Community

Discuss: Amplifying the Voice of Community in Collective Impact

Posted 5 years ago at 7:08 pm

Welcome to the discussion thread for the second week of Living Cities' free e-course: "The Why and How of Working with Communities through Collective Impact." The resources for this week will be released on March 24th. If you haven't registered yet, you can learn more and sign up for the e-course here.

This week, we are exploring several approaches for supporting community members to better contribute to collective impact initiatives. You can access the full module of resources here.

As a reminder, the learning objectives for this week are:

  • Understand the need to support community members in contributing to a collective impact initiative.  

  • Become familiar with several approaches to investing in and supporting community members.

  • Analyze “deep” engagement strategies for working with community members.

  • Revise “Assessing Your Engagement Strategies” from Module 1 based on what you learned from this module.


What are your questions about this topic? What in the readings does not make sense to you? What have been your "aha" moments, and your challenges? What do you want to share with others?

Use this discussion thread to connect with other participants and learn from each other.

13 Comments

We live in a small community in Wisconsin. Over the past few years drugs have become an increasing problem in our area. To battle this we have created initiatives to join forces with our local police department, physician, pharmacists, psychiatrics, etc… to bring awareness of this problem. We held a summit last year and many of the physicians in this area were unaware of the prescription drug abuse that was happening and were shocked at the heroin use in this area. In this module the purpose is to “how to support community members in contributing to a collective impact initiative” which I believe we are doing with these initiatives. We are having another summit this May to discuss alternate alternatives to pain relief.

I have only been at my job for a month so many of these terms are new to me but I have lived in this area most of my life and I have seen first-hand the changes in my community. Working for United Way I get a chance to make a change and be part of that change for which I am grateful for.

With many people wanting to turn their backs to substance abuse, I was wondering if any of you could share some other tips on how to invest in and support your community when it comes to substance abuse?

The Wall Street Journal did an article on heroin use in rural America and our tiny town was featured…definitely not something you want your area known for. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323997004578640531575133750

 

Submitted by Sarah Rabideau on Tue, 2015-03-24 11:12

Jeff Raderstrong

partner organization, blog contributor

Sarah--thanks for this question. It sounds like you are grappling with some tough challenges, and I thank you for bringing this question to us. I'll defer to others, since I don't have much experience in the area of substance abuse, but I will say that we at Living Cities have found that galvanizing people around a "shared result" is helpful to get people to pay attention to your issue and mobilize resources around the challenge. This "shared result" should be broad, but actionable, and measurable over time--something like "decrease the instances of substance abuse by 10% over five years." By setting a clear target, each partner can see themselves in the goal and contribute in the ways they can. For more on this, read our blog post on the topic: https://www.livingcities.org/blog/734-what-makes-collective-impact-a-powerful-tool-for-systems-change

Submitted by Jeff Raderstrong on Wed, 2015-03-25 19:20

Jena' Bradley

backbone organization

Sarah, 

I also work for a United Way and live in a region where opiod/herion abuse has a strong presence. I do not work specifically in the Health area, but it seems like our communities are doing similar work? Our local community's initiative is Interact for Health. I was able to find this site: https://www.interactforhealth.org/healthy-choices-about-substance-use. 

However, it doesn't touch on how (or if) the program is seeking to gain input/support from the greater community. In may be worth contacting someone from Interact for Health? 

Sorry I couldn't be of more help to you!

Submitted by Jena' Bradley on Fri, 2015-03-27 13:36

2. Four Approaches for Working with Communities

I enjoyed the video here. Learning these approaches has added to my "collective impact toolbox." I feel more equip for working on community engagment and collective impact initiatives in the future. The last two speakers, in particular, gave me some really great ideas. Altogether, exploring collective impact has helped me mature as a community memeber. Looking forward to sharing these tools and putting them in action soon.

3. Case Study: NACDI

This was an inspiring story. Really refreshing to be reminded that sometimes what seems to be "no big deal", is the most important promblem to solve. 

OVERALL, these exercises and articles make me more excited to begin working with the community. As enthusiastic as I am however, they have also done a wonderful job of acknowledging and helping prepare me for the challenges ahead. Using the time before our projects begin to brainstorm, I have become curious what community groups/voices I haven't imaged working with. Who are we missing & how do we get them involved? Do they want to be involved?... What shared vision will the community come together on & how will we see to create meaningul change? What will be our success & our failures be? The engagement process will definately require a great deal of discovery. Which means ("aha") a great deal of listening and colaboration.

 

 

 

Submitted by Jennifer Griffin on Sun, 2015-03-29 19:52

2. Four Approaches for Working with Communities

I enjoyed the video here. Learning these approaches has added to my "collective impact toolbox." I feel more equip for working on community engagment and collective impact initiatives in the future. The last two speakers, in particular, gave me some really great ideas. Altogether, exploring collective impact has helped me mature as a community memeber. Looking forward to sharing these tools and putting them in action soon.

3. Case Study: NACDI

This was an inspiring story. Really refreshing to be reminded that sometimes what seems to be "no big deal", is the most important promblem to solve. 

OVERALL, these exercises and articles make me more excited to begin working with the community. As enthusiastic as I am however, they have also done a wonderful job of acknowledging and helping prepare me for the challenges ahead. Using the time before our projects begin to brainstorm, I have become curious what community groups/voices I haven't imaged working with. Who are we missing & how do we get them involved? Do they want to be involved?... What shared vision will the community come together on & how will we see to create meaningul change? What will be our success & our failures be? The engagement process will definately require a great deal of discovery. Which means ("aha") a great deal of listening and colaboration.

 

 

 

Submitted by Jennifer Griffin on Sun, 2015-03-29 19:53

Jeff Raderstrong

partner organization, blog contributor

Glad you find the resources helpful Jennifer! Please do continue to share how you are working through the challenges you've highlighted--everyone can benefit from your lessons learned in how to better work with community members. 

Submitted by Jeff Raderstrong on Mon, 2015-03-30 09:57

I found the video very powerful. I sent to many of my colleagues. I hope to share with my colleagues at a future meeting. The video, in my view, really supports and validates the work we do as community recreation coordinators in Edmonton, AB Canada. 

Submitted by Susan Dack on Mon, 2015-03-30 16:27

Verda Gaines

partner organization

We have just completed with the community members, stakeholders, partners, etc our Quality of Life Agreement, over a year in the making (a skeleton of sort for the next 5 years) to be completed with strategies and partners who have agreed to help to realize  our shared vision with our community which consists of people who are underserved and  traditionally marginalized.  Also where the Metro Rail is about to go through it with possible gentrification in sight.  I have been partnering in this for over 2 1/2 years.  I am a Nurse, RN, BSN, Faith Community Nurse and many times I play dual and sometimes competing roles.  I find  applying the Health in All Policies lens is a great help.  Sometimes 'Outreach' only is required (Public Awareness:  Colorectal screening) and  other times 'Community Engagement' ( People of Color, Refugee, & Immigrants:  Focus groups/ survey groups:  How do want to be addressed in the specific messages, where do or who do you get info or trust that may bring about your behavior change) as part of Preventative Care.  Sometimes it is good to have a designated 'Community Liaison' at  times.  The 'Tool' is a great 'gauge' for where you are which usually is 'fluid' and ever changing.

Submitted by Verda Gaines on Mon, 2015-03-30 21:29

Jeff Raderstrong

partner organization, blog contributor

Glad you've found these tools useful. And I think you are right to note that these things are fluid--I hope that you can continue to come back to these resources as your work changes to help you think through what is needed next.

Submitted by Jeff Raderstrong on Wed, 2015-04-01 17:22

James Wai

backbone organization

I agree with many of you that the video clips evidently illustrate the application of community engagement in the process of creating collective impact. We, in our e-course group discussion referenced the videos and the community engagement assessment tool with respect to how they helped us reflect on our approach to working with community stakeholders here in Edmonton Alberta.

But we also took an innovative approach - we explored how each of us has personally or professional used or engaged in a collective impact initiative similar to what we saw on the video clips and how that relates to the learning on this course and experience of other communities as shared here. It was exciting and inspiring discussion.

Submitted by James Wai on Tue, 2015-03-31 10:38

Jeff Raderstrong

partner organization, blog contributor

Glad to hear it James! I think the personal aspect of this work is very important and I'm glad your group brought that into the discussion.

Submitted by Jeff Raderstrong on Wed, 2015-04-01 17:20

Susan Warren

backbone organization

Our education and skills-focused collective impact partnership is in the early stages, working across a city of around 1.5 million people (Auckland, New Zealand).  I can see how deep community engagement will be both important and possible when we're developing action groups focused on specific areas (for example, we're just about to start work towards supporting early oral language development with families and pre-schoolers, initially in two suburbs).  What I'm finding harder is working out how to meaningfully engage with community around the overall cross-city learning pathways.  We have great representation from sector and community leaders in our leadership table, and they used our baseline data report to engage with a wider group, including young people and families, in a "100 conversations"-style consultation.  We also work with a publisher to support a student-led magazine where learners of all ages can talk about the issues that affect their learning.   We have a website and e-newsletter, but I suspect not many community members read them. I know we need to do more - interested in comments on how we could focus our next steps.

Submitted by Susan Warren on Tue, 2015-03-31 18:19

Jeff Raderstrong

partner organization, blog contributor

Thanks for sharing your work Susan--I will defer to others for their comments on how to focus next steps, but it does sound like you are doing a lot already. I wonder if there are ways to analyze the impact or response the community has to the tools you are currently using? That is, can you see how many people are reading your e-newsletter, and if they are sharing it? That may help you figure out which directions to go in.

Submitted by Jeff Raderstrong on Wed, 2015-04-01 17:19

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