A new report that evaluates the progress of the New Americans Campaign after its third year highlights the benefits of the collaboration and innovation that the campaign encourages.
Among other things, the report, produced by Informing Change, offers findings on New Americans Campaign strategies to assess how the campaign has increased sustainable local capacity for naturalization assistance through a national infrastructure.
Local Partners Value Collaboration
Among the report’s findings, many New Americans Campaign partners feel that “belonging to a national network that fosters relationships and sharing ideas and lessons learned across organizations is one of the most important elements of the
New Americans Campaign infrastructure.” The campaign’s national infrastructure, led by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center with eight other national organizations, supports the capacity of local partners by “providing information on best practices, legal expertise, training and access to a trusted network.”
At the local level, the report notes that New Americans Campaign partners appreciate the work of site leaders in coordinating across sites, organizing meetings and events and encouraging collaboration among local partners. This finding highlights the value of devoting resources to collaboration as opposed to expecting often under resourced groups to invest in developing collaborative structures without support.
New Americans Campaign Fosters Innovation
The report states that one of the most impressive results of New Americans Campaign efforts is the extent to which local partners are doing things differently since the campaign launched. For example, 77 percent of New Americans Campaign partners have experimented with or institutionalized multiple strategies for reaching lawful permanent residents (LPRs), ranging from partnering with government agencies, to ethnic media, to texting. Before the New Americans Campaign’s launch, just 23 percent of its partners did so. And 86 percent have experimented with or institutionalized the use of technology to streamline their work, compared with 12 percent prior to the campaign’s launch.
The No. 1 challenge local partners report is that a significant number of LPRs arrive at New Americans Campaign group processing events without the necessary documents or preparation to complete their application successfully. Volunteer burnout is another common challenge, which is important to address since 68 percent of New Americans Campaign local organizations rely heavily on volunteers.
A Successful Collective Impact Approach
The report concludes that the New Americans Campaign, in very little time, has succeeded in “cultivating a vigorous national learning community of naturalization practitioners” in which “local campaign partners are faring especially well when it comes to partnering with others, engaging in new approaches to their work.” Partners believe they have “high … capacity to integrate [New Americans Campaign] approaches into their organization’s other work, indicating that the approaches they have learned through [the Campaign] have potential for broader impact.”
The full report is available here.