When building and participating in partnerships, it is helpful to have a general blueprint or framework to help guide our efforts. I2I partners utilize the following principles and values to guide their actions:

  • The work of inclusion is never done. To engage with disenfranchised communities we need to re-imagine how people come to the collaborative table: on whose terms, on whose schedule?
  • Collaborative work is I2I specific, agency specific, and family/child specific – everyone has responsibilities in this set of relationships.
  • When analyzing data look at both what is there and what is not there. Missing populations from data sets prompt the question: "why do business in the same way?"
  • A mentoring approach is crucial to I2I member learning.
  • Community conversations are not standalone, specially called events. Community conversations occur where people are already congregated.
  • A systemic orientation demands a participatory process. This approach is time intensive. Facilitators must be willing to show up, over and over.
  • All systemic opportunities start with relationships. Build the relationships.
  • Sustainability starts with sharing responsibility.
  • Membership in the collaborative is more than sitting at the table. It is about engaging with the collective delivery.
  • Facilitators must help members move from seeing an either/or world to seeing a both/and world.

Other principles guiding the efforts of those working under the I2I framework are:

  • Principles of Community Development as outlined by the Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED), moving away from a "service delivery" to a "community development" paradigm.
  • Principles of Collaboration as outlined by the Power of We Consortium and expressed through the five key community practices.