Collective Impact is “a disciplined, cross-sector approach to solving complex social and environmental issues on a large scale.” First defined by John Kania and Mark Kramer of FSG: Social Impact Consultants in an article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in the Winter of 2011, it includes 5 conditions and 3 pre-conditions, which when applied in a comprehensive way, have demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in addressing a broad range of issues. Collective Impact has garnered rapid uptake, in part due to the clear and elegant way that Kania and Kramer describe its collaborative, multi-sector approach. Collective Impact is also very much an evolving body of practice whose effectiveness is being accelerated as the learning and experience of the growing number of practitioners who are now implementing it are sharing their insights and experiences.
Through the Healthy Start EPIC Center, six Peer Learning Networks (PLNs) were established to accelerate the learning and experience of Healthy Start Grantees in the application of Collective Impact to achieve its mission and goals. Between May 2015 – January 2016 each Peer Learning Network met by phone for 90 minutes per session. Each session built upon the previous one and focused on a particular aspect of Collective Impact. Relevant content (resources, tools etc.) drawn from a Healthy Start specific CI tool box (and other sources) were presented during each call but the emphasis was primarily on, dialogue and problem-solving amongst participants and opportunities to provide mutual support.
A Collective Impact Implementation Tool Box for Healthy Start
This tool box, designed specifically for Healthy Start with input from the HS CI-PLNs, is intended to help grantees utilize a Collective Impact (CI) approach in working with their Community Actions Networks (CAN). The tool box has seven sections that each provide an overview of the topic, a set of practical tools and templates, and resources for going deeper. The seven sections cover: 1) Assessing Readiness and Context: The Pre-Conditions; 2) The Common Agenda; 3) Shared Measurement; 4) Mutually Reinforcing Activities; 5) Continuous Communication; 6) Backbone Infrastructure; and 7) Bringing it All Together: The Year I Action Plan. (Word | PDF)
Peer Learning Network Slides
This list provides an overview of focus for each of the 8 PLN Discussion Calls held between May and January 2016 as well as copies as a slide deck you can download and modify for your own purposes.
- Session 1 – Building Your Peer Learning Network: These slides focus on the work of building, and sustaining, a dynamic Peer Learning Network. This is the focus of PLN Discussion Call #1.
- Session 2 – Assessing Readiness and Context: The Pre-Conditions: The slides assist participants to assess the current context of the community and their Healthy Start initiative using the lens of Collective Impact. This is the focus of PLN Discussion Call #2.
- Session 3 – The Common Agenda: These slides are focused on scoping, defining and affirming the common agenda for your work. This is the focus of PLN Discussion Call #3.
- Session 4 – Shared Measurement: The slides in this section explore shared measurement for your Healthy Start CI Initiative and shared measurement systems to monitor and inform your strategy. This is the focus of PLN Discussion Call #4.
- Session 5 – Mutually Reinforcing Activities: The slides in this section focus on how to align the resources across the engaged partners into an initial theory of change that you and your partners believe will enable you to achieve your common agenda. This is the focus of PLN Discussion Call #5.
- Session 6 – Bringing it All Together: The Year I Action Plan: The primary resource in this section is the framework for creating a Year I Collective Impact Implementation Plan for Healthy Start Grantees. This is the focus of the PLN Discussion Call #6.
- Session 7 – Continuous Communication: The slides in this section focus on exploring ways to coordinate and champion the work that you and your partners are undertaking together. This – and the section below – are the focus of PLN Discussion Call #7
- Session 8 – Backbone Infrastructure: The slides in this section focus on the essential structures and agreements needed to facilitate good coordination across the multiple partners engaged in your Collective Impact effort. This – and the section above – are the focus of PLN Discussion Call #8.