Very little is known of the roles played by not-for-profit organizations in influencing public policy, even less so in influencing healthy public policies.
||Public health actors often seek, or are sought out, to work in partnership with not-for-profit or community organizations. This project intends to highlight some of the areas and approaches for doing so successfully. |
In 2007, the Centre undertook a two-pronged project with five not-for-profit organizations in Canada: Equiterre (Quebec), Urban Ecology Centre (Quebec), Partenaires pour la revitalisation des anciens quartiers- PRAQ (Quebec), Portland Hotel Society (British Columbia), Quint Development Corporation (Saskatchewan).
Very broadly, two operate in the area of adequate housing, two are involved in environmental projects and one operates primarily in the provision of low threshold service. Their approaches generally have different specific targets than the promotion of health, but each of them acknowledges the relationship between the situations they seek to address and the broader context of public health.
One focus of this project was a year-long process that supported the organizations in their policy-influencing practices through a series of thematic discussions designed to help them adopt a reflexive point of view on their activities. The following topics were used to stimulate the discussions:
• Context I: The Actors and Coalitions involved in public policy processes
• Context II: Public Policy Regimes
• Context III: Governmental Rationalities
• Obstacles to and Factors Facilitating Change I: The Concept of Change
• Obstacles to and Factors Facilitating Change II: Citizen Involvement
• Obstacles to and Factors Facilitating Change III: Scientific and Expert Knowledge and Public Policy Processes
• Obstacles to and Factors Facilitating Change IV: Communications and Funding
The second part of the project consisted of documenting the organizations' practices and looking at them through lenses of different issues in public health and public policy. The organizations vary in their histories and domains of activity, but all are active in programs which can be viewed as contributing to the promotion of healthy public policies.
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