This innovative social model was developed by Menomadin Foundation to provide municipalities and local governments tools to address complex social challenges. Through a purpose-driven public-private coalition of stakeholders and experts, the initiative harnesses the potential of Blended Finance, directing funding sources toward community-based social interventions.
The COVID-19 crisis, which took the entire world by surprise, caused unprecedented health, economic and social challenges. In Israel, the crisis exacerbated pre-existing socio-economic disparities, exposing the vulnerability of the populations in the cultural and geographic margins of society.
The local governments were found to be more effective in applying measures to reduce morbidity in their jurisdictions, compared to the national government, due to their in-depth familiarity with the culture and the unique needs of the local population. At the same time, however, many local authorities were not equipped to deal with the amount and intensity of the challenges they faced.
In light of this, one of the lessons learned during the pandemic was the great importance of empowering local authorities and providing them tools to develop tailored solutions at the local level.
Aiming to bridge socio-economic gaps between localities and consequently strengthen the country’s social resilience in the post-covid era, the Menomadin Foundation initiated the “Day After Coalition” initiative. The initiative offers a model of a dedicated coalition of businesses, NGOs, and public institutions, in collaboration with various experts and local stakeholders, designed to provide local authorities with the tools to develop intervention strategies tailored to the socio-economic challenges they face, to channel budgets and funding sources for this purpose, and achieve sustainable development.
For the Proof of Concept (POC), the coalition launched a pilot in three low-ranking socio-economically municipalities: Tiberias in Israel’s northern periphery, Ofakim in the south, and the largest Bedouin-Muslim city Rahat.
The coalition led a collaborative and integrative work process, based on the “a neighborhood as a community” model of coalition member the Or Movement, which aims to harness stakeholders in the community to take an active part in local social initiatives. A steering committee was established in each of municipality, consisting of coalition members, residents, local stakeholders and local government representatives. The joint forum mapped-out local needs, identified social issues that require creative solutions, and selected one neighborhood in the city, where the pilot will take place.
Subsequently, the coalition published a “call for proposals”, calling on NGOs, social businesses and start-ups to offer innovative solutions to the defined social challenge. After proposals were received, an investment committee was convened in each of the cities to select initiatives and projects that address the social challenge, tailor-made for the needs of the pilot neighborhood.
The solutions are implemented through a continuous process of control, measurement and monitoring, which enables effective impact management and the development of a replicable model.
Day After Coalition in Tiberias
The Challenge: Leisure Boredom among Children and Youth
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed social, educational and cultural disparities within the city of Tiberias. Although disrupting the education system across the city, social distancing restrictions exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and further aggravated the more vulnerable children and youth.
The Geulim neighborhood, better known as Shikun Alef, had been chosen for the POC. Built in the late 1950s on a mountainside in the southeast of the city to absorb new immigrants, it is currently one of the smaller neighborhoods in Tiberias. About 200 families, with some 100 children, inhabit Shikun Alef. The neighborhood doesn’t offer any after-school activities, informal education frameworks or youth movements.
Characterized by lack of ambition and limited aspirations, local children and youth have nothing to do. As a result, the neighborhood is faced with problems of roving youth and vandalism. The neighborhood lacks a sense of community and holds a negative public image.
The Day After Coalition in Tiberias initiated a series of collaborations between local stakeholders, including municipality officials, residents, local academic institutions and private businesses, for the purpose of establishing a lively community center in Shikun A. The center will offer various leisure activities and enrichment programs for children and youth.
The long-term goal of the initiative is to develop a sense of community in the neighborhood and encourage residents to collaborate on initiatives that advance quality of life.
Day After Coalition in Rahat
The Challenge: Digital Literacy in Education and Employment
When school children in Israel spend months studying via Zoom during the pandemic, Rahat residents found the new routine particularly challenging. Many children did not have sufficient knowledge of computers and internet to study remotely, and parents found it difficult to assist their children due to their own lack of digital literacy knowledge.
The COVID mandates also impacted employment, as many people in Rahat were not familiar enough with the digital means that enable running a business or working from home.
The investment committee held by the Day After Coalition in Rahat, which included municipal representatives, residents, the local community center representatives, and stakeholders in the region including private businesses and the regional university, examined more than 40 initiatives and solutions for advancing digital literacy among children, youth and adults.
Of the three solutions that were chosen, the “Smart City” solution of the start-up Sadil is currently being implemented. Sadil developed an app that offers parents easy access to the entire supply of after-school activities and informal education in the city. The process of implementing the solution is accompanied by workshops and individual training.
Two additional solutions will be implemented in the coming months.
Day After Coalition in Ofakim
The Challenge: Community and Personal Resilience in Emergencies
In the city of Ofakim, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed many hardships and social challenges on the local level. Following the steering committee convened by the Day After Coalition, with municipal representatives, residents and the local business sector, the need to promote personal and community resilience in the city was chosen as the pressing social challenge to be addresses.
Following a socio-demographic analysis that focused on factors such as age, origin, gender, education, income and employment, the Kibbutz Galuyot neighborhood was chosen for the POC. One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Kibbutz Galuyot is home to somewhat 300 families.
The initiative will commence in the coming months.
Once a POC is Proven Successful:
- The local authority may extend the solution to other neighborhoods in its jurisdiction.
- The Coalition will produce a manual with the guidelines and information required to enable other local authorities to implement the principles of the model and apply them effectively.
- The public-sector coalition partners may take over to scale and extend the model – implementing the solutions in local authorities throughout the country, sustaining them over time.
Wherever implemented, this initiative is destined to yield a cluster of impact investments, profitable social businesses, and non-profit organizations.