Community Guide by Opioid Response Project
The Community Guide produced by the Opioid Response Project is available to assist communities interested in pursuing a similar process for addressing “wicked” problems using a collective impact model. While the Opioid Response Project is used as an example throughout this guide, the process, resources, worksheets, and lessons provided could be used to address any number of complex, inter-jurisdictional problems.
While progress has been made at the state level, challenges remain for local implementation of policies and potential solutions for the opioid epidemic. Local foster care and social services agencies in North Carolina see spikes in demand for services resulting from opioid misuse, local law enforcement and emergency management personnel handle more overdose and opioid-related issues, and local public health offices seeing their already-limited resources stretched even thinner to address this challenge. The opioid epidemic represents a “wicked” problem that requires cross-sector collaboration for solutions.
The ncIMPACT Initiative partnered with Blue Cross NC to create the Opioid Response Project to assist communities in North Carolina in creating collaborative, long-term, comprehensive plans to reduce the effects of the opioid epidemic. Project team members produced a community guide as a product of the project to draw on expertise and resources that could assist other communities interested in pursuing a similar process for addressing “wicked” problems using a collective impact model. While the Opioid Response Project is used as an example throughout this guide, the process, resources, worksheets, and lessons provided could be used to address any number of complex, inter-jurisdictional problems.
Download the guide: https://orp.sites.unc.edu/community-guide/
Kimberly Nelson edited the community guide and coordinated chapters written by herself and various contributors including Anita Brown-Graham, Willow Jacobson, Alexander Kroll, Adam Lovelady, Ricardo Morse, Mary Parry, Patrice Roesler, and Amy Wade. Their work derived from the insights and expertise shared by members of the ten local teams who participated, as well as the Opioid Response Project team who guided program offerings. Learn more about the project at: https://orp.sites.unc.edu/.
In partnership with Blue Cross NC, the ncIMPACT Initiative at the UNC School of Government brought together 10 teams of community leaders from across the state. Community team members brought perspectives from different sectors, all impacted by the opioid crisis, including but not limited to health departments, social services, emergency personnel, police departments, and the judicial system. Together, teams interacted on a regular basis, participating in local meetings and five statewide forums. Teams learned from each other, shared information, and discovered new ideas being implemented around the state to solve similar problems. They also leveraged their Opioid Response Project action plans to receive grant funding to support their work, totaling more than $4 million. Sample outputs from the project and a map of the local teams who participated appear below.