The Systems for Change learning capture approach

Understanding what system partners are doing to drive social and economic development in practice.

13 September 2023

This article forms part of the Systems for Change project, which provides practical learning and tools to support integrated care systems to drive social and economic development.

If you work in an integrated care system, VCSE organisation, local government, business or academia and are looking to bring people together to improve people’s lives, the Systems for Change learning platform has been developed for you.

Recognising the importance of organisations in the VCSE sector in social and economic development, NAVCA and National Voices led the Systems for Change project learning capture exercise. Over the course of the project, we worked alongside members, NHS, local government and VCSE sector partners in systems to understand more about what they are doing on social and economic development in practice, how they are making it happen and what is helping along the way.

We spoke to over 150 people, through a mix of 14 interviews, two webinars, five local shared learning events, a panel session at NHS Confed Expo 2023 and a podcast. We conducted desk research on existing case studies, strategies, frameworks, project documents and more. We developed the practical learning in an iterative way, testing with members and the systems involved as we went.

We asked questions like:

  • What does good practice in your ICS look like? What are the barriers / enablers to progress? Where are there gaps / opportunities?
  • What environment, strategy, leadership, relationships, culture, tools and know-how are helping the ICS enable progress on social and economic development?

While there is more to learn, we thank NHS England for commissioning this learning capture project, and hope that the results offer practical learning and suggested actions for system leaders, policymakers and practitioners to consider.

Thanks are also due to all the colleagues from the NHS, local government and VCSE organisations for generously sharing their time and insights during the learning capture process.

Find out more about the Systems for Change project and access a range of resources.