In July 2019, HOST commenced an innovative project to support and mobilise community groups to support new and emerging communities in Adelaide.
We had a vision to not only educate community leaders, but to also mentor and support them as they sought to address the needs of their communities. We also wanted to connect people together to support wider social cohesion.
The Community Incubator Program (CIP)
Our idea was to mimic the model of business startup incubators which generally focussed on building social, knowledge and financial resources through an intensive coaching and mentoring methodology.
We saw community leaders struggling to access support with implementation and with building resources, both financial and people to support their vision.
The Community Incubator Program (CIP) came to life thanks to funding support from the Australian Department of Human Services, Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) funding.
" The coach/staff and the program you have and the way you actually are the leading force is very unique to anyone... Not only you showed us the right path and goal, you walked with us to reach that goal. Incredible" Participant organisation
Creating a different approach
Whilst capacity-building projects have existed for multicultural communities for some time, they have generally been limited to short courses or workshops which aim to provide skills and tools but often do not continue into implementation.
They also lack a focus on building bridges to other community resources that can assist them in meeting their objectives.
The HOST CIP coaches act as advocates, mentors, teachers, advisors and connectors for community groups that are aiming to support newcomers to integrate effectively into the Adelaide community.
“HOST worked and continues working as a bridge between our organisation and other government and community organisations.” Program participant
co-creating through coaching
Typically, a community group will approach HOST with a need which may include starting an organisation, getting up-skilled in financial management, seeking support for grant writing, support with planning and addressing local needs/issues in their community.
Coaches on this program aims to provide support with developing realistic plans, and to provide guidance and training as the group implement these plans.
A key focus of coaches is to link groups with other like-minded groups and individuals who can support and resource the plan.
Coaches also encourage the groups to consider broader social inclusion and cohesion in their planning.
“We are able now to make plans for the Association's future and organise our thoughts about the way we have to work for the benefit of everyone” Program participant
Results of the approach
HOST undertook an evaluation of the program which was launched at an event last Thursday evening with representatives from the community who have been part of the project.
The evaluation of the program highlights the value of the model and outlines evidence of increased knowledge and confidence to implement what they have learned as well as increased community linkages.
The data also showed stronger results in participants that had remained in the program for over 1 year, particularly in relation to confidence and motivation.
See below for a short video of the program and the evaluation outcomes from our CEO, David Keegan from the event last week.
download the report
The report, linked below, also includes short testimonials from some of the program participants who presented on the evening.