Evaluation

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ÉvalPIC is a customized evaluation support program created by Dynamo. It supports the Collective Impact Project (CIP) neighbourhoods as they develop a culture of evaluation. The goal is to measure change to improve and adapt practices and demonstrate the added value of a collaborative and integrated approach in the fight against poverty.

Support from Dynamo is based on connection, collaboration, co-development and collective intelligence. Dynamo respects and adapts to the realities, pace, needs and expectations of each community.

Learn more by visiting the Dynamo website (In French only)

The five support mechanisms currently offered:

  1. Spaces for dialogue and reflection
  2. Collective workshops
  3. Training: evaluation of change in a collective context
  4. Documentation of learning
  5. Events that bring people together

Spaces for dialogue and reflection

Offered for the first time this year to the local partners of CIP-supported projects in collaboration with Dynamo, spaces for dialogue and reflection were held on three themes:

  • CIP deployment in our communities
  • Local project governance
  • Collaboration in action

Testimonies

How do these spaces help with the CIP deployment in your neighbourhood?

 They let me get to know each neighbourhood’s experience and reflect on our issues. The CIP is a new project, with new funding and new methods. It has ties to different funders from the ones we’re used to. There was a bit of an adjustment period at the beginning. I was really happy to talk with the other neighbourhoods and see how things are going for them. I learned about their practices and their issues as well. I can see that issues are similar from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, even if we aren’t always working in the same areas of action.

Some neighbourhoods seemed to say that they had to reorganize when the CIP came along. We had to reflect on how we could mobilize everyone to get every neighbourhood stakeholder involved. What would our governance model be? How could we integrate the CIP into our existing model and the work already being done by our neighbourhood roundtables and working committees?

Do you have any examples of benefits that you have experienced, learned or shared with others?

We have had very inspiring discussions on governance and where decisions are made. This is something we’ve been thinking about in our neighbourhood since the beginning. We have 18 groups on our steering committee, plus citizen associations. I learned a lot on this topic while talking to representatives from roundtables that are older than ours. We’ve created connections, which has allowed us to organize a strategic reflection event in May. At the event, we’ll talk about things like governance.

Beyond the benefits, what do you like best about these events? What are your key takeaways?

I learned that you have to trust in the project and the people involved. I think that the CIP’s arrival shook up a lot of things in our communities, but through these dialogue and reflection spaces, I’ve realized that everyone is rising to the challenge at their own pace and is overcoming barriers, one after the other. What I like best are how these spaces are a platform for lessons from these shared communities.

What would you say to get people who haven’t attended yet to come to the next events?

These spaces are a good place to take a step back and see what’s going on elsewhere and to share experiences. It takes time, but it’s worth it. We’re often so focused on our own projects that we rarely take a moment to step back, which can give us insight on how to make progress with situations in our neighbourhoods.

Describe these spaces in three words

Inspiration – Collaboration – Trust

 

How do these spaces help with the CIP deployment in your neighbourhood?

For us in the West Island, these spaces give us a chance to stop and reflect on what we’ve done and what we have to do. They are also an opportunity to learn about what is going on in other neighbourhoods. We tend to focus just on our own territory and its complexity. Taking a step back allows us to refocus so that we can re-energize our teams. Also, without these spaces, I would have never known what was going on in the other CIP neighbourhoods.

These reflection spaces have given a lot of reassurance to those of us in the West Island. We often felt like we weren’t going fast enough or that our impact wasn’t big enough. These discussions have given us confidence. We can also share our wins, which is something we don’t get to do that often. It is great to talk to people who really get our issues, doubts and ideas, and we can quickly build on each other’s ideas. It’s wonderful!

Do you have any examples of benefits that you have experienced, learned or shared with others?

We’ve developed a relationship with nearby neighbourhoods, like LaSalle and Lachine. We’ve created special bonds with many members of these communities. That’s a great benefit. We want to work together. There are a lot of similarities in what we’re doing for food security.

I’ve also given a lot of thought to governance. I realized that we could gain a lot if our memorandums of understanding or collective agreements had expiry dates. We have to be honest when we make agreements, take the time to experiment and then re-evaluate our approach, as collective action is always changing. It’s a living process. A three- or five-year agreement may be a bit unrealistic compared to trying something for a year, revisiting it and then setting other goals.

Beyond the benefits, what do you like best about these events? What are your key takeaways?

The best part of these events is the people, absolutely. Beyond the agenda and topics discussed, I can’t wait to see my colleagues to find out how they’re doing and what’s happening with them. I really get energized and inspired by them. At the heart of it, collective action is about people.

I know this may go without saying, but a key takeaway is that each community can go at its own pace. Respecting the pace of our own community and ourselves is something that has stuck with me. Each neighbourhood is different. There is no miracle recipe. Everyone has to find what works for them.

What would you say to get people who haven’t attended yet to come to the next events?

These events are an incredible opportunity to meet with our partners and have honest conversations not only with our peers in other neighbourhoods, but with Centraide too. I’ve never had conversations as real as the ones I’ve had in these spaces. We’re all there for the same reason: to have as much impact as possible on vulnerable populations. To do that, we have to ask the right questions in an honest and transparent way. I think that taking part in this reflection process can only be rewarding.

Describe these spaces in three words

Support – Inspiration – Energy