Collective Impact Case Study
This is the second case study I have shared - this time about a project based in Rochester, New York. More evidence of the value of an asset based/collective impact approach.
Project HOPE, meaning, Health Outcomes through Participation, Education, and Empowerment, was initiated by local residents to improve the health of their ethically diverse community of North Clinton Avenue.
As an alternative to previous programs, which were problems focused and driven with a top down approach and by outside agencies, Project HOPE involves the direct involvement of the community with an assets based approach. It operates with grant support from The Greater Rochester Foundation and is managed by the Ibero-American Development Corporation. Importantly, the project encourages residents to speak out, but also encourages them to take action.
Initially, residents undertook an assessment to identify community strengths, followed by the identification of focus areas including drugs and alcohol, youth development, public safety, personal lifestyle changes and healthy opportunities. A collaborative plan was then developed among groups in the community including its local residents, churches, schools and local government. Community groups meet on a monthly basis, often in resident’s homes with the focus of these meetings to talk about opportunities to improve the neighbourhood. Group representatives meet with council on a quarterly basis to discuss progress within the neighbourhood.
The work of the community has led to a number of initiatives including the construction of community gardens which are maintained by residents, the construction of a playground by the community to foster a safe environment for children to play, the implementation of community clean-up days, public art projects which positively display resident’s talents, the development of a produce stand in an area once considered unsafe and neighbourhood walks which focus on local illicit drug use and offer assistance to those affected by drug use in the community.
Although it took time for Project HOPE to gain the trust of the community, the project is reported by residents to have made a drastic improvement in the community, including developing a sense of unity and hope for the future of its residents.
For more information: http://www.thegrhf.org/wp-content/uploads/Project_HOPE-2011.pdf