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Collective leadership enhances community resilience; improves performance of organizations, groups, and teams; and fosters personal growth.

Despite progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), many challenges persist due to emergencies, crises, and systemic complexities.  To drive lasting and transformational change, it is imperative that we embrace collective leadership as an important lever for advancing global development and invest resources in its development.  

There is a growing body of evidence documenting the critical role of people working throughout systems in driving development outcomes across a range of key sectors, including economic development, government, education, and health. 

Despite this, very little official development assistance is directed toward leadership development. In addition, few efforts are focused on developing leadership capacities that would help individuals and groups participate and lead the work of changing the systems within which they operate.

This study, Collective Leadership for Sustainable Development Evidence from Research and Practice reviewed existing evidence and insights to understand how collective leadership can be harnessed to transform systems and catalyze sustainable development. Specifically, researchers aimed to define collective leadership, review evidence on its relevance and effectiveness, link it to sustainable development and systems change, and propose a framework for its development.

Collective Leadership for Sustainable Development Evidence from Research and Practice

Brief version

This study was commissioned by the People First Community with the generous support of the Lemann Foundation.

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