In case you missed it (ICYMI), we’ve been sharing a whole lot lately on Facebook about the fundamentals of our Social Innovation Program and giving you the who, what, when, where, and why of our wonderful work (see what we did there?) in the world of social innovation. Check it out:
Q: WHAT IS SOCIAL INNOVATION?
A: The best possible combo of being research-driven and community-focused. #winwin
Social Innovation means thinking about how we use the information we have about what works for solving social problems to invest our community's time, talent, and treasure in ways that will help underserved people most effectively.
Q: WHO DOES THE SOCIAL INNOVATION PROGRAM BENEFIT?
A: Local less-advantaged populations, especially kids and families.
Our work on creating high-impact, social innovations is focused on using evidence-based supports for the benefit of Sangamon County's less-advantaged children and their families. As the graph below shows, if our community provides effective interventions along the continuum of a child's development, we can help narrow the achievement gap and counteract effects of poverty and adverse childhood experiences.
Q: WHEN WILL WE SEE RESULTS FROM THE SOCIAL INNOVATION PROGRAM?
A: Now. And later. And then later again.
Making social change that will last takes time. We’re not just looking for a quick, temporary fix; we’re looking for the fix that will create the most benefit for the people we’re trying to serve. Our social innovation road map -- the Sangamon Success strategy -- calls for evidence-based interventions that create immediate AND long-term benefits for our community. For example, Nurse-Family Partnership (Sangamon Success recommendation 1) provides immediate support for first-time, low-income moms, AND it results in a 67% reduction in behavioral and intellectual problems in the participating child at age six and a 59% reduction in child arrests at age 15. These sustained impacts are what will create transformational, sustainable change for our community's less-advantaged families.
Be sure to check out the Sangamon Success scorecard to see what solutions we're incubating that will create impact both now and later.
Q: WHERE DOES iSPI'S SOCIAL INNOVATION WORK HAPPEN?
A: All. Over. The. Place. Seriously!
iSPI's co-working space is home base for our business incubation members, but our social innovation work involves convening and meeting with local social program stakeholders all the time. So we're out in the community pounding the pavement, meeting new people, and talking research and solutions a LOT. We’d love to talk to you to learn about your work in the social impact space or present about our work to any group any time. Email our Social Innovation Program Coordinator at Nadia@InnovateSpringfield.org.
Q. WHY TAKE AN EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACH TO SOCIAL INNOVATION?
A. Because we have a responsibility to do what works for our neighbors in need.
Creating long-lasting and equitable economic development requires intentional and high-impact child and community development. We take an evidence-based approach to incubating solutions to social problems because, as the quote below from the Sangamon Success strategy says, it is the right thing to do. Using lessons learned from research and evaluation to make informed decisions helps us ensure we make the positive impact our community needs and wants for its underserved populations.