“Our government department needs to get input from Aboriginal and newcomer communities on our services. What can we do to reach out to these populations?”
Situation: A government department wanted to ensure their service delivery model is relevant and accessible to both newcomer and Aboriginal populations. Traditionally, they gathered feedback on their services through consultations and online surveys every two or there years. But over time, they have noticed very low participation from both newcomer and Aboriginal populations in these activities is very low.
What We Did: Through their own experience and best practices research, CRC Consulting provided some advice on appropriate methods to encourage community members’ input. After looking at different options, the government department decided to partner with local community agencies in both designing and implementing innovative approaches to community engagement, rather than just community outreach. CRC Consulting brokered this relationship between the government agency and community agencies to help define the scope of their collaboration.
Benefits of the Process: The joint efforts of the government agency and the community services led to better mutual understanding of one another’s capacities and strengths. As a result, the partners moved on to join efforts in other collaborations that had positive implications for service implementation and evaluation. The partners would invite CRC Consulting to sometimes facilitate strategic planning or assist with evaluative (both process and outcome) activities, because of their understanding of both the public and not-for-profit sector. However, for the most part, CRC Consulting’s involvement was limited, only to contribute to the sustainability of their partnership.