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Systems Development

Systems Development Initiative 

The City of Tacoma Human Services Division is sponsoring a systems development initiative across the Homelessness and Household Stability, Social Wellness, and Opportunity and Achievement Impact Areas. As part of this broad initiative, Human Services is working towards developing common performance measures across similar type programs.


The City’s move towards developing common measures for programs is influenced in no small part by the Collective Impact model of collaboration. Joining this community of practice is easy, and will help inform you as we learn how to do this together.


Impact Areas



Impact Areas Terminology and Structure 

The three Human Services Impact Areas are Homelessness & Household Stability, Social Wellness, and Opportunity & Achievement.

Each Impact Area will have related Issue Statements. There are also Human Services Focus Areas and Funding Priorities in each Impact Area.

Funding Priorities 

Funding Priorities are the services that the City of Tacoma will fund.

Focus Area Workgroups

Focus Area Workgroups are workgroups intended to develop common performance measures across like-type services. Workgroups will be formed for each priority area to refine the Issue Statements for each Impact Area, map the continuum of services, and develop common measures. Additionally, staff will work with other funders to align definitions of services, map funded services, and work to develop funding strategies that maximize resources intended to serve Tacoma’s most vulnerable residents.

Steering Committee 

A Steering Committee comprised of 11-15 individuals representing cross-sector and cross-service will ensure horizontal alignment between Human Services Focus Areas and vertical alignment with overarching strategic plans and documents.


Collective Impact Definitions and Helpful Links


Terms and Definitions


Common Agenda: Stakeholders agree on the issue(s) that need to be addressed, root causes (not just symptoms), the end game, and goals and strategies.


Mutually Reinforcing Activities: Stakeholders agree on how to best work together to achieve the Common Agenda (who, what, when, where, and how) AND how to maximize existing community resources/assets.


Shared Measurement: Stakeholders agree on Common Performance Measures at the population level, the program/service level, and the process level AND agree on a data collection and analysis system.


Continuous Communication: Stakeholders agree to continually communicate across the entire initiative using consistent terminology, timely data and information sharing, and opportunities to reflect, learn, and adjust course.


Backbone Support: Stakeholders agree to contribute the needed infrastructure to ensure success. The Backbone Organization(s) are responsible for convening and facilitation, act as a data repository, the keeper of the process, history, and agreements as well as fund and resource development. 


Links and Resources for Explaining Evaluation and Why to Move to Common Measure