Impact Academy - Battle Creek
The Impact Academy is designed to promote the effectiveness of change efforts pursued by community-based organizations. Too often, organizations pursue projects that include targeted problems, solutions, implementation processes, and evaluation & learning efforts significantly misaligned with the authentic needs and aspirations of local residents and the system or place conditions affecting their targeted problem. As a result, well-intentioned projects often fail to achieve their intended outcomes.
Through the Impact Academy’s training and coaching series and peer-to-peer learning network, participants learn how to enhance their strategic design, strategic implementation, and strategic learning efforts. Participating organizations can engage up to 5 members from their organization in this learning and capacity-building experience. In each training and coaching session, participants work with others from their organization to apply key concepts to their work and future project plans.
The Impact Academy includes a three day training experience that introduces participants to core concepts and promotes their capacity to apply these capacities to their efforts. Follow-up booster training sessions are also available to support the continued development of key capacities. On-going coaching is available during and after the Academy to facilitate successful transfer and use of core content. The core content covered in training, booster sessions, and coaching efforts includes:
Strategic Design (Academy, day one) with a focus on:
- defining a targeted problem with authentic resident voice;
- understanding root causes of local problems;
- understanding the importance of targeting systems (place) conditions; and
- designing powerful change strategies. Coaching supports participants as they conduct a root cause analysis and develop strategies to target root causes
Strategic Implementation (Academy, day two) with a focus on:
- developing a logic model;
- understanding outputs and outcomes;
- linking strategies to outcomes;
- developing short, intermediate, and long term outcomes;
- creating a climate for effective implementation; and
- tracking and adjusting implementation efforts. Coaching targets the development of a logic model and creation of SMART outcomes
Strategic Evaluation and Learning (Academy, day 3) with a focus on:
- understanding different evaluation approaches, methods, and designs;
- making sense of evaluation data; and
- using evaluation findings to promote continuous improvement. Coaching supports participants as they develop appropriate evaluation plans
To date, 98 individuals, representing 34 community organizations serving Battle Creek and/or Calhoun County, have completed the Impact Academy training.