Policy Resource

Illinois Advances Collective Impact at the Community and State Levels

Jan 9, 2016

Learn how since 2014, in addition to the Collective Impact approach, Illinois state leaders have recommended the ABLe Change framework, which supports systems change to address population-level problems.

Illinois state leaders from the public and private sectors are working together to advance Collective Impact at both the community and state levels. With funding from Race to the Top “ Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) and a multi-agency oversight team, seven pilot locations built capacity of technical assistance providers from 2013-2015. At the same time, state leaders used Collective Impact to refocus the work of several state-level efforts. The work began in September 2013, when communities implementing Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV), All Our Kids (AOK) Networks (state-funded networks to engage in collective impact to improve child and family outcomes), and Innovation Zones (communities supported by RTT-ELC to increase enrollment of high- needs families in high-quality early childhood programs) were trained on Collective Impact. At the same time, with the support of RTT-ELC, the state launched a year-long strategic planning process to engage local stakeholders and state leaders in developing a vision and framework for early childhood systems.

Since 2014, in addition to the Collective Impact approach, Illinois state leaders have recommended the ABLe Change framework, which supports systems change to address population-level problems. Inclusion of the parent voice is a core value, and, thus, parents became an integral partner in ABLe Change work at the community level. State leaders made the conscious decision that this would not just be an effort for one program, but instead that it would cross boundaries in order to influence the thinking, skills and experiences across multiple programs and players, supporting all in adopting new language and strategies to advance Collective Impact.

The Collective Impact work has strengthened early childhood systems at both the state and local levels. A common vision, measureable outcomes and indicators were developed; funding was blended and braided; efficacy guidelines for local collaboratives was established; and state data infrastructure developed. A statewide network of regional hubs was also established to coordinate, align and support local collaboratives to achieve the states vision and outcomes for young children.

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