Pd Effective Partnership Strategies D7

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Pd Effective Partnership Strategies D7

  1. 1. Effective Partnership Strategies to build Advocacy Capacity among Settlement Service Providers <ul><li>OCASI Conference </li></ul><ul><li>5 November 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>S. Gopi Krishna </li></ul><ul><li>on behalf of the City of Toronto’s Immigrant and Refugee Housing Committee (IRHC) </li></ul><ul><li>Scarborough Housing Help Centre </li></ul><ul><li>416-285 5410 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  2. 2. This workshop will explore <ul><li>What is a Coalition? </li></ul><ul><li>How are coalitions born? Who are Traditional Members of coalitions? </li></ul><ul><li>What challenges can a coalition face? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the advantage of recruiting non-traditional members? </li></ul>
  3. 3. A. Birth of a Coalition <ul><li>How is a coalition born? </li></ul><ul><li>What coalitions do? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits of a coalition? </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is a Coalition? <ul><li>An alliance of people, factions, parties, or nations </li></ul><ul><li>from Latin coalēscere “ to grow together ” </li></ul><ul><li>a mutually beneficial and well defined relationship by people and organizations to achieve common goals </li></ul>
  5. 5. How are coalitions born? <ul><li>Response to immediate situation- usually a crisis of some kind e.g. HRSDC funding crisis of 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>A group of organizations/individuals looking to increase their influence in decision making e.g. Ontario Medical Association </li></ul><ul><li>Decision makers initiate consultations to get community feed-back and buy-in e.g. Ontario Early Years Centre tables </li></ul>
  6. 6. What do Coalitions Do? <ul><li>Work of a coalition may focus on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advocacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information sharing/networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partnership Building </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Benefits <ul><li>Drawing attention to an emerging issue </li></ul><ul><li>Research to identify impact on target population </li></ul><ul><li>Identify options and solutions to an existing challenge with a positive impact </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbying governments /lawmakers to implement the best options </li></ul>
  8. 8. B. Membership <ul><li>What is the traditional membership of a coalition? </li></ul><ul><li>How does membership impact the work of a coalition? </li></ul><ul><li>How do members interact? What is the decision making process? </li></ul>
  9. 9. What does traditional membership of coalitions consist of ? <ul><li>Membership usually consists of organizations and/or individuals interested in a given topic </li></ul><ul><li>In the context of the coalitions we work with, the membership largely consists of non-profit organizations </li></ul>
  10. 10. How does membership impact work of a coalition? <ul><li>Coalitions have few resources- funding is always an issue for advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Membership means everything to a coalition </li></ul><ul><li>Members have to divide duties between themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to negotiate and agree on a common goal </li></ul>
  11. 11. How do members interact? What is the decision making process? <ul><li>Members meet regularly to discuss </li></ul><ul><li>issues, exchange information, and make decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions are made usually through consensus. If consensus is not possible, then decisions are made through a simple majority </li></ul>
  12. 12. C. CHALLENGES <ul><li>What challenges can a coalition face? </li></ul><ul><li>How can coalitions address </li></ul><ul><li>challenges? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Internal Challenges <ul><li>Getting members to agree on a common goal </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of speed can be frustrating </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Concern about consequences of </li></ul><ul><li>advocacy – will I get into trouble? </li></ul>
  14. 14. External Challenges <ul><li>Do the funders/community view it as a legitimate body? </li></ul><ul><li>How quickly a coalition can react to a situation and how? </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of policy formulation </li></ul><ul><li>Experience- why should a new voice be taken seriously? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Characteristics of strong coalitions <ul><li>Coalitions that speak for a cross section </li></ul><ul><li>of the community are seen as legitimate </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a common goal that reflects reality ( as opposed to a magical wish list) </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of policy perspectives- government makes decisions based on financial consequences </li></ul>
  16. 16. How Coalitions Respond to Challenges <ul><li>Lack of progress can be frustrating- Members should remind themselves that advocacy is not micro-waving, it is slow and steady </li></ul><ul><li>Will funders/governments punish organizations for advocacy related work? It is important to critique without being critical </li></ul>
  17. 17. D. NON-TRADITIONAL MEMBERS AND EFFECTIVENESS <ul><li>What is the definition of non-traditional members? What are examples of this group? </li></ul><ul><li>How will non-traditional members increase capacity? </li></ul><ul><li>Where and how can we recruit non-traditional members? </li></ul>
  18. 18. What are examples of non- traditional members? <ul><li>A non-traditional member is a party interested in the same result as the non-profit sector but works in a different sector </li></ul><ul><li>Students and university professors </li></ul><ul><li>Bureaucrats and funders </li></ul><ul><li>Unions </li></ul><ul><li>Profession affiliation organizations </li></ul>
  19. 19. How can non-traditional members increase coalition capacity? <ul><li>Bring new perspectives in terms of strategy </li></ul><ul><li>and policy </li></ul><ul><li>Experience and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Coalition is seen as being legitimate </li></ul><ul><li>“ Champions” – spokespersons inside the system ( e.g. government) as opposed to the outside </li></ul>
  20. 20. How can non-traditional members increase coalition capacity? <ul><li>Ability to provide funders with facts and figures </li></ul><ul><li>Access to resources not available presently- research about how an issue has been addressed elsewhere </li></ul>
  21. 21. Where can we recruit non-traditional members? <ul><li>To find “non-traditional members to champion your program, consider: </li></ul><ul><li>Civil servants who know policy works </li></ul><ul><li>Academicians and Students- advocacy is a given in academic life </li></ul><ul><li>Journalists/broadcasters - a voice to reshape public opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Unions supporting social causes </li></ul>
  22. 22. How can we recruit non-traditional members? <ul><li>No magic formula for recruitment. However, it is </li></ul><ul><li>important to have answers to the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the impact of policy on a group that you want to recruit </li></ul><ul><li>Do their skills and interest match and increase your capacity? </li></ul><ul><li>What can you offer them in return? </li></ul>
  23. 23. The IRHC story <ul><li>A brief review of the experiences and practices of </li></ul><ul><li>The Immigrant and Refugee Housing Committee (IRHC) </li></ul><ul><li>How did IRHC evolve? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the membership of IRHC? </li></ul><ul><li>What challenges did IRHC face? How did it respond to the challenges? </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>IRHC was born out of a consultation held by the City to respond to an influx of refugees in 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>It was originally called IRHTG (Immigrant Refugee Housing Task Group) but became IRHC (Immigrant Refugee Housing Committee) in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>IRHC has been supported by the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division and meeting on a regular basis for over 15 years </li></ul>Birth of IRHC
  25. 25. <ul><li>IRHC </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting marginalized immigrants </li></ul><ul><li>Networking & collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>capacity building </li></ul><ul><li>Public education & Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Research support </li></ul><ul><li>Inform public policy </li></ul>
  26. 26. IRHC’s responses to challenges <ul><li>Pro-active approach in keeping members informed, </li></ul><ul><li>and rapid response to new issues; e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>Information on new resources & initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Response to increase in Mexican & Haitian refugee claimants </li></ul>
  27. 27. IRHC Membership <ul><li>Over 24 non-profit organizations active in the housing and immigrant serving sectors </li></ul><ul><li>Academicians and Researchers </li></ul><ul><li>City staff </li></ul><ul><li>IRHC Minutes and announcements are distributed to over 120 people on a regular basis </li></ul>
  28. 28. Challenges and IRHC <ul><li>Housing issues are linked to other legislations include immigration and social services </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to gaps in services for newcomers </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing attention to housing issues faced by newcomers and refugees </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of sufficient resources </li></ul>
  29. 29. IRHC’s responses to challenges <ul><li>Responded to existing gaps through coordination and planning of various services e.g. IRHC designed the “First Contact” Program and helped Red Cross implement the service. </li></ul><ul><li>Red Cross’ First Contact Program offers holistic services to newcomer refugees as soon as they come to Toronto. Services include 24 hours/7 days Hotline and a Drop-In Centre </li></ul>
  30. 30. IRHC’s responses to challenges <ul><li>Creating credible reference material on the issue of housing- The IRHTG worked closely with the City of Toronto to produce the “ Refugee Housing Study ” in (1992), the first study of refugee housing issues in Canada </li></ul><ul><li>IRTHG made input to important policy documents, such as the Mayor’s Homelessness Action Task Force (1999 ) </li></ul>
  31. 31. IRHC Welcomes New Members <ul><li>http://www.toronto.ca/housing/irhc.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Azar Farahani, Agency Review Officer, </li></ul><ul><li>Housing Division, City of Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>( 416) 392 0068- [email_address] </li></ul>

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