**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) volume 16.2. All rights reserved.**
Background: Community collaboration is a founding principle of the Early Success Coalition (ESC), a collaborative of over 74 agencies, engaging over 200 participants. The ESC aims to develop a comprehensive neighborhood young-child-wellness system model to better foster cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development of young children. The Wilder Collaborative Factors Inventory (WCFI) was used, as part of a participatory mixed-methods evaluation, to collect annual measures of collaboration.
Objective: To reflect on lessons learned, resulting from four years of ESC WCFI data.
Method: ESC members completed the WCFI standardized survey tool, encompassing 40 questions grouped into 20 factors associated with successful collaboration, annually.
Lessons Learned: Community collaborations are naturally slow to establish, with funding/staffing concerns standing out as primary fears within the membership.
Conclusions: Participation in the ESC provided leadership, structure, and concrete goals, which bolstered local collaborative efforts. Overall, the WCFI is proposed as an insightful tool for evaluating community collaboratives.