Collective Impact in practice: the West London Zone
- 25 December 2018
- Posted by: Helen Nicol
- Category: News
The West London Zone collective impact initiative has published a colourful and accessible report that tells the story of the children and young people they’ve been supporting over the last two years, while also explaining the development and adjustment of their model, and the lessons learned along the way. From the report’s introduction:
West London Zone (WLZ) was designed by families, charities, local government and schools, who came together because of a shared experience. Everyone knew someone – friends, siblings, sons, daughters – whose lives had gone off track, and who might have taken a different path if the right support system had been in place. We aim to change this narrative for an entire generation of young people, in one of the most unequal communities in the country. Our place-based model brings together opportunities already available and carefully introduces new assets from elsewhere, to support one young person at a time, in an intensive and highly personalised way, over the long term. We believe that if we can empower enough young people to define and achieve their goals, they will break the cycle of generational inequality and our whole neighbourhood will benefit in the long-run.
The results they share are encouraging, and the approach is both logical and potentially economical — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, and it needs ongoing support if it is to scale well:
Early intervention is common sense. Investment can produce huge social benefits and save money in the future – but it requires patience. Regular elections and changing governments do not favour a long-term perspective, and current public sector budget constraints make funding preventative work a huge challenge.
The report, which can be downloaded in full from the West London Zone website, should offer inspiration and guidance for other place-based organisations looking to achieve similar results.