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The Jawun model consists of four interdependent

components, which not only make it effective in

achieving sustainable progress for Indigenous

communities, but also a unique organisation in

the global context of development. These four

components are:

• an emphasis on Indigenous-led initiatives

• a place-based focus

• cross-sector partnerships

• programs leveraging partners’ unique skills

and resources.

Although Jawun’s approach seems intuitive, it is

novel in comparison with international development

approaches. Some of the most effective organisations

working on Indigenous issues are Indigenous-led and

place-based, but few work across sectors, engage

corporations or leverage people to advance their


Some place-based organisations effectively leverage

cross-sector partnerships and people to affect

community change, but they are generally issue-

agnostic, working with any not-for-profits that meet

their evaluation criteria and with the ability to utilise

secondees effectively. For example, UK-based

Common Impact uses skills-based volunteering to

connect global companies to local non-profits and

jointly tackle community challenges.


Cross-sector organisations can be very broad, such as

the Partnering Initiative, which promotes cross-sector

partnerships to solve social issues while also focusing on

a specific issue such as AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Other organisations that exclusively leverage people

from one sector with specialised skills (Doctors Without

Borders) or specific backgrounds (Teach For America)

are all issue-specific and large scale, but don’t always

foster collaboration between sectors since they focus

on filling specific needs.

In summary, organisations worldwide may have similar

mission statements and combine several aspects of

Jawun’s model, but not all of its characteristics. Jawun

is unique in focusing the resources of its cross-sector

partners specifically and exclusively towards one goal:

empowering Indigenous-led change in communities.