Examples of projects in Community Development

Town of Hawkesbury Community Summit.  This community futures exercise began with thirteen "round tables" of business, community and government representatives, dealing with topics ranging from tourism to youth to health.  Each table wrote a short issues paper.  These were discussed at a weekend "happening" and the results were referred back to the tables to develop an action plan.  A priorities and implementation committee was struck to coordinate the follow-up work.  We advised on process, co-facilitated the weekend summit, wrote the synthesis report, and provided conflict resolution skills to the priorities and implementation committee.

Stittsville Community Development Strategy.  This assignment produced a community vision and strategic directions on the future development of the town.  Our role as lead consultant was to write a "community discussion paper" explaining the issues in simple terms, to support volunteers conducting "kitchen table" meetings, to lead "vision workshops", to summarize the results in a "community development strategy", and to facilitate "community wide" meetings.  We co-designed a training module for community members who assisted in the project.

City of Ottawa/Citizens' Advisory Committee: Vision Planning Study.  This was an innovative approach in which the Citizens' Committee conducted a visioning exercise for their neighbourhood with funding from the City.  As lead consultants, we worked with the citizens to design meaningful public participation techniques such as an Ideas Workshop, Key Area Mapping by residents, Guided Imagery Visioning, Kids’ Place (a youth survey), Oral History interviews with seniors, a business survey, a computer opinion exchange and of course public meetings.  The result was a community vision for the future of their neighbourhood.

City of Ottawa/ Sandy Hill: Community Development Plan.  This was a tripartite process involving the municipality, a university, and the community association.  A crown corporation and a foundation were also key stakeholders.  The goal was to develop a consensual master plan for the redevelopment of ‘brownfield’ vacant former industrial lands at the Nicholas/Mann exit from Highway 417, between the University of Ottawa main campus and its new Lees Campus, in Sandy Hill.  Our primary role was to design and facilitate the public consultation process and participate at the partnership table.

A+B = $ / Literacy and Economic Development Project.  This was a major two year contract to mobilize the non-literacy community to promote literacy and life-long learning.  It was a bilingual project in all of Cornwall/SDG and Hawkesbury/PR counties.  The clients were the literacy service providers, with a steering committee of community representatives.  We organized partnership meetings and plain language workshops, a media blitz and a social marketing campaign, statistical analysis of census data, mounted a Web site and did strategic mapping of local literacy services and supporters.  This project received an award for innovation and was published as an exemplary case study in how to engage a variety of public and private organizations around a socio-economic issue.  (Note: We have done many projects in the field of adult literacy and family literacy since then.)