Hands Up Mallee – The community taking children’s wellbeing into their own hands

We’ve all heard is takes a village to raise a child. But what does that look like in practice? Hands Up Mallee offers us a glimpse – bringing together the community, organisations and services to support children and families to thrive. Here’s how we’re helping them achieve greater community health and wellbeing outcomes.

Logan Together – “Game-Changer” for Place-Based Evaluation

Clear Horizon was commissioned by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments to lead the co-design of the Place-Based Evaluation Framework. The framework was tested with Logan Together, a place-based initiative aiming to shift the dial on developmental outcomes for local children aged 0-8.

While evaluation practice of place-based approaches (including collective impact initiatives) has been developing over the last 5-10 years in Australia, until now there has not been a consolidated guide for practice in Australia. Evaluating place-based approaches is challenging due to the emergent and complex nature of the work, and they often include embedded ‘systems change’ efforts which are difficult to measure.

Enter Clear Horizon. We worked with over 150 stakeholders to lead the co-design the Place-based Evaluation Framework, in collaboration with delivery partners The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), Collaboration for Impact (CFI), and Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA). The Place-based Evaluation Framework is available through the Department of Social Services website, and has a toolkit of over 80 tools useful for evaluating systems change and place-based approaches.

To test the framework, we worked in close partnership with Logan Together as proof of concept, using the Place-based Evaluation Framework to create a measurement, evaluation and learning strategy for the collective impact initiative.

While Logan Together had many enablers for success set up – with an experienced backbone team, committed funders and partners and an engaged community – there was no agreed plan for how to measure success in the short to medium term, or framework for determining whether or not they were on track.

Recognising there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ evaluation methodology, we developed clear and phase-appropriate evaluation systems and measures of success, incorporating learning and community voice into the evaluative process.

Our approach ensured we captured the complexity of the work, while still providing a practical roadmap to keep partners and community on track. And it’s setting the standard for place-based and collective impact evaluation across the country.

“The framework is a game changer for how government (is) approaching and evaluating place-based initiatives.

It has created some much-needed standards and guidance for community change movements looking to better understand their progress and set shared expectations with their partners and funders.”

Matthew Cox, Director, Logan Together