Five Montreal neighbourhoods on the road to collective impact

When the CIP was launched in 2016, Dynamo, Ressource en mobilisation des collectivités, implemented the ÉvalPIC evaluation support strategy, a component of which was to document the learning and transformation of the five CIP 1 neighbourhoods receiving intensive support.

Centre-Sud
Côte-des-Neiges
Parc-Extension
Saint-Léonard
Saint-Michel

What can we learn from the field in terms of processes and outcomes?

Since the launch of the CIP:

* Partners have taken action through more approaches that are more diverse.
* There has been an increase in concrete actions to help citizens get involved in planning.
* Neighbourhoods have more access to influential stakeholders, such as financial partners and researchers.
* They are more likely to plan, evaluate and fulfill the mission of their local roundtable thanks not only to financial support but also to Dynamo’s help with evaluation and planning.
* These neighbourhoods are moving from an integrated approach with complementary actions to a much more systemic approach that gives stakeholders an overview of the entire system within which they and other partners are taking action and establishing relationships of influence that have a major multiplier effect.
* Neighbourhood roundtables have greater legitimacy.
* A goal is to review governance modes for collective neighbourhood action.

Challenges

* Communication needs to be fine-tuned in a complex system.
* CIP stakeholders have different perceptions of the process: for some, the changes are slow, while for others, the changes are very disruptive!
* The complexity of the environment and short timeframe within which to adopt new practices is destabilizing for everyone. This means that people regularly need time to readjust.

Changes to practices

* Measurable changes worked on over time.
* Arrival of new influence stakeholders in neighbourhoods.
* Management of contention and conflict.
* Work done upstream based on a strategy of change. This represents a shift in paradigms and practices when it comes to collective strategic planning. It also represents a shift in perspective for all neighbourhood stakeholders, which has disrupted established principles.
* Upstream integration of partners around a comprehensive plan, whereas not so long ago, some actions were structured according to funding types.
* Involvement of the financial partner in the design of community projects, which influences how funding is invested in communities.

Beyong change

* The CIP is perceived as a launch pad for neighbourhoods to question and renew their governance modes in a positive way.
* The new role of Centraide’s “connectors” and advisers facilitates neighbourhood innovation.
* Relationships have been established with new influential partners to facilitate projects. For greater benefit, this strategy could be extended to different types of networks and people (such as entrepreneurs) and be orchestrated in a more systemic way.

See the full review