This article details how an action research/reflective practitioner approach added value to the efforts of participants who were engaged in developing their practice and working together within a New Labour area-based policy initiative. The process of reflecting and learning together in the project supported practitioners in thinking, learning about, designing, engaging in and changing elements of their practice according to the evidence they had gathered. A key element of the article is how the notion of reflection 'in' action and 'on' action (Schon) supported people from different backgrounds and settings in understanding and developing their practice through improving self-knowledge and confidence and, in turn, their knowledge of other perspectives. The article raises issues in relation to the use of action research at the interface between micro- and macro-development, individual and group work, and worker and manager perspectives. It concludes by suggesting some of the issues that those engaged in further development of innovative, interagency and interdisciplinary projects might need to address if an action research/reflective practice model of working together for change is to be made more widely available, relevant and useful.