Place-based collective impact

The early years provide a critical foundation for lifelong health, development and wellbeing, yet currently more than one in five Australian children begin school developmentally vulnerable. In some communities this extends to one in two – or every second child – placing them at greater risk of poorer social, emotional and economic wellbeing throughout their lives.

This Policy Brief outlines a different approach for addressing the complex nature of childhood vulnerability in communities experiencing high levels of disadvantage – a place-based collective impact approach.

Place-based collective impact integrates the knowledge and lessons gained from Australia’s long history of place-based approaches with the strengths of collective impact.

Its focus on citizen engagement, and devolved, cooperative decision-making represents a fundamental shift in the distribution of power and authority away from government and service providers.

This edition explores:

  • The Australian practice and research on place-based collective impact initiatives including the seven principles which determine their effectiveness.
  • The implications of the research including the need for testing and adaptation as our understanding of the place-based collective impact approach evolves.
  • Considerations for policy and practice including the potential benefits for government, communities and service providers.

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About this edition

This Policy Brief is based on Place-Based Collective Impact Principles: A Public Policy Response to Childhood Vulnerability (in press) prepared by Opportunity Child with Logan Together.

The Centre for Community Child Health is a national partner of Opportunity Child.

About the Policy Brief series

The Centre for Community Child Health Policy Brief series aims to stimulate informed discussion about issues that affect children’s health, development and wellbeing. Each issue draws on current research and evidence-informed practice and explores:

  • why the issue is important
  • what the research tells us
  • the implications of the research
  • considerations for policy and practice.

View all editions of Policy Brief and access the reference lists at

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