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Stage 3

Prioritize and Develop Shared Outcomes

Stage 3 addresses the important step of identifying a shared outcome or set of outcomes to serve as a common goal for cross-sector partners. With the common purpose of serving children and families, particularly those with the greatest need, the housing and education sectors have many opportunities to work together toward shared outcomes. A shared outcome not only provides a primary focus for aligning work across different organizations and sectors, but also creates the opportunity to set a measurable target for tracking progress toward that goal. 

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Stage 3

Prioritize and Develop Shared Outcomes

Approaches, Considerations and Resources


Although organizations may not progress through the stages of partnership in a linear fashion, some of the steps and resources identified earlier in the toolkit may be useful references during this stage. In particular, assessing existing conditions can help partners understand the needs and challenges that are most pressing and relevant for their work, helping partners to identify and prioritize a shared outcome. Key considerations and suggested steps and resources for identifying and prioritizing shared outcomes include:

Identify Shared Outcomes: At this stage, it is important to consider which housing or education outcomes are most relevant to the challenges that the target community is facing and the missions and strengths of the organizations involved. Many stakeholders find it difficult to prioritize a shared outcome when there are many needs to address. By revisiting earlier assessments or existing example outcomes frameworks, a partnership can begin to see the universe of possible options for shared outcomes.

Housing and Education Outcomes: The outcomes outlined earlier in the toolkit provide a useful starting point for considering the outcomes that may be most relevant for cross-sector solutions. Appendix C and Appendix D each include additional detail on each of the housing and education outcomes, including a summary of the connection between the housing and education outcomes and examples of metrics for each.

Engage Stakeholders: An important consideration in any stage, community engagement is particularly valuable to the development of shared outcomes. An initial step is to understand community-identified needs, followed by gathering community feedback on and endorsement of the shared outcome(s) identified for cross-sector collaboration. Sharing a baseline assessment, such as the needs assessment conducted in Stage 1, can be a helpful introduction when discussing outcomes. Overall, engagement can help ensure that a shared outcome or set of outcomes is aligned with community needs and that the partnership has the community support needed for successful implementation.

Facilitated Workshops and Outcomes Discussions: Facilitated workshops provide the opportunity for a backbone or lead organization to engage with partners and community members to discuss and prioritize shared outcomes in a group setting and ensure community representation. When engaging with multiple partners to identify a shared outcome, it may be helpful to use a discussion guide for interviews or small-group meetings, ensuring a consistent approach to gathering feedback across groups. A guide also helps when initiating conversations about the range of outcomes that local stakeholders are focused on, which later can lead to the identification of shared outcomes. An example of an outcome discussion guide that can be tailored for use in specific communities is included in Appendix F.

Ongoing Community Engagement: Strategies for engaging community members in the identification and prioritization of shared outcomes can include hosting a community meeting to discuss the proposed shared outcomes, either as a facilitated workshop (described above) or as part of a broader meeting that is open for public discussion. Another strategy is to convene a group or “board” of community members to provide ongoing review and feedback. Community members can include youth or parents, tenant or resident association members, leaders of a school’s parent association, or leaders of a neighborhood advisory council.
Plan an Approach: It is helpful to consider the steps that partners can take toward implementing shared outcomes to ensure alignment with each partner’s strengths and resources. For organizations struggling to prioritize a focus on one outcome over another, identifying activities associated with each potential outcome is a helpful way to start. Articulating activities through a draft plan or logic model can help in identifying the distinctions and trade-offs of pursuing one outcome over another and in determining which shared outcomes best align with the missions of the organizations involved, thereby facilitating decision-making. Additional resources for planning an approach are included in Appendix E.

Logic Model: A logic model illustrates expected relationships between an organization’s resources, the activities or policies implemented, and the expected changes or results. The logic model also provides a foundation for conducting an evaluation of program results, discussed in Stage 5. For organizations that already have identified a shared outcome, such as reducing student mobility, creating a logic model allows each partner to consider how they can contribute resources and leverage strengths to pursue a shared strategy.

Case Study: Impact KCK

Lead Organization: Avenue of Life
Location: Kansas City, Kansas

In 2014, the Kansas Department of Children and Families convened leaders of 80 different agencies across Wyandotte County, home to Kansas City, to discuss community challenges. Following that initial meeting, county-level agencies and service providers then conferred regularly and used asset- based community development planning processes to design and launch the cross-sector initiative known as Impact KCK. This process enabled the partners to identify and classify community resources, build strategic partnerships and coordinate services. Through an asset-based approach, the partners developed cross-sector goals and coalesced around two key shared outcomes: increased access to stable housing and decreased child poverty.

Through this collaboration across county agencies and service providers, the Impact KCK initiative co-located its services and formed a one-stop resource center that provides support and wraparound services to students and families experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Students and families often are referred to the resource center by the Kansas City Public Schools’ McKinney-Vento Program liaison. Families bring their referral to Impact KCK, where they can obtain housing support and other services from the initiative’s network of agencies. Partners in the initiative have created “host navigator” staff positions that help families navigate the agencies and services that make up Impact KCK. The navigators also track the collaborative’s overall progress toward reducing childhood poverty and increasing high school graduation rates. The chief executives of all partner organizations and the host navigators meet monthly to review progress.

After the initiative was first launched, Impact KCK further refined its primary outcomes to focus on alleviating student homelessness. This target was aligned with a 2015 call to action from Kansas City’s mayor known as “1400 Diplomas,” which focused on providing stable housing for the 1,400 students across the county experiencing homelessness.

Housing Goal:

Increase access to stable housing for homeless and unstably housed students and their families.


Education Goal:

Reduce child poverty and increase high school graduation rates.


Shared Housing and Education Outcome:

Alleviating student homelessness to address childhood poverty and increase high school graduation rates.