United for inclusive neighbourhoods

On April 27, about a hundred people came to the Paradox Theatre to attend the launch of the second phase of the Collective Impact Project. At the event, representatives from the neighbourhoods involved in the first phase of the CIP spoke about this unique approach.


 
“The CIP let us dream. Back then, we were in a time of austerity; agencies were demoralized, and it was hard to collaborate. We understood that the CIP was a different way of doing things, and this let us build on our aspirations. (…) The CIP has let us innovate and experiment. We were thrilled to try things we never had the chance to try before.”  

– Denis Leclerc, Executive Director of the CDC de Rosemont, who helped create the Espace 40e/Beaubien.

 

“With the CIP, we can take the time we need to collectively decide to work on an issue that is important to us. (…) The CIP is like a gift the neighbourhood gives itself. Getting everyone involved and having our partners invest in the process is what makes the project what it is.”

– Brigitte Robert, Solidarité Ahuntsic project manager for Learning Citizenship, a collective impact project in Ahuntsic

 

“We’re not alone. We work together. This gives us synergy and leads to results that are much more impactful. […] There is power in transformation: you become an alchemist, and you get to see the outcome of all your work.”

– Marcela Cid, Executive Director of the Maison d’entraide Saint-Paul/Émard, which helped build a local food system in Ville-Émard/Côte-Saint-Paul.


 

A panel discussion moderated by Sophie Fouron revealed the lessons learned since the CIP was created in 2015 and what stakeholders want to see happen in the coming years.

 

The panellists made the following observations:

  • Collaborations within neighbourhoods have been strengthened, both among community agencies and with local institutions.
  • The vast majority of neighbourhoods that participated in the CIP have started evaluation approaches to learn and reinvest to adjust their practices.
  • The bottom-up approach drawn from the collective impact approach, in which neighbourhoods choose what to work on and how, is a successful model.

The CIP community has expressed many goals that it would like to achieve for the coming years:

  • Provide support to all Montreal neighbourhoods that have a roundtable and that want to work collectively.
  • Strengthen collaboration between local initiatives and regional stakeholders (including foundations and institutions) to exploit the full potential of the CIP.
  • Offer CIP support beyond the evaluation phase so that neighbourhoods can increase their capacity to make systemic changes.

At the event, eight major philanthropic foundations announced an investment of $21.5 million over five years to reduce poverty and social exclusion throughout Montreal’s neighbourhoods. Over $1 million has already been invested in 12 neighbourhoods in 2022 so far.

Operated by Centraide, the CIP is supported by the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation, Foundation of Greater Montreal, McConnell Foundation, Molson Foundation, Pathy Family Foundation, Peacock Foundation, and Mirella and Lino Saputo Foundation.

The project also has three major partners: the Coalition montréalaise des Tables de quartier (CMTQ), City of Montreal, and Direction régionale de santé publique.