to tackle these issues? Surveying several partnerships, as well as recent literature on the subject, the authors draw conclusions on key factors to encourage successful outcomes, examining trust, conflicts of interest, and monitoring and evaluation. Read more.


The Development of Boston's Innovation District



We recently released a report on the development of Boston's Innovation District, focusing on the role of the public sector in driving the District forward and illuminating how other public sector officials can work with business and non-profit sector partners to create innovative economic development strategies.

You can read all our Innovation District content on our blog, including:


From Dumbo to Boston: Reflections on urban innovation by Ariella Cohen, Editor-in-Chief, Next City

Placemaking as a fulcrum for innovation by Ethan Kent, Senior Vice President, Project for Public Spaces

Reflections on the Boston Innovation District by Neil Britto, Executive Director, The Intersector Project

What We're Reading and Following This Week


Civic Graph charts the new world of civic tech
This piece in Government Technology profiles Microsoft's new Civic Graph, "an old-world atlas for civic innovation." We're interested in the strong cross-sector element of the project: "Governments can use it to identify civic tech resources and opportunities, non-profits can harness it to define civic strategies, and for individuals and companies, Civic Graph might illuminate where they can participate and engage the emerging industry."


Collaborating to See All Constituents Reach Their Full Potential: Memorandum on Research and Resources on Equity and Collective Impact
As we laid out in our research agenda, we're interested in the role of philanthropy in advancing the practice of cross-sector collaboration. We were excited to see this report from Collective Impact Forum and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, which "identifies some of the major challenges organizations grapple with around advancing equity, and also discusses key focus areas that funders could support to help build their grantees’ capacity to address and reduce inequities." Also related to collective impact and equity
this excellent article in SSIR.

Environmental analysis released on collaborative forest project
With partners from across the business, non-profit, and government sectors, a collaboration in Oregon "has become a model for the National Cohesive Wildfire Strategy, adopted in 2009 to make communities more resilient and better protected against wildfires." For more on intersector collaborations reducing the risks of wildfires, see our case study on the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project.

Achieving Kindergarten Readiness for All Our Children: A Funder's Guide to Early Childhood Development from Birth to Five
According to a new report from The Bridgespan Group, America underinvests in crucial early childhood programs. "The need is too great for private philanthropy alone to meet. Much of the most effective work will be collaborative work that engages public and private stakeholders across a city, a state, or the nation."

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ARSP releases 10th anniversary issue

The Annual Review of Social Partnerships released its 10th anniversary issue last month. With sections devoted to pedagogy, praxis, sustainability partnerships, publications, and more, and articles exploring a range of issues, from government roles in collaborative initiatives to energy efficiency to agricultural development, the 10th issue of ARSP covers topics that will appeal to cross-sector collaboration researchers and practitioners alike. Read more.

Case Study Corner:
Saving Shelter Animals in New York City

In the early 2000s, tens of thousands of animals were euthanized each year in New York City shelters due to a lack of awareness of the adoptable animals available in shelters and rescue groups. Many such groups worked independently to find homes for these animals, but a lack of communication and coordination between the groups, the City shelter, and the City hindered their efforts. In 2002, Jane Hoffman, one of the founding members of the New York City Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee, co-wrote a memo that sparked an ongoing cooperation with the City and the creation of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s AnimalsRead more.

Resources for Practitioners

Created for practitioners from every sector, our Toolkit enables leaders to design and implement successful intersector solutions.


Our case studies profile leadership and tactics from successful collaborations in a variety of issue areas, including community revitalization, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, education, and environmental conservation. Our case library is one of the country’s leading libraries on U.S. cross-sector collaborations.

Copyright © 2015 The Intersector Project, All rights reserved.

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