The Collaborative Impact

The Collaborative Impact

Acting on Vital Signs

Vital Signs provided an opportunity for community collaboration and support to begin to address three key challenges as prioritized by a broad-based advisory committee:

Food Security Collaborative

apple25 organizations involving 38 individuals and 4 community members.

Vision: Every person in Prince Edward County has the means to consistently access and consume nutritious, affordable food.

Collaborative Impact Project

PEC experiences one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the province. Conscious of the complex, long-standing nature of this issue, the Food Security working group has embraced a Collective Impact* (CI) approach for reaching the goal of significantly reducing food insecurity in the community. Collective Impact* is an advanced form of collaboration which brings together different sectors for a common agenda, to solve large complex problems.  (*The Tamarack Institute definition)

The County Foundation, on behalf of the working group, received funding from Ontario Trillium Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada, and a private local donor, for the first phase of a CI project around the group’s vision and goal. In March 2018 the group completed this phase of the project. Results include an expanded group of stakeholders committed to a strategic community action plan that focusses on root causes of food insecurity. The second phase is underway, thanks to grants from the Rural Ontario Institute, the Municipality, and partner contributions. The nine month project will address Building Public Awareness, Access to Food, and Education and Skill Building around Food. 

Three Action Teams are underway:

  1. Awareness Team: building community awareness of and about Food Insecurity. This team communicates through press, radio, and social media, around issues of Food Insecurity and its impacts, stigmas, and help locations.
  2. Access Team: working to improve access to affordable nutritious food for all in need in our community. This team has many activities underway at Community Gardens, Food Banks in Wellington and Picton, cooking classes in various local kitchens, community dinners around the County (some now on vacation until September), food supply arrangements to increase supply and storage, and emergency food supply. Food To Share and the Food Banks are leading this effort, with many volunteers supporting their leadership.
  3. Education Team: developing education and skills around and about food. This team addresses using food properly and being environmentally conscious of food production impacts and use.  This team is led by Prince Edward Learning Centre.

Learning Collaborative

graduate19 organizations involving 34 individuals have partnered to form a collective impact group now known as “Greater Than”.

Vision: “to create a community culture that embraces learning and personal development that enables everyone to reach their potential”

Goal: Raise the High School graduation rate in PEC to parity with the provincial average by 2026.

Collective Impact Project

A driving force for the group was the knowledge, highlighted in the Vital Signs report, that graduation rates in PEC were well below the provincial average. To respond, the group embraced a Collective Impact (CI)* approach for reaching the goal of increasing the PEC graduation rate to parity with the provincial average by 2026. The Tamarack Institute describes *Collective Impact as “an advanced form of collaboration which brings together different sectors for a common agenda to solve large complex problems”.

TCF, on behalf of the group, received funding from Youth CI (an initiative of J.W.McConnell Family Foundation, Innoweave, and Laidlaw Foundation) for coaching support to develop a CI project around the group’s vision and goal.  Through a series of workshops in early 2016 the group learned the principles of the CI process and developed a Theory of Change for the project based on five strategic areas and related long-term outcomes.

Based on this Theory of Change the working group known as the PEC Youth Collective Impact received funding from the Laidlaw Foundation in 2016 and 2018, and from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2017 and 2018, to enable the group to continue its mandate through to May 2019.

Theory of Change

  1. Family/influencers – Youth feel connected to their families, caregivers and peers
  2. Education support – Youth are engaged in their education and learning
  3. Well-Being – Youth are physically, emotionally and mentally well
  4. Empowerment – Youth feel valued in their community and have a voice
  5. Career/employment – Youth see relevance between their education and their future

The Youth CI has recently re-branded itself to “Greater Than” and will begin its execution plans under this new brand, so watch for this exciting development.

The Greater Than project includes a range of activities aimed at moving toward the overall goal:

  • Evaluation and documentation of both project outputs and process, and shared lessons learned.
  • Ongoing research and benchmarking of best practices to support and refine shared measures
  • Development of a communications strategy to create community awareness, engagement, and support for the initiative
  • Refinement of the Theory of Change as the project evolves
  • Engagement of additional partners to address service gaps
  • Development of an integrated approach among key service providers with new ways of working together to achieve agreed long-term outcomes
  • Development of shared measures for mutually reinforcing activities, partnering with the Students Commission of Canada for tracking, analyzing, and testing these measures
  • Creation of a youth learning and engagement fund to address barriers to participation and to promote collaborative, innovative youth-led initiatives
  • Creation of paid part-time youth embedded roles for key service providers, and a youth leader for the backbone organization

Transportation Collaborative

bus15 partner organizations involving 25 individuals.

Vision: “to establish an integrated affordable and sustainable transportation system in PEC”.

Collective Impact Project

A collaboration between The County Foundation, Municipality, and United Way Hastings Prince Edward resulted in a federal grant to fund the development of a business case for an integrated affordable and sustainable transit system in PEC.  The business case was presented at Public Open House sessions held in Wellington and Picton on April 19/18 based on the following strategies:

  1. Develop an Integrated On-Demand Rural County Transit Service.
  2. Improve Integration and Inter-municipal Connections to Belleville.
  3. Improve Local Connections within Picton.
  4. Service the Seasonal Employment Needs in the Tourism Industry.

The County has officially announced a grant of $500,000 (from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Community Transportation Grant Program) spread over the next four years, to be used to implement the new public transit plan.