Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




Our objective was to explore how factors, such as backbone organization changes and COVID-19, affected a collective impact (CI) initiative’s progression through the five CI phases and its components of success. We conducted a case study using semistructured interviews with 17 representatives from the action committee, community-based organization, and health department between January and February 2023 in Santa Clara County, California. Participants were asked how internal and external factors affected their engagement and experiences with the CI initiative. We analyzed the data using structural and holistic coding. Results showed that the initiative’s progression was impacted by intersecting factors; overall findings supported a reconceptualization of CI whereby progression through each component of success was cyclical, not linear. Specifically, governance and infrastructure and community engagement significantly contributed to a backward shift in progress along the five CI phases. As CI matures as a model, programs implementing a CI framework have an opportunity and responsibility to test the tenets of the approach. Our study provides a test case through which the theoretical foundations of CI can be examined and refined to build the research literature and strengthen other CI initiatives.