When it comes to deeply entrenched and complex social problems, it’s clear that no one organisation has all the answers.
The Collective Impact approach offers a structured yet innovative way to bring multiple organisations from different sectors together, supporting them to work collaboratively to achieve real and lasting social change.
Beginning with our involvement with 90 Homes for 90 Lives, United Way Australia is increasingly being recognised for our work as a ‘backbone’ organisation in Collective Impact initiatives. We play a neutral coordinating role, helping different actors across government, business, philanthropy, and community organisations to work together, and ensuring the following five key conditions of a Collective Impact approach are met:
• a common agenda for change
• shared measurement for collecting data and results
• mutually reinforcing activities
• open and continuous communications
• a backbone/coordinating organisation(s)
Building on the success and learnings from initiatives including 90 Homes for 90 Lives, United Way Australia is currently supporting a Collective Impact initiative in Mt Druitt: The Hive. Founded in 2014 by United Way Australia, the Ten20 Foundation and NSW Family and Community Services, The Hive is not a standard service or program. It is a group of passionate local individuals, service providers, government agencies and businesses working together to improve the life opportunities for children and young people in Mt Druitt.
Children in Mt Druitt deserve the same opportunities as children who grow up in other parts of Sydney. Unfortunately, this is not currently the case.
While there are many great services improving individual children and families’ lives in Mt Druitt, outcomes for children across the suburb have not been improving. In taking a Collective Impact approach, we have the chance to unite these organisations towards a common goal, and realise greater, lasting change.
The Hive is
- a network of people from all sectors in Mt Druitt
- a place for people to come together (24 Anderson Ave, Blackett)
- a process for working collaboratively
- a team to coordinate the work.
As a Collective Impact initiative, our approach puts the community at the centre and builds alignment between stakeholders across sectors to achieve long-term change.
The NSW government Standing Committee on Social Issues tabled its report on ‘Service coordination in communities with high social needs’
with recommendations including that The Hive be funded for a further 5 years, and its approach to service coordination be expanded to other areas of high social needs.
Our focus in 2016 will be bringing together leaders from government, service providers, community and business to identify what each can do to radically improve early childhood development in Mt Druitt, and building the relationships and infrastructure that underpin our collaborative work.
We want to grow The Hive’s network to support children in Mount Druitt to thrive. You just have to be prepared to get your hands dirty trying…
Find out more about becoming a volunteer, service provider or investor at The Hive website.