An important aspect of community systems work is to organize a community for action. There are four key elements to consider when organizing their communities – leadership, relationship building, governance and structure. In this blog, we will offer a basic understanding of these concepts and share additional resources.

Community issues are often complex issues.  Complex problems require leaders to organize for action.  Four elements for communities to consider are – leadership, relationship building, governance and structure. The overall goal for collaboration leaders is to guide the community work and maintain the collaboration’s vision. The leadership  group may take the form of a small core team or a steering committee. Having community leaders from various sectors, lived experiences and commitment to active participation is crucial to the collaboration. The second element that is key to collaborations is relationship building.  Relationship building is the ability to identify and initiate working relationships and to develop and maintain them in a way that is mutually beneficial. The third element of organizing for action includes governance. Governance refers to the action taken to make decisions, how it operates and its accountability. Another item that may fall under governance is who the collaboration engages with to create systems change. Finally, the final element for communities to consider is the group’s structure. Having a clear framework communicates how the community partners will work together. This may be in the form of partnership agreements, group norms and distribution of work.

For more information about organizing for action, feel free visit Partner Plan Act or contact Edna Navarro-Vidaurre, Assistant Director of Community Systems Development at