Collective Impact is an approach to collaboration that is being used by diverse communities around the world to transform difficult social problems.
Collective Impact isn’t about continuing to do things the way they have been done.
The status quo is giving us exactly the results we have now. If we’re happy with those results: great!
If not, we need to change the system to get the results we want.
To change a system, we need to address the way we think about the system, and how we interact with each other. We need to be prepared to be changed.
Five simple guidelines create the structure of Collective Impact:
- A Common Agenda;
- Shared Measurement;
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities;
- Continuous Communication; &
- A Backbone Structure.
It is these simple rules that enable the complex work of system transformation.
The model is flexible. Communities focus on what is important at a local level.
For some communities, it’s obesity prevention. For others it’s poverty reduction. Or improving health outcomes for LGBTQ+ community members. Or reducing racial disparities in high school graduation rates. In Bosnia, one town is addressing the ongoing problem they have with feral dogs.
The focus is on whatever leverage point is identified by a community as being most significant to improve the health and well-being of that community as a whole.
In New York, before Collective Impact, 60% of young people in the youth justice system were rearrested within 2 years. After stakeholders came together to align their activities through Collective Impact, youth arrests decreased by 24% and youth in custody declined by 45% …without any increase in crime or risk to public safety.
That’s the kind of change we’re talking about.
The Child & Youth Health Network is working to improve the mental and physical health of young people in the capital region of British Columbia. We aim to do that be aligning people, ideas, organizations, sectors and resources of all kinds behind increasing ‘connectedness‘ for children, youth and families.
Learn more about Collective Impact at
- Stanford Social Innovation Review;
- Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement; and
- the Collective Impact Forum.