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4.1.1

Develop and implement the Region of Waterloo's comprehensive approach to poverty reduction.

greenstatusFinal update (September 2014)
The Comprehensive Approach to Poverty Reduction has been developed to address poverty comprehensively across Regional departments and program areas to find sensible, innovative and lasting solutions for poverty reduction. An objective of the Comprehensive Approach is to maximize the Region’s collective impact on poverty, recognizing that each department of the Region has a unique role to play in reducing poverty. Developed through a comprehensive consultation process, the Comprehensive Approach to Poverty  Reduction was approved by Regional Council in December 2012.  The Comprehensive Approach was shared across all departments of the Region and with community and government partners. A  Leadership Team was established to monitor and guide implementation phase and a grant was secured to carry out the Developmental Evaluation for this initiative.

Since implementation commenced in January 2013 early outcomes include:

  • The development and dissemination of Poverty Myth Busters for Waterloo Region, staff stories about their roles, stories of people experiencing poverty and the development of key messages were shared through a comprehensive communication plan to raise awareness and change attitudes about poverty.
  • Inclusive Language Guidelines were developed in partnership with the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and have been discussed and disseminated in teams through a pilot project in Social Services, through corporate documents and web sites and have been included in the curriculum for the Region’s SAIL training program engaging staff in multiple departments and external community service providers in conversations about inclusive language.
  • A Dialogue on Diversity was attended by 170 people to raise awareness about working poverty and the growing rate of precarious employment.
  • Data was gathered on eligibility criteria used for programs across the corporation and will be used to address alignment between programs.
  • An inventory of Regional programs and services that directly support people living in low income was developed with web links to assist with planning and help staff to make referrals across program areas.
  • A Poverty Indicators report was developed to provide information on ten indicators related to dimensions of poverty and will provide valuable information to inform program planning, policies and decision-making in the Region.
  • Two Innovation Hubs were launched and will wrap up in the fall of 2014. The Hubs use design thinking to discover innovative ways to address two important dimensions of poverty - Affordable Public Transportation and Housing.

It is estimated that thousands of people have been informed about aspects of the Comprehensive Approach to Poverty Reduction and hundreds have been engaged in the process. A report on outcomes will be prepared in early 2015.

Progress Update (September 2013)

To date significant progress has been made on the Region’s Comprehensive Approach to Poverty Reduction. The Comprehensive Approach was developed and approved by Regional Council in December 2012. Since this time an Multi-Derpartmental Initiative was approved to move forward with implementation activities.

The Comprehensive Approach was shared across all departments of the Region and with other community and government partners. A grant was secured to carry out Developmental Evaluation for this initiative. Stories were shared by staff across the corporation to describe their role with poverty reduction. A knowledge exchange took place with staff to share tips and resources for writing stories that create impact. Draft Inclusive Language Guidelines were developed through a working group in partnership with the Diversity and Inclusion Steering team. A Dialogue on Diversity on the topic of poverty and precarious employment took place on June 24, 2013 with over 170 attendees. Links were established with other Regional initiatives and the Region joined the Cities Reducing Poverty initiative through Vibrant Communities Canada. Finally, the Leadership Team will have their first meeting on September 5, 2013 to monitor and guide the next phase of the Comprehensive Approach.

Progress Update (January 2013)

While the corporate-wide Comprehensive Approach is being shaped by the Regional Poverty Reduction Steering committee (RPRSC), input has been sought from a number of groups including: a Regional staff working group, community reference groups, staff consultations and a community forum. The involvement of existing community reference groups provided an opportunity for key stakeholders, including people living in poverty, to be involved and informed in the process to develop the Comprehensive Approach to poverty reduction.

The RPRSC has considered action ideas generated through the consultation process and further developed key poverty reduction actions for consideration and review.  Staff are preparing the Comprehensive Approach to Poverty document.

The final report is to be considered by Council in December 2012.

Progress Indicators

  • Action Plan developed and approved by Council

 

greenindicator   Strong progress achieved   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (PDF)
yellowindicator   Moderate progress achieved   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (RTF)
redindicator   Progress needed   2011-2014 Strategic Plan (Flash)