Improving the health of a target community or group requires a broad focus, so rarely is it going to be just one agency or organisation’s responsibility. It seems there is a lot to be gained from organisations working together on community health projects. Through some of our recent project work, we’ve joined up not for profit groups, health agencies, Councils and corporates to drive activities for local communities.
The pros and cons of cross-agency approaches.
We’ve learnt a lot along the way. Agencies coming together on a project provide collective experience and enable resources and knowledge to be shared. Yet there are pressures that can work for and against cross-agency approaches. Organisations have unique funding priorities, accountability structures and reporting needs. Collaborative projects need to factor in the objectives of each participating agency. This requires some careful scoping and negotiation at the start of a project.
Who’s the perfect project coordinator?
If it can be resourced, it’s ideal to have a project coordinator with skills in engaging across all project stakeholders or, at the very least, some clear terms of reference for the project team. Taking time in the beginning to plan your project and establishing a partnership governance approach can pay dividends in the long run.
With the emphasis on a raft of sectors contributing to community wellbeing and upcoming partnership incentives for healthy towns, it’s an opportune time to consider the health priorities of your community and how you can connect up with other interested stakeholders to get your project up and running. To find out more about links to valuable tools to help you set up your partnership initiative, please contact us.