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Creating Effective Place-Based Initiatives

Place-based initiatives can take many forms and involve many diverse community stakeholders. But through our work with leaders and practitioners across the country, the Population Change Institute has identified six capacities that are needed to drive high-impact place-based initiatives.

Blue Skies

The Collective Capacities

Collaboration to create and practice a shared vision

  • Creating broad community goals as an umbrella for synergistic strategies

  • Bringing people together for collective action

  • Motivating people to work together to achieve North Star goals

  • On-going management of interactions, conflicts and competition 

Active engagement in community change efforts

  • Helping community groups move effectively from planning to action

  • Training people to gain knowledge and skills needed to do the work

Distributed leadership of equity-focused community change efforts

  • Building diverse resident voice and power through shared leadership

  • Community network meetings support inclusive participation, networking and self-organizing

  • Network members share leadership and network is not dominated by any organization of sector

Measurement and use of data to guide community change efforts

  • Fostering community partnerships through data sharing

  • Increasing local capacity to collect, share and report local process and outcome data

  • Gaining situational awareness through use of community data

  • Involving residents in making sense of local data

  • Creating a change narrative from situational awareness 

Effective, innovative community change programs, policies, and practices

  • Structuring improvement process through iterative cycles of data-informed action and reflection

  • Coordinating collective action through hubs and activity clusters

Infrastructure to support, sustain, and spread community change

  • ​​Maintaining a strong network of institutions, organizations, and community residents

  • Building network connections through diverse communication strategies

  • Leveraging and aligning resources and policies to invest deeply in community change

  • Sustaining network infrastructure with local, tribal, state and national public and private funding and resources

  • Planning to implement solutions on a community-wide scale

White Structure

Have your Network Take the Survey

New Survey Finds that Place-based Initiatives are Building Six Types of Collective Capacity to Create Healthier, More Equitable Communities.

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