Blog Post: The Importance of Implementation
Do you remember the old Schoolhouse Rock segment How A Bill Becomes A Law? In it, we get a concise (if a bit oversimplified) description of the process by which legislation gets signed into law. While this is an important process to be sure, what comes next and what isn’t addressed in the video is just as critical: implementation. Without effective implementation, a law is just words on paper, failing to have meaningfully changed anything.
Here in Maine, when new legislation is passed with the aim of strengthening child nutrition programs and getting more meals to more kids, it is up to the state Department of Education (DOE) and the on-the-ground school nutrition directors and other program leaders to implement. Oftentimes these folks are balancing implementation efforts for multiple initiatives simultaneously, not to mention their ongoing core work.
This is why the work we do at Full Plates Full Potential is so critical. Not only do we have the bandwidth to prioritize listening to those closest to the issues when proposing legislative solutions, but we are also prepared to actively support implementation efforts, providing critical technical and financial support to speed adoption by removing barriers. The evolution of Maine’s Local Produce Fund into the Local Foods Fund provides an excellent example of the importance of paying attention to implementation and the tremendous value that systems change organizations like Full Plates can add to governmental efforts.