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2016 Snapshot

Our year has been packed with innovation, change and impact as we continue to support communities leading change, promote the value of community-led development (CLD) and build skills and capability across Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Scroll down for some of our highlights, reflecting our role and value.



Providing opportunities to hear, visit and learn from others helps create, as well as grow and strengthen community-led momentum. Inspiring Communities holds events that engage, challenge and inspire people working in and around communities leading change.

Our roadshow around the West Coast visited Reefton, Blackball, Rūnanga, Greymouth, Ngakawau and Westport, hosting community conversations and briefings, helping 220 people work out where their places are at and where they want to go next. We also travelled to Tairawhiti on the North Island's East Coast. 100 people attended either a funders forum, community workshop, a conversation with whanau from Te Araroa, CLD briefings in Gisborne, a visit to Te Karaka and a workshop in Ruatoria.



We believe the CLD approach should be more widely adopted in national policy and systems. There's a unique opportunity for Aotearoa New Zealand if we choose to genuinely understand, and invest in a community-led shift.

Start Local. Let it Happen, Make it Work was a very successful one day seminar we co-hosted with Local Government New Zealand and the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies. 160 people from government, local government, academia, business and communities gathered to increase their understanding and confidence in using a locally-led approach. Using what was shared and learned we produced a report and 10 tips to help you Start Local.



Change not noticed is not change. Through sharing international and local practice-based evidence we are growing expertise so all communities benefit. We also value story-telling as evidence.

We re-designed our website this year, making it easier for people to navigate the myriad of stories, resources and information available. As a result we are enjoying an increase of 20% of visitors who are staying for an above average 2 ½ minutes. Our e-newsletter also got a make-over this year, with a marked increase in our database, and in people reading what we produce. It is a key tool helping us inform you about the latest and the best. With a 45% increase in followers, Inspiring Communities Facebook page continues to prove a popular way for us to share all things CLD.



Working across community, business, agencies, local and central government effects sustainable change. One of our key strengths is our ability to facilitate and broker information, ideas and relationships between a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

Following on from the Child Rich Communities - Bright Spots report, and briefings to government stakeholders we have continued our collaboration with Plunket, Unicef and Every Child Counts. With the support of S.K.I.P we bought together most of the 21 community - led initiatives featured in the report for the Bright Spots Hui. Interactive, thought provoking conversations and co-creating some potential next steps was the focus and there's certainly an appetite to do more. Keep an eye out for what happens in 2017 and for a video Unicef is producing based on interviews with participants.



In order to deepen the practice of CLD we tailor training resources and packages to the requirements of participants. Training ensures practitioners and others working in this space keep pace with theory and practice.

From government officials, to grass roots leaders in Rotorua attending Boostcamp and Ready Set Go! Participants in Auckland, our training helps maintain and enhance CLD know-how and skills, as well as motivating them to pass it on!

We delivered the second year of a CLD capacity-building programme co-designed with Department of Internal Affairs involving 100 DIA Community Operations Managers and Advisors. Evaluation indicates significant changes in confidence and capacity of individuals and teams to support community-led approaches locally.



CLD is best learnt by doing. Working successfully is helped by reflecting on what's working, what's not and adapting. We support those doing the doing whether it is offering light touch advice, providing specialist speakers or more formalised coaching.

Neighbourhood specialist Jim Diers was back in New Zealand twice this year working with over 650 people. Workshops and masterclasses focused on supporting communities to map and mobilise their assets and strengths, build community partnerships, and examine innovative funding and planning options. Again the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, particularly around the practical ideas and support Jim offers. He will be back in New Zealand in March and August 2017.


Coming up

2017 is already shaping up to be another action-packed year.

Activate: - registrations are open for Activate our two day event in Auckland in April. Showcasing locally-led change in a wide range of communities, Activate is for everyone with an interest in community-led development. Venture out across Auckland neighbourhoods to see CLD first hand, as well share what you know while learning new tools, skills, proven ideas in interactive workshops.

Community Coaching: We've designed a successful one-hour 1-1 check-in process for those working in CLD - 'doing the doing.' You'll be matched up with an IC Community Coach who can actively support your practice reflection, impact and outcomes tracking, and next steps with your community-led action planning.