There are many groups, projects, activities, initiatives and programs working on behalf of parks, trails and natural areas in the Portland–Vancouver region. Only a few of these consistently track and report results. The purpose of this project is to put in place the methodology and technical assistance necessary to support parks and conservation leaders in better monitoring and reporting the results of their work, and to provide a means to aggregate this information, so that we are able to tell better individual and collective stories. We will work with partners to develop qualitative and quantitative performance information that is meaningful, and speaks to outcomes that relate directly to our shared vision for The Intertwine.
Collective Impact efforts often struggle with the element of shared measurement. This project offers the Intertwine Alliance an opportunity to strengthen its approach to shared measurement.
The Intertwine Alliance released the first state of The Intertwine report in the spring of 2013, titled Our Common Ground: Transportation, Jobs, Health, Wealth, Education & Environment. Intertwined. The document wove data and stories together in a graphically-engaging “case statement,” and reported success stories and available metrics. The report was oriented to policymakers and other influential community leaders. Because it does a compelling job of mixing anecdotal with quantitative information, we propose to use the State of The Intertwine format in presenting performance evaluation information, although we may only publish the full report online this time.
- Anchor measurement in the context of the purpose and goals of the overarching network, as well as the goals of each respective partner.
- Recognize that The Intertwine is composed of partners with varied experience collecting and using data, from very little to rather sophisticated.
- Build on relevant assets including the new website and the State of The Intertwine (Our Common Ground) Report
- Combine and integrate the best of data and story.
- Leverage The Intertwine's 12 focus areas. Focus on a couple of them.
- Be realistic about how far this initial investment can go.
- Use this investment for immediate value (a communications product) and to grow greater capacity for collective action and impact by setting the stage for a next phase.
High-Level Environmental Scan/Assessment—Gain a deeper sense of The Alliance’s current use, needs and aspirations for performance data and related tools. Use a combination of targeted interviews and broadly distributed surveys.
- Identify key patterns, insights and possible “bright spot” stories.
- Focus on level of partner’s unique aspirations/experience and their insights/hopes for measurement at network-wide level.
- Conduct electronic survey results to surface partners worth additional interviews.
Clear Concept for The Intertwine Alliance’s Approach to Shared Measurement—An opportunity to set the stage for building the longer-term capacity for using measurement to advance collective impact.
- Conduct a single design session with a mix of partners who are most interested in defining and designing a future approach to shared measurement, learning and action (e.g. digital backbone concept).
- Build on lessons from within and outside Portland—and craft something that would help The Intertwine Alliance deepen its Collective Impact experience.
- Results: Create clarity on what a shared approach to measurement/learning looks like, as well as principles and scenarios for how The Intertwine Alliance can realize this vision.
- Develop a specific enough concept that The Alliance could secure additional resources to build on the approach
Meaningful Stories of Partner & Collective Impact—Produce immediate value to The Intertwine Alliance and partners by combining stories and available data. Focus on stories that demonstrate the value of The Alliance and highlight some Alliance partners.
- In addition to interesting (and possibly case-making) stories, produce prototype stories that show the value of data and data visualization.
- Prototype partner-generated stories that use data—to support case making and or network learning and engagement.
- Build on the Our Common Ground report as a format for presenting information. Use multi-media delivery if possible.
Initial discussions have considered engaging Portland State University. Faculty would help develop the methodology, and students would provide support to organizations in the community, and in particularly participants in the Intertwine Project Network, in gathering the information. We would also help build capacity within partner organizations to strengthen their reporting capabilities.
We would like to focus, in particular, on the growing portfolio of Intertwine Projects -- but wouldn’t restrict ourselves to that.
There have been many past attempts to collect and report performance metrics, not just on parks and conservation but on a variety of topics. Many have failed. We would like to factor in the lessons learned from these past attempts to create something practical, relevant and effective.