Field Notes: How to Plan a Learning Collaborative – Step Two

written by Anna Blasco
April 24, 2013

This blog post is the second in a series from the Alliance on designing a Learning Collaborative for your community. (You can read the first post in the series here.)


A Learning Collaborative is a great way to provide the support and expertise that organizations may need in order to make the changes necessary to adopt rapid re-housing. Last month the Alliance launched seven Learning Collaboratives to help 31 organizations in Virginia bridge the gap between their understanding of rapid re-housing and the practices and policies of their organizations.

I am currently organizing these Learning Collaboratives, and today I would like to share with you share a resource we developed that can help you plan a similar initiative in your community. It's stock application based on the Alliance’s own application.

Part of organizing a learning collaborative involves developing an application for organizations who want to participate. When we developed our application, we felt it was important to make it as short and simple as possible. While a Learning Collaborative is a great opportunity that holds a lot of benefits for the participating organizations, we recognize that the staff of these organizations are already quite busy doing what they do best – serving people experiencing homelessness.

We wanted people to participate, and we realized that, if we developed a long and burdensome application form, including things we did not plan to use but which we thought would be nice to have “just in case,” the form might dissuade potential organizations from even considering applying.

Another priority for us was to make sure applicants knew what commitments were involved upfront. The Learning Collaboratives did not come attached with any funding, so participants would need to prepare for the time and resource commitment it would take.

Please check out the application for yourself here. We hope it can serve as an example and a handy jumping-off-point for getting organizations in your community involved in your Learning Collaborative.

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