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Home Policy Articles: Citizen Engagement: Consultation


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A Return to ANC in Spryfield: Fresh Ideas Spring into Action

Like other communities in the Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) project, residents of Spryfield are cognizant of the high level of poverty, large proportion of lone-parent families, and rising school dropout rates in their community.

A Return to ANC in Surrey: Bridgeview in Motion

The Bridgeview Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) project began in July 2005. Bridgeview was chosen because of its longstanding community association and “can do” attitude, but also because of its lack of resources and its physical isolation from the rest of Surrey.

ANC in Toronto: Scarborough Village Grows in a Positive Direction

In her article Anne Makhoul characterizes Scarborough Village as an area of high-rise apartment buildings, large roadways, few amenities, and a community inhabited by a culturally diverse, multilingual population.

Are Canadian Political Parties Empty Vessels? Membership, Engagement and Policy Capacity

This article analyzes the role played by political party members in Canada. William Cross and Lisa Young use the empirical evidence gathered by a survey of party members with the five major political parties, conducted in 2000, and find most to be dissatisfied with the roles they play.

Asset-based, Resident-led Neighbourhood Development

Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) is a federally funded initiative that began in February 2005. ANC explores resident-led approaches to neighbourhood renewal that will successfully enable individuals and families to build sustainable, healthy communities.

COEP: Brazilian organizations

In this international community story, Ann Simpson discusses COEP – the Comitê de Entidades no Combate à Fome e Pela Vida (“Committee of entities Against Hunger and For Life”) – a Brazilian network that mobilizes organizations to combat hunger and poverty.

Culture and Recreation: Links to Well-Being

Sherri Torjman explores how culture and recreation contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. This paper is part of a series on Vibrant Communities, a pan-Canadian initiative that seeks local solutions for poverty reduction.

Engaging Disenfranchised Groups in Urban Health

Sherri Torjman presented this paper at the International Conference on Urban Health held in Boston in October 2004. She addressed the issue of urban health and disenfranchised groups from the perspective of the Vibrant Communities project.

Government and Communities: Strengthening Neighbourhoods Together

This paper discusses the lessons learned during the Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) project. According to Cheryl Gorman, the project was able to broadly share information on substantive policies, the “systems of support” approach to strengthening neighbourhoods, and relationship-building.

Learning and Evaluation for Poverty Reduction

In this paper Sherri Torjman and Eric Leviten-Reid explore the role of learning and evaluation in community-based poverty reduction.

Mapping the Links: Citizen Involvement in Policy Processes

This article by Michael Orsini and Susan D. Phillips attempts to develop “a fuller understanding of the multidimensional nature of citizen involvement and to assess the adequacy of contemporary practices of citizen involvement in Canada”, taking into consideration different aspects of civic participation, political institutions and policy processes.

North Central in Regina: Keeping the Focus Where It Belongs

Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) is an initiative aimed at revitalizing five neighbourhoods across the country. ANC enabled residents to talk and envision a kind of community in which they wanted to live.

Orienteering Over New Ground: A Neighbourhood Theory of Change

Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC), a federally funded initiative, was launched in February 2005. ANC explored resident-led approaches to strengthening neighbourhoods that would help individuals and families build sustainable, healthy communities.

Policy Development and Implementation in Complex Files: Lessons from "Vibrant Communities"

Developed by the Canada School of Public Service for its Special Studies series, this case study is intended as training material for federal public servants.

Quality of Life in Canada: A Citizen’s Report Card

This report, authored by Sandra Zagon, attempts to identify the standards Canadians associate with quality of life to then evaluate how Canada measures up to this standard. Following numerous dialogue sessions with Canadians “from all walks of life” Zagon identified 40 indicators of quality of life, which she has grouped under 9 main themes. These include health, democratic rights and participation, education and the environment. It is difficult, Zagon argues, to generally state whether Canada has made progress in the last ten years in regards to quality of life; certain indicators show progress, some are stagnant, and others have deteriorated. Still, the study identifies several data gaps which need to be addressed prior to any declaration on progress or regression of quality of life.

REFLECT: The Power of Communication

Building vibrant communities should entail inclusion and participation of marginalized individuals and groups.

Reflections on Vibrant Communities

In this paper, Eric Leviten-Reid discusses the progress made to date in Vibrant Communities, a pan-Canadian initiative that seeks local solutions to reduce poverty.

Social Cohesion: Updating the State of the Research

This article by Caroline Beauvais and Jane Jensen analyses the state of research on social cohesion, a subject oft-covered by the Canadian Policy Research Network. The first section of this article updates the “definitional range of the concept”, underpinned by debates about what generates well-being. Section 2 observes that there is no common academic position regarding whether social cohesion is a dependent or independent variable; that is, whether social cohesion generates certain aspects of political and economic life, for example, or whether those aspects generate social cohesion. The most studies can agree to is that there seems to be some sort of correlation. Beauvais and Jensen then outline the groups of factors different studies identify as supporting or limiting social cohesion (social diversity is one), and studies which measure the effects of social cohesion. Generally, Beauvais and Jensen conclude that social cohesion, being a quasi-concept, the debates it generates are more about “political values and goals” rather than scientific proof.

The Canadian Community Monitoring Network

In this community story Anne Makhoul describes how Environment Canada and the Canadian Nature Federation partnered to facilitate the development of a Canadian Community Monitoring Network.

The Intersection of Governance and Citizenship in Canada: Not Quite the Third Way

Susan Phillips analyzes the now widely-accepted notion that the philosophy of governing in Canada “has shifted from one of new public management (NPM) to one of shared governance” (one which includes strong participation from the voluntary sector), and the model of citizenship that is supposed to accompany this philosophy.

The Shifting Place of Political Parties in Canadian Public Life

R. Kenneth Carty questions the role, shape, and nature of political parties in Canada, considering the past, present, and future.

Thunder Bay’s Simpson-Ogden Neighbourhood: Gifts in Unexpected Places

In this article Anne Makhoul outlines the progress in Thunder Bay’s Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) project in the Simpson-Ogden neighbourhood between February 2005 and March 2006.

Using Creativity to Enliven Urban and Rural Villages

In this community story Anne Makhoul describes how two communities are combining arts initiatives with community economic development projects.

Vibrant Communities Calgary: Awareness Engagement and Policy Change

Even though Calgary has experienced growth and prosperity due to the booming oil and gas industry, the gap between its richest and poorest communities is growing contend Anne Makhoul and Eric Leviten-Reid.

Vibrant Communities Edmonton: Building Economic Success

Vibrant Communities Edmonton (VCE) was created in 2002. Its efforts are modeled after the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Re-Building Communities Initiative. This American not-for-profit organization focuses on the difficulties low-income families face in trying to improve their economic fortunes.

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