System change efforts are focused on improving policies, processes, practices, relationships, connections, and resource flows that can affect access to community services and supports for people in need. At CHS we have deep experience in supporting system change by bringing people together for learning and action, as outlined below.

  • The first step in a system change process is to identify and engage key stakeholders who operate or experience the system.
  • The range of stakeholders could include service recipients, service providers, public agency staff, and others with insight on how the system is working.
  • Decisions about who to engage (and in what sequence) are key for designing an effective system change effort.
  • CHS provides advisory support to help make strategic decisions about engaging key stakeholders.
  • Having engaged a core group of stakeholders, the next step is to assess the current system. CHS can help the group:
    • Clarify the focus of the system change effort
    • Develop a shared vision of an optimal system
    • Identify system strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
    • Select specific elements of the system for improvement.

Having identified opportunities for system improvement, the next step is to design system change strategies.  CHS can help the group:

  • Identify stakeholder perspectives on the system.
  • Brainstorm potential system improvements
  • Design and evaluate prototype improvements
  • Select specific improvements for implementation.
  • It is often necessary to build or strengthen system capabilities before implementing system improvements.  CHS can help the group:
    • Specify key capabilities (knowledge, skills, processes, policies, resources) that will be essential for supporting system improvement.
    • Develop learning supports (training, tools, technical assistance, coaching, mentoring)
    • Develop process and policies changes to support system improvement
    •  Develop proposals for resourcing system change efforts.

With the people, design, and key capabilities in place, the next step is to support implementation of system changes. CHS can help the group:

  • Assure the people involved are equipped and ready to execute the initiative
  • Assure that essential inputs and resources are available
  • Assure that key strategies are being executed
  • Assess whether key outputs, outcomes and impacts are being achieved
  • Make strategic adjustments to system change effort based on feedback and evaluation.

Evaluating impact is essential for sustaining system change.  CHS can help you:

  • Design efficient evaluation strategies
  • Build internal capabilities for evaluation
  • Use evaluation to inform strategic learning and improvement
  • Demonstrate impact to key stakeholders.
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