Sacramento County Coalition for Youth
Collaborative planning to prevent youth alcohol use
Converge CRT facilitated the development of the Coalition’s action plan to prevent underage drinking over a period of 8 months. Using a consensus-based decision-making process, the SCCY selected four Environmental Prevention strategies to achieve multi-level community change including: 1) developing targeted media messaging, 2) limiting youth access to alcohol, 3) addressing current laws, policies and practices, and 4) understanding and redirecting social norms. The Coalition is led by the Sacramento County Office of Education and supported by the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Services.
Using methods derived from Appreciative Inquiry and the Technology of Participation, the retreat resulted in the development of a long-term vision and near-term goals. Dialogue at the retreat engaged more than 20 full-time tenure track faculty in discussions about how to handle changes in staffing, technology, and delivering quality education to more than 1800 majors. Converge CRT worked with the Department Chair to engage faculty in the retreat design, developing a survey for adjuncts and establishing a strategic planning task force.
California Farm Academy, Center for Land-Based Learning
Developing a Theory of Change
Explaining the complexities of creating change in the regional food system in a one-page graphic is a tough assignment, especially amid a shifting landscape. Converge CRT provided consulting, capacity building and facilitation to help CFA develop a Theory of Change to explain their program’s desired outcomes. Converge conducted a staff survey and provided pre-session technical assistance resources to inform the process design and prepare staff to participate. The results will be used in ongoing organizational development and evaluation activities.
Institute for Local Government’s (ILG) Public Engagement Program
Evaluation, strategic planning and capacity building
As a component of a larger change management process and organizational transition, Converge CRT worked in partnership to assess the 10-year impact of the Public Engagement (PE) program. Funded by The James Irvine Foundation, this 9-month project sought to understand ILG’s role in changing how local officials use public involvement practices, recommend future activities and build staff capacity to evaluate progress. The assessment engaged 343 stakeholders through a statewide survey, confidential interviews, facilitated discussions, and focus groups. As a result, ILG secured additional funding to sustain their efforts, identified multiple opportunities for collaboration, and established a baseline to reflect on progress going forward.
Poor People’s Campaign, Northern California Chapter
Visioning & Action Planning Retreat
In collaboration with a planning committee, Converge CRT designed a retreat for the Northern California chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign for about 35 members across the region including Sacramento, Oakland, Grass Valley, Chico, and Merced. By the end of the day, the group had generated a shared vision and action plan. Their focus is on changing the narrative about poverty and addressing multiple, intersecting issues including systemic racism, environmental degradation and the war economy.
Sacramento Creating Community Solutions Network
Facilitating Implementation of Sacramento’s Mental Health Action Plan
Informed by Collective Impact principles, Deb developed the conceptual framework and collaborative process to structure the work of four Action Teams and a Coordinating Council and facilitated monthly Council meetings. The one-year project resulted in multiple outcomes including a youth social media campaign, expansion of mental health first aid training, development of a white paper on integration of behavioral health and primary health care services, and identification of systemic issues, barriers and gaps faced by transition-age youth. Converge CRT facilitated implementation of Sacramento’s Mental Health Action Plan in partnership with Sacramento County Office of Education, Mental Health America of Northern California and Sierra Health Foundation’s Center for Health Program Management.
Sacramento Promise Zone: Collective Impact Model for Public-Private Partnerships
League of California Cities Annual Conference
Converge CRT co-presented with UC Davis Center for Regional Change and Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. The seminar featured an innovative evaluation approach that can be used as a model for comprehensive public-private partnerships that implement multi-sector, inter-disciplinary solutions to complex issues.
Black Child Legacy Campaign
Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) Training & Technical Assistance
Converge CRT worked with a team led by LPC Consulting & Associates to provide training and technical assistance to seven Sacramento neighborhoods organizing Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) projects. Deb co-developed and presented the train-the-trainer curriculum, which prepared adult allies and youth to conduct neighborhood-level research. Projects focused on reducing deaths of African American children. Youth teams conducted surveys, created educational videos, and presented their findings to community stakeholders.
Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Arden Arcade
Collective Impact Consultation & Training
Converge CRT designed a two-part training series focused on creating structures to enable greater collaboration and collective impact, including the establishment of workgroups, shared decision-making processes, and communication strategies. The training supported the Coalition in their goal to prevent underage drinking and substance abuse in one of Sacramento’s most affected neighborhoods.
Race to the Top Federal Grant Initiative
Collaborating to increase early education quality
Converge CRT worked with the Sacramento County Office of Education to convene a diverse group of 35-40 child care providers, parents, and local experts to collaboratively develop a plan to establish and test quality standards for Early Childhood Education. Despite time pressure and potentially polarizing issues, Deb’s facilitation allowed the group to reach consensus on a rating system and a coordinated plan to provide professional development and support for early childhood educators. This process provided the foundation for Raising Quality Together (RQT), Sacramento County’s Quality Rating and Improvement System.
Respite Partnership Collaborative (RPC)
Implementing a County-Wide Innovation Plan to Address Mental Health Crisis
To implement the local Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Innovation Plan, Converge CRT facilitated the establishment a community-driven collaborative group in partnership with the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services and Sierra Health Foundation. Through ongoing consulting and facilitation, Deb helped the RPC develop a logic model to guide their efforts, create governance structures, reach consensus on funding distribution strategies, and award three rounds of grants to establish 11 new respite programs in Sacramento County. Over three years, Deb worked with the RPC to distribute more than $3 million to provide mental health respite and reduce psychiatric hospitalizations.
Sacramento County MHSA Innovation Plan
Overcoming conflict and leading the way in collaborative innovation
In the face of budget cuts, reduced services, law suits, a looming deadline and other challenges, Deb assisted leaders at Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services in organizing a community planning process to develop a plan to address mental health crisis. Over six months, Deb facilitated meetings with a diverse group of stakeholders – including mental health clients and family members – to examine data, set priorities and reach consensus on how to move forward. The plan made it through all the approval channels without protest and brought more than $8 million in implementation funding to Sacramento County.
State Independent Living Council
Asset Mapping Webinar
To introduce the fundamentals of using an asset-based approach in organizational and community development, Converge CRT designed an accessible webinar to share the basics of asset mapping. Members from California’s network of Independent Living Centers learned how systematically identifying assets can inform and strengthen an organization’s strategic plan.