Complex social issues such as population health mean that no one person, organization or sector can resolve these problems alone and instead require a collaborative approach. This study applied the Collective Impact framework to evaluate the alliance responsible for delivering a large-scale health promotion initiative. Committee meeting minutes for a 4-year period and qualitative interviews with key stakeholders (N = 14) involved in the design and implementation of the initiative explored the factors that contributed to collaborative efforts and initiative outcomes. Major strengths of the Healthier Queensland Alliance (the Alliance) stemmed from identifying a common agenda and using frequent communication to develop trust among Alliance partners. These processes were important, particularly in improving key relationships to ensure inclusivity and equity. Reinforcing activities helped to support individual organizational efforts, while shared measurement systems promoted data-driven decision-making and learning, which contributed to continuous improvement and innovation. Current findings support the use of the Collective Impact framework as a scaffold to assist collaborative alliances in working effectively and efficiently when implementing large-scale initiatives aiming to create positive social impact. This study has identified the foundations of practice to establish a successful Collective Impact alliance.

Collective action to achieve social impact requires collaboration allowing organizations to expand their resources and abilities to enhance their collective capabilities. This paper reports on the use of the Collective Impact framework to show how a collaboration of partner organizations was developed to achieve social impact in a large health promotion initiative. The study identified six foundations for practice to enable successful collective partnerships that will be useful for practitioners and policy-makers when developing health promotion initiatives targeting a range of priority groups. The Collective Impact framework offers a strategic approach for building capacity in a range of communities to navigate power dynamics and find new ways of collaboration to achieve positive social impacts for their communities.

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