Field Notes: How to plan a Learning Collaborative - Step Seven

written by Anna Blasco
March 5, 2014

This blog post is part of a series from the Alliance on designing a Rapid Re-Housing Learning Collaborative in your community. You can read the first post in the series here, where you'll find an explanation of how a Learning Collaborative works. 

The magic of the Learning Collaborative really begins when all of the participants get together for their first in-person meeting, Session One. Session One has two distinct parts. The first part, which our Technical Assistance Specialist Kay Moshier McDivitt covers in the videos below, consists of instruction and activities that get all the participants on the same page about what a best practice rapid re-housing program looks like.

In a previous blog post, Kay blogged about how to prepare for Session One. Today, she walks you through each step of the agenda and discusses purpose and goal of each activity.


This video covers what materials the facilitator and participants need to bring, and some helpful tips on how much time to allot for each activity.

Purpose and Goals of Session One

It is essential to have clear goals for the outcome of the meeting and to refer to them frequently throughout the meeting. This video suggests three goals and three purposes for a rapid re-housing Learning Collaborative.

Introductory Activity

The introductory activity helps participants learn more about each other and gives the facilitator a picture of where participants stand on their knowledge and comfort level with rapid re-housing.

Rapid Re-Housing Role Play Game

The Rapid Re-Housing Role Play Game, which you can download here, is a fun activity that sparks conversation about how to overcome barriers to re-housing.

Overview of Rapid Re-Housing

An overview of what a best practice rapid re-housing program looks helps all the participants get on the same page before delving into ways to improve their programs.

Developing Benchmarks

This activity establishes the goals the Learning Collaborative will strive to meet over the next few months before their next meeting. The goals should be specific and measurable.

During the second part of our series, which we’ll cover in a later blog, participants create their plans for improving their rapid re-housing programs. By the end of this day-long meeting, each organization will have completed an action plan with clear steps and measurable benchmarks for how to improve their rapid re-housing program.

View the Series: How to Plan a Learning Collaborative

Step Zero: Staffing and Cost

Step One: Do Your Research

Step Two: Create an Application

Step Three: Metrics and Measuring Improvement

Step Four: Recruit Participants

Lessons from the Everyone Housed Academy

Step Five: Assign Pre-Work

Interview with Learning Collaborative Participants

Step Six: Facilitator Preparation for First Meeting

Step Seven: Facilitating the First Meeting – Part 1

Step Eight: Facilitating the First Meeting – Part 2