Collective Impact initiatives are great ways to tackle complex community challenges. However, they can be challenging in and of themselves. The Collective Impact Action Summit Conference was an opportunity to see what other coalitions are doing within their initiatives and learn from their successes.
I was excited to see how different backbone organizations and collaborators use data and evaluation to be strategic. Here are some of my takeaways:
There are so many ways to use data
You can be strategic about the indicators you select
Gather data about the various levels of your initiative
Close the loop. Make sure that your participants get to see the findings. Also, encourage them to use data too.
Relationships are important because important work is done through collaboration.
Engage the community throughout.
You can be creative when it comes to data collection.
Check out some of the free tools that are out there.
Below are some of the resources you might explore more:
Report on how different coalitions are using data: Equal Measure. (2023). The Opportunity Youth Forum: Using Data to Facilitate Systems Change. https://www.aspencommunitysolutions.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Aspen-OYF-Data-Brief-Feb2023.pdf
Participatory Approaches: https://www.connectingevidence.com/post/participatory-approaches-for-nonprofits
Tips to implement participatory approaches: https://www.connectingevidence.com/post/participatory-approach-tips-for-nonprofits
Sustainability Development Goals: https://sdgs.un.org/goals
Kumu (network mapping software): https://www.kumu.io/
Community Engagement Toolkit: https://collectiveimpactforum.org/resource/community-engagement-toolkit/
Human-Centered Design Resources: https://www.ideo.org/tools
Design Kit (Human-Centered Design Course): https://www.designkit.org/methods.html
Introduction to Human-Centered Design Course: https://acumenacademy.org/course/design-kit-human-centered-design/
Facilitating Intentional Group Learning: https://www.fsg.org/resource/facilitating-intentional-group-learning/