‘Collective Impact’ has been sweeping the non-profit world by storm, beginning in North America and gaining popularity in Australia and New Zealand. Collective Impact sees that no single organisation can create large-scale social change alone. A lot of social issues, such as poverty, inequality, and educational achievement, are ‘complex problems’ – the answers are not known and the ‘problem’ arises from the interplay of activities of various sectors. Collective Impact is about a group of people from different sectors working towards a common goal. Collective Impact presents itself as a fundamentally different, more disciplined and ‘higher-performing approach’ to achieving large-scale social change. The approach is defined by five conditions: 1) common agenda; 2) shared measurement; 3) mutually reinforcing activities; 4) continuous communication; and 5) backbone support.
This report seeks to explore, assess and make a recommendation on the potential of a ‘collective impact’ initiative to make the Wellington Region ‘the best place in New Zealand to raise a family’. The concept’s origins are in a desire for social change, and a desire to address issues of inequality. Through talking with 55 interviewees, this project sought to ‘test the waters’ for the proposed collective impact initiative. This report was commissioned by an informal working group.