To address the social and economic disparities that have been intensified in Israel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Menomadin Foundation, the OR movement, Social Finance Israel, the Kirsh Foundation, the Department of Human Capital Planning and Development of Local Authorities in The Ministry of Interior, and the Federation of Local Authorities, co-founded “The Day After Coalition” initiative. This innovative and groundbreaking initiative runs a pilot in four municipalities – Zefat, Netivot, Tiberius, and Rahat, by cultivating public-private coalitions that implement the Blended Finance Approach – a financial tool that strategically uses government budgets and philanthropic funds to encourage private-sector investments in social causes.
As a first stage, a Joint Steering Committee was established in each local authority, consisting of residents and official representatives. The JSC is operated under a collaborative and integrative work process, based on the “neighborhood as a community” model, which aims to harness stakeholders in the community to take an active part in the initiative. The committee carries out a process of mapping the local needs, identifying the most challenging issues in need for creative solutions. Accordingly, public call for proposals will be sent to nonprofits, social businesses, and startups, encouraging them to suggest unique solutions to the problems defined in that neighborhood. Then, an investment committee, which includes partners from the national and local coalition convenes, for a Roadshow to choose the projects. The final stage includes the implementation of the selected solutions, with control, measurement and monitoring, to be able to formulate a replicable model.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has put Israel’s health system, the Israeli economy, civil society, and social services facing unprecedented challenges: Hundreds of thousands have been put on unpaid leave or fired from their jobs, and many of the other employees had been transferred to remote work; Many business owners and self-employed workers have been experiencing a significant drop in revenue; Families in financial distress have difficulty enabling their children remote learning and keep their routine activity going; Many supportive activities for children and youth at risk have been put on hold; The elderly are forced to maintain continuous social distance; At the same time, healthcare services have been working under extreme load, focusing on COVID-19, which indirectly harms other patients. Furthermore, directing government resources to deal with COVID-19 comes on the expense of third sector organizations, that rely on government budgets, and threatens their ability to continue supporting weak and disadvantaged populations.
As a result, existing socio-economic gaps in Israel seem to be widening rapidly, new gaps are created, and there is even evidence of inter-generational hardship with fateful social and economic implications for individuals, communities, businesses, and for the country.
The Day After Coalition chose to focus on the following areas: populations suffering from social isolation; technological literacy and culturally tailored information accessibility to different populations; domestic violence; and at-risk youth. The Coalition will implement proven methodologies designed to address the defined problems, while making adjustments to specific characteristics of each authority. The courses of action will be constantly examined using research, measurement and analysis tools.
To establish feasibility (POC), the coalition operates a pilot in one neighborhood in each of the participating municipalities, implementing the “neighborhood as a community” intervention model, while combining traditional financial tools alongside the Blended Finance model.