University Develops a Strategic Plan for Its Collaborative "Harvard Children's Initiative"

In 2001, the Harvard Children's Initiative developed a strategic plan to attract and motivate Harvard University students, faculty and staff to participate in a sustained effort to serve children.

Harvard Children's Initiative was established in 1993 to focus Harvard's resources on children's ability to grow to healthy, productive adulthood.

The initiative fosters collaborations among the disciplines and fields that need to work together to address the challenges facing children, and to promote interdisciplinary research, education and community activities. Although many people in almost every school at Harvard work on problems that involve children, these efforts had not been coordinated.

Key Recommendations

  • Promote a bold vision. Consider developing Harvard Children's Initiative's vision around the importance of building local and national infrastructures that support children in reaching their full potential.

  • Keep asking how and why Harvard Children's Initiative is important to Harvard.

  • Create a clear case for the permanence of Harvard Children's Initiative.

  • Develop and enhance a city-wide infrastructure in Cambridge, Mass., with a capacity to assess all children at strategic points in their lives.