We hope that the place-based guide and toolkit will serve as a guide to anyone who wishes to initiate and work on a place-based approach. Place-based approaches are a team effort, and you do not need to have all the answers or be an expert facilitator, evaluator, or project manager to build a place-based movement for change in your region (although those skills can help!).

This guide and toolkit will benefit a range of people including: community members; leaders; all levels of government; non-government organisations (NGOs); community service organisations; philanthropic organisations; and businesses.

Who should use this guide?

The guide is for anyone looking to work in a way that:

  • focusses on the local level
  • creates a shared, long-term vision and commitment to outcomes
  • involves working differently together across the community
  • creates governance at a local level
  • embeds broad engagement with the community
  • gives an opportunity to experiment, prototype, and learn through doing.

What is the purpose of the place-based guide and toolkit?

This guide and toolkit is designed to support people working on or wanting to initiate a place-based approach. It provides some helpful tools and resources; shares how QCOSS has supported place-based approaches around Queensland; and offers some of our learnings from these experiences.

While this guide does include practical examples of how QCOSS has applied theory, and tools or samples of completed work, they are informed by our own experience, and are not intended as a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to facilitating a place-based approach. The process outlined may not necessarily fit with the specific context of the community you are involved in, the context of your workplace, or your level of resourcing. Every place-based approach and every community is different. No one tool or framework will suit all communities.

This guide and toolkit has also been informed by a growing evidence base of others’ work and theories. Place-based approaches are an emerging practice, and the body of knowledge is rapidly evolving. This guide and toolkit is not intended to be a literature review. Rather, our aim is to provide a practical guide with, wherever possible, publicly accessible references and links.

The importance of place-based approaches being guided by sound principles cannot be over-emphasised. These same tools can be applied in harmful or helpful ways depending on the depth of the process, the level of relationship, and the level of respect and genuine intention to engage. For this reason, the principles underpinning place-based approaches have been explored in detail.

Navigating the toolkit

Throughout the guide, you will find the following boxes and headings guide you:

Tip – this will provide a suggestion or idea to remember

Key Learning – this will provide some key learnings we have encountered while undertaking a place-based approach

Jargon Alert – this will alert you to a jargon word that may need to be further unpacked. Jargon words are special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand. We aim to minimise our use of jargon. However, where possible explanations of jargon are provided through Jargon Alerts to help people understand the terminology others may use. This is designed to ensure everyone coming to this document can easily share our understanding of place-based approaches.

Tool – an activity or checklist for use in practice

Template – a blank activity or form that can be used in practice

Sample – a sample of work or completed template

Film clip – a video of ideas and learnings tool

Case Study – this will offer a story from our work in place

Link – Links have been included as examples of projects and resources which provide useful context and further detail that you may wish to access to deepen your understanding. Links within this Guide and Toolkit direct you to various external sites. Projects and work described in many of these sites are not QCOSS projects and have not been funded by either the Queensland Family and Child Commission or the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

Key feature – this symbol signifies a key feature of place-based approaches. These help to define what constitutes a place-based approach and create shared understandings.