The Collective Impact Network (CIN) is a Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) sponsored initiative being co-led by PAN acting as the backbone organization (see explanation below). At this time, it consists of the six PHSA-contracted agencies that are supporting the community-based response to HIV and HCV, alongside the PHSA, and including the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and BC Women’s Hospital. We are starting smaller in scope with the potential to expand.
Our goal is to facilitate collaboration on priority areas that will best support people living with HIV and HCV and the frontline organizations that serve them.
These community-based organizations are Pivot Legal Society, YouthCO, CBRC, Pacific Hepatitis C Network, Positive Living BC and ourselves. In the coming months we will be featuring them, and what they bring to the CIN, on our blog.
Having devised a foundational structure to plan for core activities, such as quarterly meetings, the CIN had its inaugural meeting in February 2017. By May, we had defined our priorities and agreed upon our common agenda:
1. Increase involvement of People with Lived Experience (PWLE);
2. Increase program equity and services
a. for HIV and HCV ;
b. across BC (urban, suburban, rural and remote locations);
3. Harm Reduction;
4. Reducing Stigma.
For the network, PAN has developed a tool for measuring results consistently and we are using feedback to finalize this. Adopting shared measurement tools to track the impact of our sector’s collective efforts responding to HIV, HCV and related conditions is key to tracking our shared successes and demonstrating the value of the work we all do. PAN is pleased to be working alongside of the PHSA and CIN Members to build shared measurement frameworks and collect data using a set of common measures.
We are also coordinating mutually reinforcing activities – so far, for the first two priority areas, including Asset mapping for peer-based work and the formation of a HCV working group. This working group has helped us understand better the immediate needs for HCV program equity and it has led to more mapping and needs assessment. PAN has also coordinated an internal application process for the PHSA’s Innovation Fund to help kick start novel programs within the network that are aligned with our common agenda. From meetings to activity planning to administrating the Innovation Fund, all are facilitated by PAN’s backbone role in continuous communication.
What is Collective Impact?
Collective Impact is a framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organisations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change.
The Collective Impact approach is premised on the belief that no single policy, government department, organisation or program can tackle or solve the increasingly complex social problems we face as a society. The approach calls for multiple organisations or entities from different sectors to abandon their own agenda in favour of a common agenda, shared measurement and alignment of effort.
Unlike collaboration or partnership, Collective Impact initiatives have centralised infrastructure – known as a backbone organisation – with dedicated staff whose role is to help participating organisations shift from acting alone to acting in concert.
John Kania & Mark Kramer first wrote about collective impact in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2011 and identified five key elements:
1. All participants have a common agenda for change including a shared understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions.
2. Collecting data and measuring results consistently across all the participants ensures shared measurement for alignment and accountability.
3. A plan of action that outlines and coordinates mutually reinforcing activities for each participant.
4. Open and continuous communication is needed across the many players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation.
5. A backbone organisation(s) with staff and specific set of skills to serve the entire initiative and coordinate participating organisations and agencies.
“… 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