People in conversation

Impact Update

When community members engage one another using Essential Partners' dialogue framework, communication habits improve, trust is restored, understanding is deepened. The community, campus, or workplace becomes more resilient and more cohesive.

Members of our global community of practice are not just participants of a single dialogue or training—they are change-makers and community builders who employ our approach to create cultures of pluralism, inclusion, and trust across differences.

In terms of lasting impact, we have no peers.

People impacted by an EP engagement feel respected and understood, even in the midst of deep disagreement. They move beyond stereotypes, assumptions, and implicit biases. When that happens, people feel a greater sense of belonging and begin to trust that other people—even those of different opinions, backgrounds, or ideologies—are committed to helping their community thrive.

To achieve this impact, EP trains local stakeholders to foster healthier conversations about the issues that drive polarization and conflict or silence and deadlock. We co-design systems that support these conversations and co-develop plans to address local challenges.

In our evaluation program, we measure impact over time in four areas:

  1. Understanding Others and Being Understood
  2. Willingness to Engage Across Differences
  3. Equipped to Engage Across Differences
  4. Healthy Relationships and Social Cohesion

Our FY19 program evaluations find…

Image: Impact Percentages

Prior to participating in an Essential Partners engagement, 33% of people report they don’t feel understood in their communities—one out of every three people. After working with us, nine of every ten people report that dialogue helps them feel understood by those with different opinions, identities and beliefs.

Before working with EP, 43% of people report that their communities are not cohesive. But that number drops to 25% immediately following an engagement. Three months after an EP training or other intervention, that number drops to 16%, and six months after it drops to just 6%.

These results highlight the long-term impact EP's work has in a community, with ripple effects that emanate from well-equipped stakeholders who are invested in the health of their community.

Six months after an EP engagement:

  • 94% of people say they’ve participated in conversations across difference
  • 85% of people have formed new relationships across differences
  • 85% of people report improvements in once-negative relationships across differences
  • 75% of people say they’ve seen improvements in formerly negative patterns of communication
  • 74% of people report that they have new structures in place for difficult conversations

Let’s Talk Scale

Over the past five years, Essential Partners has improved the lives of more than one million people all across the globe by empowering fewer than 20,000 civic, business, and faith leaders as well as educators and students, grassroots organizers, and change-makers.

Image: Scale

3,193 community builders were trained in EP’s approach in Fiscal Year 2019—and every single year they will engage with 111,755 neighbors, coworkers, students, and community members, using EP's framework in ways that will bring about a transformation in their context.

When we empower and support the people who are most committed to their communities, change comes fast and builds over time.