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Rural Health System Resources


Collective Action for Impact


Collective Impact Forum


Collective impact is a network of community members, organizations, and institutions who advance equity by learning together, aligning, and integrating their actions to achieve population and systems level change. Collective impact initiatives implement the five conditions:

a common agenda
shared measurement
mutually reinforcing activities
continuous communications
trust and strengthening relationships.

The five conditions and equity practices are a framework and guide, rather than a checklist or formula, and should be customized for the local context.

Why is this useful for rural and remote people?

One of the really big challenges often cited by rural and remote people is poor coordination of planning by external agencies. It’s not unusual for agencies to plan independently of the community, and each other, ignoring the interconnections between things like educational attainment, poor health, unemployment and engagement with the criminal justice system. Sometimes there can be up to 5 different agencies all trying to tackle the same issue in a town such as domestic violence, drugs and alcohol or preventative health, sometimes competing with each other and wasting precious resources that could be spent on delivery. Collective action is an approach that recognises that many of the challenges facing rural and remote communities have a common cause, and that through joined-up and integrated approaches scarce resources can be deployed more effectively to deliver relevant solutions using the knowledge of local people. Over the past 2 decades billions of dollars have been spent by government to solve “rural problems” without recognising that the problem is often not “rural communities” but the lack of effective and efficient planning processes that properly engage local people in a coordinated approach. Rural and remote people interested in solutions to local problems may find the collection action approach refreshing as a starting point.

Suggested Citation

Collective Impact Forum (2019) Collective Action for Impact at


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