19 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
- Family/influencers – Youth feel connected to their families, caregivers and peers
- Education support – Youth are engaged in their education and learning
- Well-Being – Youth are physically, emotionally and mentally well
- Empowerment – Youth feel valued in their community and have a voice
- 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