Community connections and aspirations guide our approach to achieving long term change for children and families. Our approach sits with a Collective Impact framework and influenced by; the IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum for increasing levels of public impact, Harwood Institute Community Rhythms, a gender equity lens, and a primary prevention lens across all areas of work, amongst other frameworks and tools.
OUR THEORY OF CHANGE
We have developed our framework for long term change from a robust collaborative co-design process, including identification of high leverage and equity-focused strategies which we believe will achieve our desired outcomes. We are creating the conditions for change through developing a shared awareness and understanding of local issues, strengthening partnerships, involving the community in decision making, increasing services collaboration, and responsive advocacy and investment.
There are now many examples of collaborative activity and its resulting changes across the municipality that did not exist a few years ago. Examples include the integrated philosophy of the Goldfields Family Centre, community police collaboration, and a growing number of community members who are passionate and involved in all aspects of this work.
We have systems in place to reflect and measure the impact that informs the transformations that are needed. We continue to work together on challenging existing systems so that we can achieve our vision for our community aspiring, achieving to live a full life.
STRATEGIC LEARNING – RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
Research and Evaluation is a priority for the work of Go Goldfields. Through our partnership with the Murdoch Children’s Institute of Research, we have benefited from over $100,000 of investment in research and evaluation in the past year. We use data, indicators and a participatory evaluation process known as Most Significant Change to measure and refine our work. Visit our DATA & REPORTS page for more information.
According to research successful Collective Impact initiatives typically have five conditions that together produce true alignment and lead to powerful results: a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support organization. these five conditions will go through life stages as the site matures.
Go Goldfields uses a collective impact approach bringing community members from Central Goldfields Shire together with leaders from services and government agencies to address complex social issues and improve outcomes for our children and families.
In 2010 a group of service leaders, having worked for many years trying to improve outcomes for local children, young people and families in Central Goldfields Shire, met to discuss how they might do things differently. At that time the shire was the most disadvantaged in the state and the same old ways of thinking and doing were clearly not working. Inspired by a deep commitment to make a real difference in the lives of our community, they formed the Go Goldfields Alliance to find a new way of working together.
In 2014 the Go Goldfields Alliance adopted collective impactas a collaborative approach to drive large-scale social change in the Central Goldfields community, with Central Goldfields Shire agreeing to the significant role of backbone organisation. Since then community members have been coming together with leaders from services and government agencies to address local, complex social issues that have previously proven difficult to fix.
Bringing authentic community voice and influence to the table is critical to the success of our work. This means building relationships based upon trust and tapping into grassroots community networks in ways that benefit the community. Having the service leaders and government decision makers at the table – who are in the position to challenge and change existing systems – is critical so that new thinking and doing can be embedded where it can do the most good.
In 2020 we are progressing into a movement building and mobilising community era of the CI life cycle.
We welcome and thank the many community members, service leaders, government decision makers and funders that have, and continue to, contribute to; ‘Our community aspiring, achieving and living a full life.’
IAP2 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SPECTRUM
IAP2’s Public Participation Spectrum is designed to assist with the selection of the level of participation that defines the public’s role in any community engagement program. The Spectrum shows that differing levels of participation are legitimate depending on the goals, time frames, resources and levels of concern in the decision to be made. However, and most importantly, the Spectrum sets out the promise being made to the public at each participation level.
Go Goldfields strategies prioritise a primary prevention approach. We aim to eliminate or reduce factors that contribute to poor health, vulnerability and isolation wherever possible.
HARWOOD INSTITUTE – COMMUNITY RHYTHMS
Harwood Institute’s work in communities reveals that there are stages of a community’s life and that each stage has deep implications for understanding your community and what it means for moving forward. The Harwood Stages of Community LifeTM emerges from over a decade of research and on-the-ground initiatives throughout the United States. The research shows that communities have rhythms to them that we must come to understand so that our approaches, programs and initiatives — and the building of public capital — work with those rhythms, take advantage of them, even accelerate them. Before these stages kick in, a community usually has been through a period of decline, lasting up to fifteen to twenty years. The Harwood Stages of Community Life is based on 5 stages, being; 1. The Waiting Place, 2. Impasse, 3. Catalytic, 4. Growth, and 5. Sustain & Renew.
GENDER EQUITY LENS
We advocate for the application of a gender equity lens across all aspects of the work of Go Goldfields. Decisions are made that take account of and are responsive to gender. It refers to our different socially-constructed roles, our behaviours, our activities, the way we relate, share resources, make decisions, plan for the future and participate in our community. Gender equality does not necessarily mean equal numbers of men and women, or boys and girls, in all activities. Nor does it mean treating men and women or boys and girls exactly the same. It is about recognising that men and women often have different needs and priorities, are faced with different constraints, have different aspirations and contribute to and participate within community in different ways.
MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
The Most Significant Change Technique (MSC) is a monitoring and evaluation method used for evaluating complex interventions. This method is based on a qualitative participant-driven approach, focusing on the human impact of interventions. In essence, MSC involves the generation of significant change stories by various stakeholders involved in the intervention. The more significant of these stories are then selected by the stakeholders and in-depth discussions of these stories take place. These discussions bring to the stakeholder’s attention to the impacts of the intervention that have the most significant effects on the lives of the beneficiaries and inform future shifts in our strategy.
Appreciative inquiry is a model that seeks to engage stakeholders in self-determined change. It is based on a perceived overuse of “problem-solving” hampered any kind of social improvement, and what was needed were new methods of inquiry that would help generate new ideas and models for how to organise.