Collective impact


Source: Concertation Saint-Léonard

Putting a neighbourhood dream into action

For over 50 years, residents, agencies, and institutions have been joining forces in Montreal’s neighbourhoods to find solutions to their community’s problems.

Through local roundtables, they come together to work on issues related to poverty and social exclusion.

They work on all aspects to help improve living conditions: housing; food security; academic success; transportation; safety; access to leisure, sports and culture; employment; and citizen participation.

As they have gained in experience, Montreal’s neighbourhood roundtables have become the pioneers of an innovative approach known as collective impact.

This approach was described notably in an article by John Kania and Mark Kramer called “Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work” that was published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

This article talks about the conditions for success that boost the impact of collective approaches in neighbourhoods.

Conditions for successful collective impact

Share the same vision for change and the same understanding of the problem and develop a joint approach to provide solutions.

Develop and implement a shared measurement system to identify and measure the desired impact.

Agree upon mutually reinforcing activities to allow change to occur.

Build continuous communication to cultivate community commitment and get leaders involved.

Create, maintain and manage a support structure to ensure that collective impact work is sustained over time.


The neighbourhood roundtable model: A world first that started in Montreal