Infrastructure holds communities together: roads, bridges, an electricity grid. But what about the connections that we can’t see? Relationships, collaboration, goal setting and data sharing are part of a community’s infrastructure, too. These pieces are called civic infrastructure.
Civic infrastructure joins leaders from across a community — from education, business, health care, housing, philanthropy and more — to work collaboratively, using data, to improve outcomes for children and families. With a strong civic infrastructure in place, communities can change systems by shifting practices, policies, resources and power structures.
Civic infrastructure enables a community to adapt and flourish, even in crisis. What does this look like?
The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, along with the public awakening to racial injustice, have tested communities as never before. But across the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, we’ve seen that communities with established civic infrastructures have been better prepared to tackle these challenges. In the first post of our series on Medium, we take a look at four Wisconsin communities with the civic infrastructure needed to respond, recover and thrive.