Shared Measurement is at the heart of Collective Impact.

According to Jeff Raderstrong in his recent blog post at Living Cities, “Without continuously tracking and managing progress with data, it is highly unlikely that a collective impact initiative, or any large-scale change initiative, can achieve its goals.”

Measurement only one of the reasons we are developing an Index of Connectedness through the Child & Youth Health Network. We also intend to use data as a core element of our intervention strategy.

In an earlier post, Jeff outlined five steps to using data in Collective Impact:

Step 1: Agree on the Data

This is what we are currently doing as we build the Index of Connectedness with a panel of experts in the area of measurement from around British Columbia.

Step 2: Find the Data

The Index will use existing data sources, such as the EDI and the Adolescent Health Survey, but we know that there may be data gaps that we will also need to fill in order to create a truly useful index.

Step 3: Present the Data

We are currently working with data science students to create data visualization for the index so that it will be easy for everyone (not just data geeks!) to interpret. Data visualization will also aid comparison between communities and over time.

Step 4: Discuss the Data

Once the index is complete (we are planning to launch the Index in 2017, it will provide information that we hope will provoke discussion at multiple system levels throughout our region.

Step 5: Change Behavior and Share Responsibility

The Index of Connectedness will be at the core of our shared measurement system, but it is also intended to function as an intervention for change. Through the index we hope to:

  1. Mobilize knowledge, to help everyone in our communities understand that increased connectedness for children and youth improves their health, as well as their academic performance, future productivity, and future parenting capacity.  Increased connectedness for children and youth results in improved overall community health in the long-term.
  2. Support all community members in seeing that they have a role, and helping them to  take steps to increase connectedness for children and youth in their families, schools and communities.

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