What is collective impact?
Collective impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem. The underlying premise of collective impact is that alone, no single individual or organisation can create large-scale, lasting social change. “Silver bullet” solutions to systemic social problems do not exist; they cannot be solved by simply scaling or replicating one organisation or program. Strong organisations are necessary but not sufficient for large-scale social change.
The concept of collective impact was first references in the 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review by John Kania & Mark Kramer.
“… we believe that there is no other way society will achieve large-scale progress against the urgent and complex problems of our time, unless a collective impact approach becomes the accepted way of doing business.” – John Kania & Mark Kramer
What does collective impact involve?
Collective impact has five elements:
- Common Agenda
- Shared Measurement
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities
- Continuous Communication
- Backbone Organisation
|Mutually reinforcing activities|
|Backbone of Support|
What are the benefits of collective impact?
|Increase efficiency of resources|
Collective impact initiatives are currently being employed to address a wide variety of issues in Australia and around the world, including education, healthcare, homelessness, the environment, and community development. Many of these initiatives are already showing concrete results- click on the links below to read more about successful Collective Impact case studies in Australia and around the world.
Education: Education Benalla
Homelessness: 90 Homes 90 Lives
Children and Families: Blue Mountains Stronger Families Alliance
Environment: Elizabeth River
Health: Shape up Somerville
Employment: Opportunity Chicago
Community development: Vibrant communities
Youth and substance abuse: Franklin County Communities that Care
Juvenile justice: New York State Juvenile Justice
An example of collective impact in action is the transformation in juvenile justice reform in New York State (2010 – 2012). New York State took its lead from the successful juvenile justice reforms Connecticut has witnessed between 2000 and 2010. One of the benefits of collective impact is that ‘lessons learned’ in other settings allow for similar improvements over shorter times.
POLICY CHANGES *
- New and stronger relationships across the system
- Deeper knowledge of programs and services
- Significant policy changes
- Commitment to data-driven decision making
- Engagement of Local Communities
- Empowerment of new stakeholders
QUANTIFIABLE CHANGES *
- Juvenile arrests drop by 24%
- Juveniles admitted to detention declined by 23%
- Juvenile probation intake cases declined by 20%
- Juvenile petitions filed declined by 21%
- Juvenile admissions in state placement were down by 28%
- Number of youth in state custody declined by 45%
* NEW YORK STATE RESULTS 2010 – 2012