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DC NEXT! uses the tools of collective impact and the human-centered equity action lab model (HEAL Lab), to form the core of our efforts to design and test innovations and meet our goal: Increase young families’ capacity to make healthy decisions about relationships, sex, parenting, education, and their future.

College Students

Collective Impact

Through Collective Impact, DC NEXT! collaborates to: 

  • Create a common agenda that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed-upon actions, with its focus on mutually reinforcing activities to maximize the reach of DC NEXT!.


  • Monthly Network Meetings


  • Participate in designing innovations


  • Build awareness

Human Centered Equity Action Lab (HEAL Lab)

The Human-Centered Equity Action Lab (HEAL Lab) identifies and tests ideas to address inequity in our health, education, and social systems. The three Network design teams are made up of our Context Team, our Leadership Team, and our Network Partners to design, prototype and test solutions to issues and challenges they identified in rapid cycles. The design teams meet weekly to create prototypes and start their testing on a small scale. They collect data over time and build knowledge sequentially with multiple testing cycles for each idea. The team then utilizes the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) model to design tests of change.

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