The Hartford Community Coalition (HCC) arose from tragedy: three local teens took their own lives within a single summer. Community organizations came together to strategize, network, and hear from community members about building a healthier Hartford. HCC formed committees, held forums, and hosted a large town-wide block party. Attendance at events, energy, and commitment to HCC have all been high; there’s a clear desire to come together to make Harford a better place to live for all community members.
Aiming to focus HCC efforts on catalyzing collective impact, HCC leaders met with Center for New Leadership’s (CNL) Hillary Boone and consultant Jodi Clark. Together they decided to launch a facilitated population-level RBA process, culminating in an HCC Action Plan.
I’m delighted to be serving as lead facilitator for this dynamic process, with Jodi as co-facilitator. In close collaboration with HCC leaders Barbara Farnsworth and Angie Raymond Leduc, Jodi and I have been gratified to work with this energetic, caring and creative group. Here’s what’s been accomplished thus far:
Jodi and I provided an “Intro to RBA” training to the HCC board, with a focus on result and indicator selection and tie-in to collective impact work.
We then led the board through selecting the following community-level aspirational result: “Hartford is a supportive community where people can embrace and achieve their personal, professional, emotional and physical well-being.”
Barbara and Angie searched data sources and shared a list of 13 potential indicators to track progress on community efforts aimed at attaining the result.
Jodi and I facilitated an HCC board meeting to review the potential indicators, discuss what was missing, and propose additional indicators – several focused on getting at the vital, yet tricky to measure, “sense of community.”
Jodi, Barbara, Angie and I are narrowing the 18 proposed indicators to 10-12, using the RBA criteria of “communication power,” “proxy power,” and “data power”
We are looking forward to our next steps:
A community-wide HCC meeting in January, where Jodi and I will lead participants in selecting three to five headline indicators – those where “turning the curve” is likely to have the most impact.
A second community-wide meeting some weeks later, where we will facilitate an RBA “turn the curve” exercise on one indicator, culminating in a set of possible actions that multiple agencies and groups can take to improve the condition (e.g., rate of binge drinking; percent of residents living in poverty; percent of youth who feel valued by their community).
And finally, strategizing with the HCC board to develop an action plan, with designated roles, next steps, and a timeline – to turn the curve on a key measure, with many individuals and groups pitching in to enrich and improve life in Hartford.