Mildura Rural City Council resourced the Community Engagement Framework (CEF) to bring a range of organisations together to address key indicators in Mildura’s Social Indicators Report 2006. Over 50 organisations were involved from the health, education, social welfare and local government sectors.
The group implemented action plans and projects over an eight-year period, yet the Social Indicator Report 2008 and 2012 did not show significant shifts in key indicators. This led to a realisation that if this group wanted a different result for the community, they would need to do something differently.
The collective impact model was identified as a new focus for the group. From this, the need for one plan to align efforts became clear. This was the beginning of bringing Mildura Rural City Council, Sunraysia Community Health Services and the Northern Mallee Primary Care Partnership together under the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan in 2013.
The new group - the Northern Mallee Community Partnership - facilitates collective action for community development and social change in Mildura. Its goal is to achieve the key strategies set out in the Community Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-17. While Mildura Rural City Council is responsible for overall reporting, each organisation feeds its contributions into a single report, with the Northern Mallee Community Partnership Executive Governance Group receiving quarterly updates to maintain local governance.
A current challenge is the development of shared measurement and outcome tracking to ensure the effectiveness of the Community Health and Wellbeing Plan. A shared measurement system that is dynamic enough to be used for the overarching Community Health and Wellbeing Plan, as well as the programs and projects that feed into it, could be used to monitor progress and provide a report card for funders and the community.
A shared Community Health and Wellbeing Plan that is supported by a shared measurement system will bring Mildura one step closer to ensuring place-based initiatives achieve the outcomes desired by its community.
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