The Alignment toolset was developed by Alignment Nashville to align community organizations and resources so that their coordinated support of the community’s youth has a positive impact on public school success, children’s health, and the success of our community as a whole. The toolset—Principles, Structure, Process, and Technology—are an integrated system and implementation as a system results in collective impact and strategic and resource alignment.
Principles ensure that our work is focused on systemic change, or change that involves new ways of applying resources to underlying causes. Systemic change happens when an outcome or goal has been attained; the result is either that the cause of the problem is eliminated, or programs, policies, funding streams and/or services are permanently altered to reduce the impact of the problem on a long-term basis. The Principle tool is critical to develop a working culture among many stakeholder groups.
The Alignment Structure provides varying levels of involvement and leadership, engaging a wide range of stakeholders in different ways. This structure also provides sustainability, ensuring broad involvement that insulates the organization from changes in leadership in any one stakeholder group.
Alignment Nashville’s design and implementation Process ensures that Alignment Teams are making progress toward systemic change. Alignment Nashville staff, who are facilitators and experts in the collaborative process, guide the A-Teams through each phase of the Process. Each A-Team first creates a Tactical Plan (1) to align to common goals to address a community issue, then uses the Invitation to Participate™ (2) process to align resources and engage the broader community in the effort. The A-Team provides oversight for implementation of the initiative (3), and gathers data to determine the impact and need for scale-up (4). Finally, if the effort has achieved the desired impact and systemic change, then it is institutionalized (5) either in the community or the school district.
Community Coefficient (ComCo) is the Technology tool developed by Alignment to power the Principles, Structure and Process. ComCo is an online portal that allows A-Team members, community partners and Alignment staff to collaborate, track, measure and report collective progress, collect participation responses, capture knowledge of best practices, and more.