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West London Zone is a collective impact initiative supporting young people in West London – a three-square mile area around Harrow Road in London. This area is home to around 66,000 young people aged 0 to 25. The Zone is deeply divided by wealth and life chances; it has some of the most prosperous neighbourhoods in the country, but also some of the most deprived areas.
West London Zone (WLZ) found that 20% of the children in the area exhibited risk factors such as social exclusion, educational disadvantage, and poor mental wellbeing, that could prevent them from living a happy and independent life if left unaddressed.
Together with their community, WLZ designed a Collective Impact approach to leverage the local “social assets” – such as charities, nurseries, schools, statutory services, and other community groups – around a shared vision. As the ‘backbone’ for this initiative, WLZ actively supports each partner and provides a Link Worker for each child, who builds a trusted, lasting relationship with the child and their family, helping them set their own goals for the future and working with charity partners on the ground to ensure that delivery is consistent and tailored to each individual. The support programme for each child lasts for 2 years.
In December 2017, the WLZ programme was extended to cover areas of deprivation in Kensington and Chelsea.
Read more about the WLZ model here.
In the first year of the project (2016/17), 132 children participated in West London Zone. Halfway through the intensive two-year programme:
Find out more about the WLZ results here.
Disadvantaged children and young people
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Big Lottery Fund, local schools, private philanthropy
West London Zone (WLZ Link Workers in partnership with a wide range of local partner delivery organisations)
Bridges Fund Management
The current framework covers a total of seven ‘outcome areas’ across four domains:
All seven outcome areas are measured and monitored for school-age children, but a lower number are measured and monitored in very young children and young adults as they are not all relevant. Each of the outcome areas has one or two measures which enable the monitoring to take place.
Further information about the WLZ outcomes framework is available here.
While the organisation tracks their impact across a broad set of long-term outcomes, payment for outcomes is linked to specific measures across the two years of support provided to each child on the programme, as outlined in the diagram below.
Data collection and analysis, including consultation with children, young people and their families.
Commissioning Better Outcomes funding application.
Agreement with Triborough to share data and analyse the cohort of children for WLZ.
1-year pilot of the operational model launched in North Hammersmith.
Commissioning Better Outcomes Fund award of £1.2m announced.
Pilot Implementation Study published.
WLZ Collective Impact Bond is launched.
WLZ expanded to North Kensington.
24 schools and around 650 children enrolled on the programme.
WLZ is a place-based collective impact project, bringing together a range of organisations from schools to public services to charities, neighbourhood groups and private funders. Collective impact is a response to a common problem wherever multiple organisations seek to tackle complex social issues: sub-scale, isolated service delivery that ends up being somehow less than the sum of its parts.
This collaborative approach underpins the unique finance model used to fund the project – a Collective Impact Bond. This brings together funding from local authorities, schools and private philanthropists, topped up by central government and Big Lottery funding. Payment is only released when each individual child engages with the programme throughout their two years and makes measurable progress at the end, ensuring that even the most challenging participants engage. WLZ is currently exploring how to bring the philanthropy component of the CIB onto an outcomes-based model.
WLZ acts as the backbone organisation for a suite of delivery partners. They are a diverse group of organisations with expertise in the core areas needed to support the strengths and needs of the cohort of children that WLZ supports. Some are very local to the Zone and have been involved in the early stages of co-designing the WLZ model, whereas others are large national charities or new social enterprises. All are different, with their own expertise, characteristics, delivery models and progress measurement methods. While WLZ is paid on an outcomes-basis through the Collective Impact Bond, delivery partners are paid on a fee-for-service basis.
Read more about WLZ's funding model.
Because of the inherent complexity of the problems they are seeking to address, collective impact initiatives tend to try to achieve multiple outcomes, that are in turn underpinned by many indicators.
However, as payment is directly linked to outcomes in the WLZ funding model, outcomes had to be identified that can be reliably measured, monitored and attributable to the programme. In practice this required in the early stages of the project ongoing reviewing and refining of the outcomes framework.
The framework now covers four outcome areas – positive relationships, mental wellbeing, progress at school, and confidence/aspiration – with 7 specific measures (related to those 4 areas) which can release payment at the end of each child's two year programme.
Data is a central pillar of the WLZ model, as it is through the collection of accessible, accurate, consistent and protected data that West London Zone’s impact on the lives of young people can be tracked, measured and communicated.
West London Zone makes use of data for a number of operational purposes:
To ensure a robust monitoring of a young person's progress, WLZ collects data at regular time points from a range of sources:
To enable this data to be meaningful, WLZ worked with Dartington Service Design Lab to develop a data system that enables data to be collected from all four sources, merged into a single database, and presented visually in the form of ‘dashboards’.
For further information on the West London Zone project, you can contact Freddie O'Farrell, Development Officer at West London Zone.
Communication with Freddie O'Farrell, Development Officer at West London Zone, 2018.
Page last updated: August 2018