Case Study: Aboriginal Input
“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 newcomer and Aboriginal populations. Traditionally, they gathered feedback on their services through consultations and online surveys every two or three years. But over time, they have noticed very low participation from both newcomer and Aboriginal populations in these activities.
What We Did: Through their own experience and best practices research, CFRAC’s consulting services provided advice on appropriate methods to encourage community members’ input. After looking at different options, the government department decided to partner with local community agencies to design and implement innovative approaches to community engagement, rather than just community outreach. CFRAC’s consulting team 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 a 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 sometimes invite our consulting team to facilitate strategic planning or assist with evaluative (both process and outcome) activities because of their understanding of both the public and not-for-profit sectors. However, for the most part, our involvement was limited, only to contribute to the sustainability of their partnership.