While the initiative is still in its early days, Opportunity Child has created a national ‘engine room’ for change that supports locally-led community solutions. We provide a platform for the members of our initiative to work as an integrated and accountable system, instead of in individual, disconnected silos. In our way of working, collaboration with and working alongside communities becomes a central capability.
We build a safe environment where we can discuss, experiment and innovate for systems change – where all participants can get on with the inner game of change, but with enough protection and safety, as well as enough pressure and friction, to successfully engage with the work.
This is far more than a simple planning exercise. To foster collaboration with communities and others, we use a new, high-potential ‘collective impact’ approach to addressing intergenerational disadvantage, that begins with early childhood.
Collective impact is a highly sophisticated, groundbreaking framework for cross-sector collaboration which was first articulated in 2011, and has since inspired and informed countless community-wide initiatives.
Through our collective impact approach, we create and catalyse the capacity for collaboration, both within individual communities and nationally across our entire collective. We create alignment and shared understanding between communities, partner organisations and government, enabling deep and durable change in early childhood development in Australia, by:
– Supporting communities and national organisations to move from a managerial to a movement-building mindset;
– Enabling shared aspirations, both within individual communities and across the collective, leveraging these for national impact at a systems and policy level;
– Developing strategic learning opportunities and shared measurement systems – our partners save time and effort by building alignment, holding each other accountable and learning from each other’s successes and failures;
– Driving authentic, inclusive community engagement within and across partner communities and national organisations;
– Supporting participants to see ‘high-leverage’ opportunities for change; and
– Creating the national ‘container’ for change – the resources, skills and knowledge to serve as a backbone for all of our partners across our entire initiative.