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Collective Impact Overview: A Framework for Community Change Donna Jean Forster-Gill Program Manager, Vibrant Communities Canada – Cities Reducing Poverty.

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Presentation on theme: "Collective Impact Overview: A Framework for Community Change Donna Jean Forster-Gill Program Manager, Vibrant Communities Canada – Cities Reducing Poverty."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collective Impact Overview: A Framework for Community Change Donna Jean Forster-Gill Program Manager, Vibrant Communities Canada – Cities Reducing Poverty -

2 An Overview of Collective Impact Community Foundation of Greater Cincinnati Collective Impact: Pulling Together

3 Trust Turf Loose Tight CompeteCo-exist Communicate CooperateCoordinateCollaborateIntegrate Competition for clients, resources, partners, public attention. No systematic connection between agencies. Inter-agency information sharing (e.g. networking). As needed, often informal, interaction, on discrete activities or projects. Organizatio ns systematical ly adjust and align work with each other for greater outcomes. Longer term interaction based on shared mission, goals; shared decision- makers and resources. Fully integrated programs, planning, funding. The Collaboration Spectrum 3

4 SUSTAIN & GROW MATURITY EXPLORATION CREATIVE DESTRUCTION DEVELOPMENT crisis reconnect manage new thinking chaos develop & adapt birth expand possibilities & buy-in place bets refine shared vision conserve DIRECTION & CORE LEADERSHIP declining outcomes choice unravel Collaborative Life Cycle

5 Key Practices for Effective Collaboration Assessing the Environment Creating Clarity Building Trust Sharing Power and Influence Reflection

6 Why Collective Impact

7 From Isolated Impact to Collective Impact Isolated Impact Funders select individual grantees Organizations work separately Evaluation attempts to isolate a particular organization’s impact Large scale change is assumed to depend on scaling organizations Corporate and government sectors are often disconnected from foundations and non-profits. Collective Impact Funders understand that social problems – and their solutions – arise from multiple interacting factors Cross-sector alignment with government, nonprofit, philanthropic and corporate sectors as partners Organizations actively coordinating their actions and sharing lessons learned All working toward the same goal and measuring the same things

8 Used for Many Complex Issues Teen PregnancyEducation PovertyHomelessness Health Community Safety


10 Preconditions for Collective Impact Influential Champion(s) Urgency of issue Adequate Resources

11 Collective Impact – Framing Questions Do we aim to effect ―needle- change (i.e., 10% or more) on a community-wide metric? Do we believe that a long-term investment (i.e., three to five- plus years) by stakeholders is necessary to achieve success? Do we believe that cross-sector engagement is essential for community-wide change? Are we committed to using measurable data to set the agenda and improve over time? Are we committed to having community members as partners and producers of impact? From White House Council on Community Change

12 Collective Impact Efforts Tend to Transpire Over Four Key Phases Phases of Collective Impact Phase IV Sustain Action and Impact Components for Success Identify champions and form cross- sector group Create infrastructure (backbone and processes) Convene community stakeholders Facilitate community outreach Engage community and build public will Map the landscape and use data to make case Create common agenda (common goals and strategy) Hold dialogue about issue, community context, and available resources Facilitate community outreach specific to goal Analyze baseline data to ID key issues and gaps Establish shared metrics (indicators, measurement, and approach) Facilitate and refine Continue engagement and conduct advocacy Support implementation (alignment to goal and strategies) Collect, track, and report progress (process to learn and improve) Determine if there is consensus/urgency to move forward Phase III Organize for Impact Phase II Initiate Action Phase I Generate Ideas and Dialogue GovernanceandInfrastructure StrategicPlanning CommunityInvolvement EvaluationAndImprovement


14 Five Conditions for Collective Impact Specialized Agendas Fragmented Measurements Independent Activities Sporadic Communication Unsupported Efforts Common Agenda Shared Measurement Mutually Reinforcing Activities Continuous Communication Backbone Organization

15 Common Agenda What makes the difference between a good movie and a bad movie? “Getting everyone involved to make the same movie!” - Francis Ford Coppola

16 Common Agenda Define the challenge to be addressed. Acknowledge that a collective impact approach is required. Establish clear and shared goal(s) for change. Identify principles to guide joint work together.

17 Communication in Tillamook County, Oregon Teen Pregnancy According to the Health Department summary, Tillamook county "found that forming partnerships and working together toward a desired result can bring about astounding results.... Their turn-around was an evolutionary process, with new partners bringing contributions forward at different times." No Shared Agenda Reduce Teenagers Giving Birth Reduce Teenagers Getting Pregnant

18 Building a Common Agenda Prior HistoryPositive or negative impact Pressing IssueGalvanize leaders across sectors DataDetermine what you need to understand impact of the issue on community Community ContextIs there community buy in? Determine community leverage opportunities Core GroupDetermine who needs to be involved in core group ConvenerTrusted leadership to facilitate collaborative efforts Community Engagement Determine how to engage the broader community in the effort

19 5 things to consider when building a common agenda 1.Who’s driving the agenda? 2.How complex is the issue? 3.How does the issue play out in the community? 4.Who is doing what already? 5.What are the next steps?

20 Shared Measurement Identify key measures that capture critical outcomes. Establish systems for gathering and analyzing measures. Create opportunities for “making-sense” of changes in indicators.

21 Collaboration in Cincinnati Educational Achievement Homelessness STRIVE in Cincinnati Over three hundred educational organizations, human service groups, government agencies and philanthropies and private businesses. Shared agreement on 15 key milestones and 72 measures along a student road-map of success. A strong back-bone organization supporting a variety of “networks” supporting each key milestone. Measureable progress in most key indicators in recent years.

22 Strive Partnership Goals: Working together along the educational continuum to drive better results in education so that every child… Is prepared for school Is supported inside and outside of school Succeeds academically Enrolls in some form of postsecondary education Graduates and enters a career Results: 10% increase in graduation rates in Cincinnati since 2003; 16% increase in college enrollment rate in Covington, KY since 2004

23 Shared Measurement in Vibrant Communities Canada Process: # of people/orgs at table, # of community presentations, articles, etc Progress: # of programs, # of new initiatives, etc Policy: policy changes in own or other organizations, new investments, gov. policy changes Population : # of people moved out of poverty, # of high school graduates, # of low birth weight babies Shared Measurement

24 Mutually Reinforcing Activities Agreement on key outcomes. Orchestration and specialization. Complementary – sometimes “joined up” - strategies to achieve outcomes.

25 Coordination in Saint John Poverty Housing Transportation Education to Employment Early Childhood Development Workforce Development Neighborhood Renewal


27 Continuous Communication Create formal and informal measures for keeping people informed Communication is open and reflect a diversity of styles Difficult issues are surfaced, discussed and addressed

28 Cooperation in Karelia, Finland Heart Disease Close collaboration with a range of organizations has been an essential element of success. Diabetes Voice. May Volume 53. Special Issue. Common Agenda: reduce heart disease. Focus on measuring & reducing a variety of key risk factors (e.g. high fat food diet, smoking, etc.) Emphasis on mutually reinforcing strategies with multisectoral actors (e.g. changing farming practices, media profile, trade policy around production and consumption of dairy products). Backbone support provided by regional health authority.

29 In and Out Communication

30 Backbone Organization(s) Guide vision & strategy Support aligned activities Established shared measurements Build public will Advance policy Mobilize funding Like a manager at a construction site who attends to the whole building while carpenters, plumbers and electricians come and go, the support staff keep the collaborative process moving along, even as the participants may change. Jay Conner Community Visions, Community Solutions: Grantmaking for Comprehensive Impact

31 Common Misperceptions about the Role of Backbone Organizations The backbone organization sets the agenda for the group The backbone organization drives the solutions The backbone organization receives all the funding The role of backbone can be self appointed rather than selected by the community The role of backbone isn’t fundamentally different from “business as usual” in terms of staffing, time, and resources Common Misperceptions Backbone Organizations Source: FSG Interviews and Analysis

32 Lessons Learned about Backbones 1.Their value is unmistakeable. 2.Backbones shares strengths in guiding vision and strategy and supporting aligned activities. 3.Backbone organizations shift focus over time. 4.Backbone organizations’ partners need ongoing assistance with data. 5.External communications, building public will, and advancing policy are common backbone challenges. Source: Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact Initiatives

33 100 Cities/Regions/Provinces/Territories reducing poverty together 8 Action Teams advancing shared priorities Shared Aspiration: 1 million Canadians will move out of poverty. Active Learning Community Network to scale up social change Common Evaluation Framework with shared measures Loop of continuous communication

34 Beyond Backbone: Other Critical Roles in Collective Impact Community Ownership Convener Fiscal Sponsor Backbone Working Groups Steering Committee Leadership Table

35 Role of Convener Convening and Hosting: the convener initially calls the table together Early Investor: the convener is often an early investor in the collaborative effort Fiscal Sponsor: in many cases, the convening organization acts as a fiscal sponsor for the backbone infrastructure including holding funding for the collaborative table, hiring staff and providing administrative infrastructure Trusted partner: convening organizations are often members of the collaborative roundtables but not the chair or lead, this role is held by another member of the roundtable

36 9 Leadership principles for Backbone Leaders 1.View the system you are trying to change through a lens of complexity 2.Let the vision be “good enough” rather than trying to plan every little detail 3.Live with balance between data and intuition, planning and action, safety and risk 4.Be comfortable with uncovering paradox and tensions 5.Don’t wait to be “sure” before proceeding with actions 6.Create an environment of information, diversity and difference, connections and relationship 7.Mix cooperation and competition – it’s not one or the other 8.Understand that informal conversations, gossip and rumor contribute to mental models, actions and beliefs. Listen to these. 9.Allow complex systems to emerge out of the interaction of systems, ideas and resources.


38 Significant shifts in policy Needle Moving Change Unlikely suspects working together Innovative solutions to complex problems Increased community engagement Increased awareness of complex issues Feeling of control over some of society’s wicked problems

39 Things to Consider in Collective Impact Patient capital Persistence for longer term systems change Align funders across sectors to common agenda Legitimize the work of the collaborative table No playbook, support and advance the skills and capacity of collaborative partners Learn what’s working and quickly let go of what isn’t

40 Reflecting on Collective Impact Think – Pair – Share What have I learned about collective impact that I can apply to my role in the Halton Our Kids Network? What other questions do I have?

41 Additional Resources Stanford Social Innovation Review articles on Collective Impact: Resources for Backbones - change-leading-backbone-organization-collective-impact change-leading-backbone-organization-collective-impact Collective Impact Readiness Tool: readiness-assessment-tool readiness-assessment-tool

42 Thank You Enjoy the Collective Impact Journey!

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