Client success

Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative

Infant mortality in certain areas of a city far exceeded national averages. A collective impact organization decided to raise awareness and demonstrate public will to change the situation.

The Challenge

Parts of a major metropolitan area have infant death rates that are worse than some third-world countries. However, community and civic leaders are relatively unaware of the magnitude and impact of this issue. Two organizations, committed to public health, partnered to launch a collective impact initiative designed to reduce infant mortality.

Infant mortality is complex because of many contributing factors such as lack of access to health care, education, living-wage jobs, transportation and healthy foods, in addition to the condition of neighborhoods and housing. To drive change, this organization needed to bring together sectors of the community and convince them their efforts could impact the rates of infant mortality.

Standing Partnership brought extensive experience in communication strategy and stakeholder engagement to help the initiative align efforts and create new paths for the systemic change necessary to drive down the area’s infant mortality rate.

When a city in the United States has an infant mortality rate higher than some third-world countries, it’s time to take action. Standing Partnership and the collective impact organization work together to engage stakeholders and create an environment for change.

Solving complex problems for complex industries

  • 126 people attended community listening sessions
  • 7,600 unique website visitors
  • 300 people wrote Letters of Love to key decision makers to increase empathy for moms faced with significant barriers in having a healthy pregnancy
  • 150% the amount that infant mortality- and premature birth-related coverage in key media outlets increased over the previous year
  • 500 followers added on social media channels

Services Provided
Stakeholder Engagement
Health Care

Our Solution

We developed a strategy and plan with the organization to engage key stakeholders, build public support and create a sense of urgency, all meant to elevate infant mortality as an important part of the city’s civic agenda. Our process included:

  • An audit of messages and community engagement best practices from other infant mortality reduction programs and peer organizations.
  • An analysis of the current state of discussion about infant mortality in the public dialogue.
  • Hosting an interactive discovery session to identify audiences and their information needs, and then customizing and testing a message platform for each.
  • Developing a complete communications infrastructure for the project, including multiple channels and forms of engagement.
  • Preparing the organization for stakeholder outreach.
  • Developing a 12-month plan with success metrics.

The organization embraced the process, assisting in a deep-dive analysis that explored the motivations of each stakeholder group and examined perceptions on infant mortality and barriers to getting their audiences to take a call to action.

Additionally, Standing Partnership and the organization partnered to create a website, videos, brochures, a key stakeholder presentation, and an interactive event and letter-writing campaign.

The Impact

The organization learned to deploy key components of community engagement and a collective impact model, recruit community members for a cabinet and then to develop a common agenda.

As a result, we received over 50 cabinet nominations and secured the engagement of members of the targeted sectors including the faith, education, business, health care, mental health and impacted parent communities. Additionally, we were successful in engaging the community to articulate its needs and generate ideas for solutions through listening sessions, online idea submissions and newsletters.

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