Evaluation of a Collective Impact family violence prevention initiative: Learnings from the first two years

Program evaluation snapshots
Thursday 26 July, 1040 – 1050

Presenters

Allison Byrnes
Family Life

Abstract
Collective Impact (CI) offers a structured framework for cross-sectoral collaboration, often applied in the context of complex social issues. Arising from North America and first described formally in 2011 (Kania & Kramer, 2011), CI is relatively new in Australia.

“Together We Can” is a family violence primary prevention CI initiative established in 2015 in the Shire of Cardinia, Melbourne. The initiative aims to facilitate and support community-led action for the prevention of family violence within the community.

The first two years of the initiative saw the establishment of strong partnerships between diverse organisations within the community including government, community services, police, education, sport and recreation, and business. More recently, an increase in community mobilisation and leadership has been indicated by a number of community-based groups formed to design and implement various activities.

Evaluation of the initiative has been designed as a three-staged approach: the evaluators are embedded within the initiative; they are involved in governance; and provide input into the ongoing development of the project. This presentation will share learnings from this approach, and describe strategies and outcomes observed in the initiative to date.

The challenge is now to continue to develop over a multi-year time frame and ultimately achieve outcomes in relation to family violence. Key issues identified include the resourcing required to develop and maintain sustainable partnerships and activities; valuing different perspectives in the co-design process; and direct evaluation versus the development of evaluation capacity in collaboration members.