APPLIED RESEARCH

What we have been up to recently...



Click on the following projects for more information:

Strategic Repositioning Study for the Immigrant Access Fund (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Canada) – 2014

A team of two interviewed staff, board members and several external resources and engaged a wider grouping of and board members in an on-line survey staff all to produce an “as is” analysis and a set of future scenarios for IAF. On the strength of cross-sectional feedback, the team produced a set of drawings showing a preferred scenario for the organization. The team then presented findings and the illustrated future scenario at a strategic planning retreat.

Feasibility Study of a Community Development Learning Initiative for Calgary, for United Way of Calgary, the City of Calgary, Calgary Foundation – 2011-12

A team of four carried out feasibility research on the idea of creating a community development learning initiative in Calgary. The impetus for the idea came from community development supporters and practitioners who were excited about a trend toward more grassroots involvement in neighbourhood strengthening initiatives. The City of Calgary, United Way of Calgary and Area and the Calgary Foundation funded the study to explore ways and means to encourage citizen learning to support community development practice. We carried out an environmental scan of available learning resources for community residents and community development practitioners from local, national, and international sources; we examined the learning and training needs, gaps and preferences of practitioners and community residents involved in community development efforts, and we engaged potential partner organizations in an exploration of their interest in being part of community development learning scenarios. Our investigation involved a combination of large and small group consultations, key informant interviews, a comprehensive review of the literature, and community workshops.

Study of Government-Civil Society Relations in Alberta and of the Status of Existing Networking Relations, for the Muttart Foundation – 2010

This Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector (NPVS) study was commissioned by the Muttart Foundation, with funding from the Alberta Government. We explored how the NPVS is currently working, how it relates to government at all levels, and whether a provincial umbrella organization would be useful to organizations in the NPVS. The study was particularly concerned with hearing from smaller, less-connected or un-connected Non-Profit and Voluntary Organizations. The study reached out to this large and diverse collection of NPVS using an E-survey of a random sampling (~500) from more than 20,000 organizations and then additional respondents through snowball sampling. We also carried out nine community studies from areas representing the geographical and social diversity of Alberta that included individual telephone and face to face interviews, focus group discussions and conversation cafés. In addition, a select group of funders provided responses to a funder specific e-survey, and participated in individual interviews, focus groups or conversation cafes as part of the community studies.

Capacity Building and Local Institutions Strengthening Study, for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)/Global Environment Fund (GEF) – 2010

As part of the IFAD/GEF project, Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Sylvopastoral and Rangeland Landscapes in the pockets of poverty of Jordan, our Jordan based consultant was commissioned to develop a capacity building and local institutions strengthening strategy that would inform the design of a future phase of the project.