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E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna
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E8 Effective Partnership Stategies In Building Settlement Capacity among service Providers_S.Gopikrishna

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  • 1. Effective Strategies To Build Advocacy Capacity Among Service Provider Coalitions OCASI Conference 24 April, 2009 S. Gopikrishna (Gopi) on behalf of the City of Toronto’s Immigrant and Refugee Housing Committee (IRHC) Scarborough Housing Help Centre 416-285 -8070 s.gopikrishna@shhc.ca
  • 2. This workshop will explore  A. Birth, Life Cycle & Functions of Coalitions  B. Traditional Membership of coalitions  C. Challenges before coalitions  D. Non-traditional member recruitment and capacity augmentation
  • 3. A. Birth and Functions of a Coalition  What is a coalition?  How are coalitions born? What is the life cycle of a coalition?  What do coalitions do?
  • 4. What is a Coalition?  “to grow together” – an alliance of people, parties or nations pursuing a common goal  Defined usually as “a mutually beneficial and well defined relationship by people and organizations to achieve common goals “  Advocacy focus distinguishes coalitions from “partnerships”, where the implied goal is direct service
  • 5. How are coalitions born? What is the life-cycle? Birth of a coalition:  Response to an immediate crisis e.g. HRSDC funding crisis of 2003  A group of organizations/individuals looking to increase their influence in decision making e.g. Ontario Medical Association  Decision makers initiate consultations to get community feed-back and buy-in e.g. Ontario Early Years Centre tables Life-cycle of a coalition:  Temporary- coalition dissolves upon achieving goal  Long term- coalition takes on new causes  Dormant-Active- Coalition takes on causes when necessary
  • 6. What do Coalitions do? What are the benefits ? A coalition may focus on information sharing, birthing partnerships or advocacy Benefits :  Draw attention to emerging issues and research the impact on target population  Identify options and solutions to an existing challenge  Lobbying governments /lawmakers to implement identified options
  • 7. B. Membership  What is the traditional membership of a coalition?  How does membership impact the work of a coalition?  How do members interact? What is the decision making process?
  • 8. Who traditionally are members of a coalition? How does membership impact coalition work?  Organizations and/or individuals interested in a given topic become members. In our work, most members are non-profits.  Members are the coalition’s biggest resource- even with membership fees, coalitions are under resourced  Ability to negotiate common goals and implement the goals by working as an “organization” is key to getting things done
  • 9. How do members interact? What is the decision making process?  Members meet regularly to discuss issues, exchange information and make decisions  Decisions are made usually through consensus. If consensus is not possible, then decisions are made through a simple majority
  • 10. C. CHALLENGES BEFORE COALITIONS  What challenges can a coalition face?  Can the challenges be classified?  How can coalitions address challenges?
  • 11. Types of Challenges Challenges classifiable into two types: Internal and External Challenges INTERNAL CHALLENGES  Agreement on a common goal  Progress is slow and frustrating  Lack of Resources  Concern about consequences of advocacy – will I get into trouble?
  • 12. Types of Challenges EXTERNAL CHALLENGES  Do the funders/community view it as a legitimate body?  How quickly can a coalition react to a situation and how?  Understanding of policy formulation- decision makers are concerned about financial impact, non-profit sector is concerned about social impact
  • 13. Characteristics of strong coalitions  Coalitions that speak for a cross section of the community are seen as legitimate  Develop a common goal that reflects reality  Understand that progress is “relentless increments”  Ability to state issues in the language of decision makers
  • 14. D. Non- Traditional Members & Effectiveness  What is the definition of non-traditional members? What are examples of this group?  How will non-traditional members increase capacity?  Where and how can we recruit non-traditional members?
  • 15. What are examples of non- traditional members? A non-traditional member refers to an organization outside the service provider non-profit sector whose beliefs align with our Beliefs Examples are:  Students and university professors  Journalists and radio/TV personalities  Bureaucrats and funders  Unions
  • 16. How can non-traditional members increase coalition capacity?  new perspectives in strategy, research and policy  Ability to advocate without fear of direct impact  Increases legitimacy ( constituent concern) and helps disseminate information outside the sector  Develop “Champions” – spokespersons inside government to make subtle but important changes
  • 17. Where can we recruit non-traditional members? To find “non-traditional members” to champion your cause, consider:  Civil servants who know policy works  Academicians and Students- advocacy is a given in academic life  Journalists/broadcasters - a voice to reshape public opinion  Unions who support social causes
  • 18. How can we recruit non-traditional members?  No magic formula for recruitment. However, it is important to thoroughly understand  Impact of the policy in question on a group that you want to recruit  Do their skills and interest match and increase your capacity?  What can you offer them in return?
  • 19. The IRHC story A brief review of the experiences and practices of City of Toronto’s The Immigrant and Refugee Housing Committee (IRHC)  How did IRHC evolve?  What is the membership of IRHC?  What challenges did IRHC face? How did it respond to the challenges?  How did non-traditional members assist IRHC?
  • 20. Birth of IRHC  IRHC was born out of a consultation held by the City to respond to an influx of refugees in 1992  Mandate is “Developing strategies and initiatives to address housing needs of refugees and marginalized immigrants”  Goals include: Addressing housing needs of newcomers, collaboration, public education and informing public policy
  • 21. IRHC Membership Membership consists of:  24 non-profit organizations active in the housing and immigrant serving sectors, minutes sent to 120 agencies  Academicians and Researchers  IRHC has been supported by the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division and meeting on a regular basis for over 15 years  Works closely with other coalitions such as Canadian Council of Refugees, Alternative Housing & Services Committee
  • 22. Challenges and IRHC CHALLENGES:  There was no comprehensive study of housing issues among refugees and immigrants  Addressing the issue of who is a “newcomer”?  Addressing the perspective that the panacea to housing is employment RESPONSES:  Created credible reference material - “Refugee Housing Study” (1992), the first study of refugee housing issues in Canada  Coordinated services by designing “First Contact Program” offered by Red Cross
  • 23. Non-traditional members and IRHC  IRHC’s refugee housing study was possible because of the assistance from academecians  IRHC intervened with CIC to address the issue of documentation for Haitian refugee claimants ( late 2007)- City of Toronto participation crucial  IRHC intervened to get refugee claimants eligibility to access the Rent Bank program
  • 24. IRHC Welcomes New Members http://www.toronto.ca/housing/irhc.htm Contact: Ms. Azar Farahani @ 416 392 0068 or afaraha@toronto.ca

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