ERIC Number: EJ772851
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 1
Promises and Pitfalls: Experience in Collaboration between the Canadian Federal Government and the Voluntary Sector
Good, David A.
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v22 n1 p122-127 Win 2003
In 1997, the Canadian federal government faced a difficult policy problem. It wanted to make greater use of voluntary sector organizations to deliver government programs and to shape social policy. A first question for government was whom in the voluntary sector to engage. Unlike the United Kingdom, Canada does not have a tradition of national umbrella organizations that can speak with one voice for the whole sector. While Canada has a tradition of many diverse voluntary sector organizations, in their dealings with government they have traditionally operated independently one from another. In 1995, a dozen leaders of national voluntary sector organizations had come together informally to set up a Voluntary Sector Roundtable. Although these leaders did not have a clearly defined accountability relationship to the organizations and citizens they purported to represent, the government decided to deal with this group because it was the only single organization that contained the leaders of the sector. With that, the stage was set for the government and the voluntary sector to embark upon a process of consultation and collaboration to address the problems they faced. On balance, this joint collaborative process has been positive, resulting in some important new initiatives. The process has produced significant proposals, actually being implemented, like the accord and personnel exchanges between the government and the sector. Others, like the satellite account, are on target for implementation in 2003. Initiatives that could be implemented in the more contentious area of taxation and regulatory reform did not emerge. While this joint collaborative consultation took considerable time and resources, it has helped to increase goodwill and trust among the collaborators.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Cooperation, Federal Government, Voluntary Agencies, Cooperative Programs, Policy Analysis, Public Policy, Nongovernmental Organizations, Social Services, Consultation Programs, Systems Analysis, Program Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada