Place Based Initiatives

Collective Impact is a place-based initiative framework

Place-based initiatives are programs designed and delivered with the intention of targeting a specific geographical location and a particular population group in order to respond to complex social problems. Typically, these initiatives focus both on places and people. Federal, State and local government are referring to Place-Based Initiatives in their dialogue with the community, services providers and within their own structures

Design & Delivery

  • Flexible delivery
  • Local autonomy
  • Joined up working
  • Governance


  • Capacity development
  • Lead times
  • Long-term focus


  • Causality
  • Attribution
  • Theory of change
  • Residential mobility
  • Cost effectiveness

Flexible delivery – service delivery based on community needs, flexible approach to the expenditure of funding

Local autonomy – involving local community through consultation and involvement in decision making

Joined‐up working – integrating government, private and community sector partnerships within local areas

Governance – having good checks and balances in place regarding community discretion in the allocation of government resources

Capacity development – sharing training and mentoring opportunities to build core skills to deliver services in different ways & change methods

Lead times – ensuring time is available to set up programs build relationships within communities, build capacity within service organisations and ensure evaluations are in place

Long-term focus – addressing complex social problems takes time and requires sustained investment and patience in realizing results

Causality – measuring success by using ‘best practice’ measurement that supports the impact of ‘place based’ ways of working

Attribution – considering the impact of other initiatives, when trying to establish if a particular initiative works

Theory of change – having a well‐articulated program logic, or mechanism so key outcomes can be measured, especially in the short term, this enables to enable refinement, scaling up of what works and identification and adjustments for what’s not working

Residential mobility – accounting for population flows into and out of the area in evaluation and assessment

Cost‐effectiveness – routinely analyzing costs associated with the delivery of an initiative and being clear about the long‐term benefits

Adapted from:

Commonwealth Place‐Based Service Delivery Initiatives – Key Learnings Project (April 2015)
Prepared for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet by the Australian Institute of Family Studies Sez Wilks, Julie Lahausse and Ben Edwards (full report available here)

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country and recognise their connection to land, wind, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures, and to the Elders both past and present.