Showing up differently: A collective approach to complex issues

Many major social challenges, such as building resilient communities; addressing family violence; and creating social attitudes supportive of mental health etc, involve issues that seem highly resistant to any straightforward resolution. Traditional approaches to the design and implementation of services and programmes in support of families and communities have often struggled to address these challenges effectively.

Comprehensive and systemic understanding of complex social issues and many examples of exceptional health and social services do exist. However, the current mechanisms to enable and connect these approaches systemically often limit the outcomes. New forms of engagement are needed between funders, facilitators and community members.

The “Showing up differently” framework explores one such approach based on multi-stakeholder collaboration in the co-design, funding, governance and implementation of a city-wide project. It is based on a case study of the LinC (Leadership in Communities) Project ( which was developed in Christchurch following the major earthquakes of 2011 and 2012. It focused specifically on the extensive community-level leadership that emerged post-quake and aimed to support and encourage communities to shape and lead their own recovery. This white paper provides a case study of the collaborative approach developed during its implementation during 2014–2016 and its re-design towards LinC 2018– 2020.

The intended audience for this framework is a wide range of stakeholders including community led initiatives, providers, and both government and philanthropic funders.