To further the feat of positioning the youth in the mission of creating social impact, Impact Malaysia was launched to address the gaps between doing good and development, as well as to create a more sustainable social impact ecosystem. Previously known as iM4U, Impact Malaysia has transformed to be an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to spur youth-driven social impact through a multi-stakeholder working model, including communities, NGOs, civil society organisations, corporations, philanthropic organisations, innovators and tech solution providers.
Impact Malaysia is currently headed by Ahmed Faris Amir, fondly known as Med, who brings with him wide experience in management consulting, entrepreneurship and social activism. He was appointed as Acting Chief Executive Officer from his initial position as Deputy CEO of the organisation. According to Med, youths have been playing active roles in the social impact scenery, but struggled to prove that their work matters in the eyes of other stakeholders, including the government and corporations.
“These are issues concerning empowerment, accountability and inclusion. This is a gap that exists in the ecosystem,” said Med, citing a research by the Asia Foundation and Merdeka Center, which stated that only 39% of Malaysian youths say that they can make a difference in solving problems within their communities.
Impact Malaysia conveyed three strategies forward: enable, advocate, and amplify impact, resonating their tagline of “Advocate. Enable. Amplify.”.
Enabling impact is achieved by implementing three programs: Impact Through Technology (ITT), Impact Through Community (ITC), and Impact Through Business (ITB), embedding a multi-stakeholder partnership model in all programs. ITT connects youths to innovators to create scalable, impactful and cost-effective social change, as well as capacitating youths to subsequently transfer their skills to their communities. ITB eases the process of businesses participating in the realm of social change, and ITC enables more youth-led social impact projects to happen, with the support of partners in the ecosystem.
Impact Malaysia advocates for best practices of creating social impact, and that includes providing assistance and resources on impact assessment. The ultimate goal of this strategy, is to make social impact a culture. The organisation’s third strategy, Amplifying Impact, reinforces their advocacy by highlighting achievements in social impact, with the aim to influence policies, impact development and solve real problems.
The launch was officiated by YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, the Minister of Youth and Sports. “Impact Malaysia will be the official focal point for social impact and social innovation towards youth empowerment, for the Ministry of Youth and Sports,” said the Minister, noting that this transformation will address the gap of coordination, in the ecosystem of social impact and social innovation work.
Impact Malaysia’s position as a government agency for youth development with extensive networks in the social impact and corporate landscape, puts the agency in the most ideal position to execute the multi-stakeholder strategy to streamline the changemaking work by youth, corporations, the government, NGOs and civil society organisations.
The Ministry calls for all stakeholders interested in developing social impact, especially youth, youth groups, government agencies, academia, NGOs, civil society, innovators, tech solution providers, social entrepreneurs, philanthropic organisations, businesses and corporations – to connect to Impact Malaysia and participate in Impact’s programmes.
“Impact Malaysia is not designed to deliver change by itself,” said Med. “Our job is to open doors, break glass ceilings and pave the way, so you get to scale your work with one another.”
People and organisations interested to be a part of this initiative are welcomed to register at https://www.impact.my, or email the team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mastura M. Rashid
Strategy & Communications