Phase 2. Building the Foundations
is about becoming more open to working together, building a shared understanding of the system, brokering agreement that business as usual is not enough to make large scale impact, and partnering with community as the foundation for change.
What you might see
- Collaborators calling out each other’s assumptions and bringing in other community voices;
- Collaborators demonstrating to themselves and others the value of working in partnership and of working differently;
- Collaborators understanding the value of sharing data with each other to reflect on the community situation and generating insights and evidence for collaborative action;
- Collaborators identifying and prioritising gaps in the community system;
- Collaborators understanding the role of measurement and learning in the initiative and developing their data literacy.
What you can do
- Consider the principles that will inform how the partnership will measure and learn. These will help to clarify your intent and will contribute to a shared way of working and will likely be adjusted as the partnership matures;
- Build an evidence culture by capturing, storing, analysing and communicating what is being learnt about the community through the initiative;
- Develop and include a reflective process to support the learning, design, implementation and communication efforts of the initiative. This should include what’s worked well, what hasn’t worked, and how challenges have been overcome;
- Develop an evidence-based community narrative by facilitating a process to identify the community’s concerns, interests and aspirations, and mapping existing data to the narrative;
- Create an evidence-based ‘case for change’ using the evidence-based community narrative. This provides a justification to the initiative, the community and others for change;
- Map your existing knowledge of the community activity, power, etc. using a participatory process that includes all partners in the process. The mapping will assist you in answering two questions:
- What do we know about our community and how does this information compare to other communities? This information can serve as a rough baseline or a place to ‘start’.
- How comprehensive and useful is this information in painting a picture of what is really happening in the community? This can help to refine your community conversations/engagement.
- Conduct reviews of any collaborative activities, no matter how small. This will lay the foundations for collaborative learning from the beginning;
- Use participatory techniques for the above (and any other) actions. This will lead to better information, contribute to building the partnership, and connect partners with the community.
Measurement Tools & Resources
See our latest Facilitator Tools
Understand where your initiative is on the Collaborative Change Cycle
Shared principles around trust need to be explicit in this work. This video explores strategies for how you might create some shared principles together. Deep Collaboration is a process or way of working that was created by First Nations and other Multicultural Australians to find new ways to work and lead together.
Just ‘good enough’ common ground in shared purpose is all we need in this work and this video discusses what that might look like. Deep Collaboration is a way of working that was created by First Nations and other Multicultural Australians to find new ways to work and lead together.
In this 60-minute webinar, experienced evaluator Nan Wehipeihana (Ngāti Tukorehe, NgātI Porou, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) and friends present a simple but powerful framework, showing: The difference between evaluating for Indigenous communities, evaluating as Indigenous communities, and the 'light bulb moment' on cultural paradigms.
M.Q. Patton, an American evaluator whose approaches and tools are recognised and used to evaluate place-based initiatives, has identified a useful set of principles for evaluation, which are Effectiveness Principles. More resources including a webinar on the Tamarack Institute website.
This resource supports practitioners to think through key moments for community members as they participate in the initiative being developed (e.g. from first contact, to participation, to leadership).
This resource identifies different levels of thinking and intervention regarding systems, emphasising that most of what occurs, particularly root causes, sit below the surface.
This resource provides detailed instructions for practitioners to create an actor map, which is a visual depiction of the key organizations and individuals that influence a topic or system.