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Comprehensive Community Initiatives, Improving the lives of youth and families through systems change, a toolkit for federal managers
How the toolkit was created What is a CCI? CCI Tools for Federal Staff
Collaboration--A process or way of working that involves a long-term, mutually beneficial, well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve common goals. The relationship includes a commitment to mutual goals, a jointly developed structure and shared responsibility, mutual authority and accountability for success, and shared resources and rewards. Unlike cooperation and coordination, collaboration fundamentally alters traditional agency relationships.

Community-driven--Referring to initiatives characterized by local empowerment and participatory governance.

Comprehensive Community Initiative (CCI)--Local community interventions that seek to improve the living conditions of individuals, families, and communities through systems change efforts. CCIs are broad-based efforts with multisector participation, employ long-term strategies and perspectives, and use systems change approaches to achieve improved outcomes.

Cooperation--A process or way of working characterized by parallel activities carried out among individuals or groups that associate informally to accomplish their common goals. Agency procedures, policies, and activities remain distinct and are determined without reference to the procedures and policies of other agencies. For example, agency staff (e.g., school social workers and probation officers) might provide general information, support, or referrals to one another but do not otherwise change the way they conduct business.

Coordination--A process or way of working that involves interactive efforts to alter or smooth the relationships of independent organizations, staffs, and resources. Some planning and division of roles are required, and communication channels are established. Organizations initiate procedural changes (such as in scheduling) to accommodate the procedures and activities of other agencies but still do not fundamentally transform their way of doing business.

Evaluation--The process of assessing, documenting, and disseminating findings about the impact of a CCI on a system, its resources, its target population, and its stakeholders in order to improve operations. There are various types and categories of evaluations, among which are process, outcome/impact, participatory, formative, experimental, and quasi-experimental.

Evaluators--The entity or entities that conduct evaluation activities.

Governance--Management or leadership decisionmaking processes that define goals and expectations, reinforce cohesive polices, delegate authority and power, establish responsibilities, and verify performance.

Learning community--A group actively engaged in acquiring knowledge and competencies together, in which members variously assume roles as both learners and teachers.

Logic model--A visual depiction of the theory of change behind an initiative. It links outcomes (ends) through a schematic with the strategies (how an initiative plans to achieve its results). The logic model shows activities, processes, and the theoretical assumptions and principles of the CCI.

Multisite evaluation--Including more than one program location in the evaluation process, enabling comparative analysis to be used to improve operations.

Norms--Usual, typical, standard, or expected patterns.

Outcomes--Benefits or changes for individuals or populations during or after participating in CCI activities. Outcomes may relate to behavior, skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, condition, or other attributes. They are what participants know, think, or can do; how they behave; or what their condition is after taking part in the program or receiving services.

Stakeholder--Any person, group, organization, or system potentially affecting or affected by the outcomes of the work of a CCI.

Strategic planning--A systematic decisionmaking process consisting of assessing, setting goals, defining strategy, prioritizing actions, and monitoring progress.

Sustainability--The ability of a CCI to continue its work without additional project funding. Sustainability is characterized by the institutionalization of a CCI's theory of change and the development of community capacity and financing to levels that will perpetuate results.

Systems change--Efforts to improve the way decisions are made addressing governance, policies, practices, and values of organizations and systems, to achieve improved outcomes for children and families.

Technical assistance--Practical, structured advice and/or guidance offered by an expert source to addresses specific areas for improvement and which is based on an assessment. TA can be provided in the form of training, coaching, mentoring, didactic instruction, resource materials, webinars, tele- and videoconferences and peer-to-peer support.

TA provider/site provider--The entity (or entities) that partners with sites to deliver technical assistance.

Technical assistance broker--The individual or organization that coordinates delivery of technical assistance at the site or initiative level.

Theory of change--The hypothesis behind the CCI; the ideas or suppositions that describe underlying assumptions about what will change as a result of an initiative, how, and why.