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Innovate for Impact

Children building lego

Representatives from the Children and Youth Area Partnerships (CYAPs) initiative were invited to present at the Innovate for Impact Symposium. The symposium was held on 13 September and attracted 260 government, academic, community and health service representatives.

 The event welcomed three international experts who shared their insights and experiences applying co-design and developmental evaluation, the essential tools for working more collaboratively and effectively with community and policy makers on complex system issues:

  • Dr Penny Hagen, Co-design lead, Auckland Co-design Lab (New Zealand)
  • Kate McKegg, Director, Knowledge Institute (New Zealand)
  • Jamie Gamble, Principal, Imprint Consulting (Canada) who shared their insights and learning on the use of collaborative and evaluative methods

Three workshops at the event provided an opportunity to deep dive into practice through case studies from Collective Impact initiatives in Victoria – Children and Youth Area Partnerships and Tasmania – Collective Ed.  Practitioners discussed the challenges and successes of using co-design and developmental evaluation in the field.

CYAPs presented on how using the co-design and developmental evaluation methodologies can be effective to engage multiple stakeholders:  communities, service providers and policy makers, around shared problems and jointly develop innovate ways to achieve system changes that matter most for communities.

Workshop session presentations

Stream 1: Co-design - unlocking the potential of our communities

Partners in the Inner Gippsland Children and Youth Area Partnership (IGCYAP) presented at the Co-Design workshop.  The IGCYAP has co-designed three place-based innovation projects with local communities to develop fresh  approaches to support parents create an environment where their children can thrive. One of these, The Journey: First 1000 Days, aims to support Aboriginal children and their families develop a strong and resilient connection to community and culture.  The team for The Journey project includes three local Aboriginal women from Gippsland who have roles with Anglicare Victoria, Latrobe City Council and the Department of Education and Training.

They shared their experience of the co-design process in developing the prototype for The Journey project. They outlined how they had used the co-design tools to explore the issues for their community, using both data and local evidence and deep engagement with young Aboriginal mothers and fathers, and Aboriginal Elders. They outlined how the co-design tools continue to be valuable in their everyday work, as well as supporting the implementation of The Journey project.

For more information about the work of IGCYAP visit:

Stream 2: Developmental evaluation - supporting innovation in dynamic environments

Members of the Children and Youth Area Partnerships (CYAPs) initiative – including members of the central and local backbones, shared their experience of undertaking a Developmental Evaluation and using the co-design methodology to tackle complex place-based challenges.

CYAPs were the first Victorian Government initiative to undertake a Developmental Evaluation, an approach that is designed to support innovations in uncertain and dynamic environments.  The timing of the developmental evaluation for the CYAPs in 2016 worked well: the work was still being explored and partners were building their collective understanding of what good implementation looked like. CYAPs co-designed their evaluation framework over three workshops to test different iterations, identify emerging issues and build the capability and capacity of the participants.

The Principal Advisor for the Outer Eastern Melbourne Children and Youth Area Partnership (OEMCYAP) shared the story of their partners’ transformative experience  and how lessons and tools from the developmental evaluation are still used in their collaborative efforts to improve outcomes for young people in and transitioning from Out-of-Home Care across  the Outer Easter Melbourne Area. The OEMCYAP has also undertaken an extensive co-design process with multiple partners and young people in Out-of-Home Care  which resulted in the  innovate Brighter Futures Transformation Pilot that is now underway. 

For more information about the work of  OEMCYAP  visit:

Presentations from the event and more information on the speakers are now available on the Centre for Community Child Health website:

The event was hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services together with the Department of Education and Training and the Centre for Community Child Health.