Report to/Rapport au :


Community and Protective Services Committee

Comité des services communautaires et de protection


and Council/et au Conseil


2 June 2008  / le 2 juin 2008


Submitted by/Soumis par : Steve Kanellakos

Deputy City Manager/Directeur municipal adjoint

Community and Protective Services/Services communautaires et de protection


Contact Person/Personne ressource : Donna Gray, Manager / gestionnaire

Strategic Initiatives and Business Planning / Initiatives stratégiques et planification opérationnelle

(613) 580-2424 x25684,

City Wide/à l'échelle de la Ville

Ref N°: ACS2008-CPS-DCM-0003













That the Community and Protective Services Committee recommend Council approve:


a)   the Community Development Framework outlined in this report


b)   the approach to neighbourhood selection with a report back respecting the selected neighbourhoods





Que le Comité des services communautaires et de protection recommande au Conseil d’approuver :


a)   le cadre de développement communautaire expliqué dans le présent rapport;


b)   l’approche concernant la sélection des quartiers en faisant rapport sur les quartiers sélectionnés.





The Community and Protective Services (CPS) Department has worked to build consensus on a Community Development Framework (CDF) that will move the city from fragmented approaches of addressing community needs in neighbourhoods to an approach that supports a focused, coordinated and strategic effort to align services and resources.  The Framework brings together funders, community organizations, residents, researchers and city services to share information and leverage opportunities to support targeted neighbourhood-based initiatives in a strategic and coordinated fashion. 


Specifically, the CDF is designed to:


In order to accomplish this, the structure will include the following multiple components working together to meet the above-stated goals: 


q       A Community Table (shared experience)

q       A Community Development Roundtable (shared leadership)

q       A Knowledge Transfer Table (shared knowledge)

q       A Resource Table (collaborative processes)

q       A Municipal Services Table (coordinated services)





Les Services communautaires et de protection (SCP) ont rallié un consensus sur un cadre de développement communautaire (CDC) qui permettra à la ville de répondre aux besoins communautaires des quartiers non plus par des approches fragmentées, mais bien par une approche qui appuie un effort ciblé, coordonné et stratégique d’harmonisation des services et des ressources. Ce cadre réunit les bailleurs de fonds, les organismes communautaires, les résidents, les chercheurs et les services de la ville afin qu’ils puissent échanger de l’information et exploiter les débouchés nécessaires à la mise en place d’initiatives de quartier grâce à des approches stratégiques coordonnées. 

Plus précisément, le CDC vise les objectifs suivants :

Pour accomplir ces objectifs, la structure comprendra les multiples composantes suivantes travaillant en synergie : 

q       Une table communautaire (expérience commune)

q       Une plénière sur le développement communautaire (leadership commun)

q       Une table sur le transfert des connaissances (savoir commun)

q       Une table sur les ressources (processus collaboratifs)

q       Une table sur les services municipaux (services coordonnés)



In September 2005, as part of consideration of its three year strategic plan, the Community and Protective Services Department received direction to develop a collaborative coordinated model of community development to address social needs and issues.


Over the past three years, CPS has seen the benefit of coordinated, collaborative solution building across its branches, as evidenced through the success of its priority projects (ACS2008-CPS-DCM-0002).  At the same time, this work has assisted in identifying where changes need to be made in our way of working.  Currently, we continue to see:


§         Multiple disconnected problem-solving initiatives

§         Complex funding mechanisms and multiple funding requests

§         Limited resources and a lack of sustainability

§         A need for increased accountability and performance indicators

§         A need for place-based/solution focused approaches


A community development approach with an agreed upon vision, principles, structure and evaluation framework will enable municipal staff to align and focus efforts under a common philosophy and way of working.   This model of working will enable directed resources and proactive services that meet the expressed needs of communities.  It encourages staff to collaborate and integrate around service provision in a specific geographical area, e.g., neighbourhoods, thereby decreasing duplication and increasing the connection staff has to the community.  It also opens the potential to further leverage community-based opportunities and resources. 


The Community Development Framework (CDF) is also an attempt to create a new way of working beyond CPS and into the community.  This model is built on community development principles and community-based problem solving and is derived from substantial consultation and research of neighbourhood-based initiatives. 


Our experiences over the past several years and our consultation with our community partners has indicated that the recent demand for issue and place-based interventions is creating a situation where City and community services must stretch within limited resources to adapt to changing needs of communities.  As one size does not fit all, we continue to respond and leverage resources to meet community needs with the best of intentions, but without a service integration or strategic focus.  This situation leads to resource drain, and prevents maximum benefit in neighbourhoods that need it most.  Our community partners are in agreement that we require a common approach to this situation.


Neighbourhood Study


The definition of neighbourhoods for the purpose of the Framework is informed by the neighbourhood geography used in the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, the work of Dr. Elizabeth Kristjansson and the University of Ottawa Team.  The Study divides the city of Ottawa into 89 neighbourhoods complete with demographic profiles based on social determinants of health and neighbourhood wellbeing.   Neighbourhoods in the study were delineated using a specially developed methodology built on qualitative and quantitative analysis.   Research from the social sciences and the field of ecology guided development of the methodology.  An analysis of community health indicators such as:  built environment, food and nutrition, health care services, education, financial services, recreation and natural environment was used to build the neighbourhood profiles.  The Study then mapped the relationship between the community indicators such as neighbourhood income, neighbourhood resources, and health outcomes to produce neighbourhood profiles. Actual boundaries were drawn based on existing physical barriers, demographic similarities, real estate maps, and research team member knowledge.  Some neighbourhoods were merged so that minimum sampling requirements for health analysis could be met (about 4000 persons/neighbourhood). The City was part of the work team for this project.


Each neighbourhood profile in the Neighbourhood Study shows both strengths and needs of individual neighbourhoods.  The aim of this study is to better understand the physical and social pathways through which neighbourhoods in Ottawa achieve health.  The knowledge can be used for neighbourhood planning and as a stepping-stone to coordinating efforts to have a more substantial impact and to improve the places in which citizens live.


CPS is using the data in The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study as the starting point from which to develop objective, empirical criteria for neighbourhood selection under the Framework.  CPS has engaged researchers to create a methodology using statistical analysis of criteria to produce a ranking of communities who would benefit from this form of collaborative approach.  These criteria will focus on the social determinants of health, such as physical health, poverty, early childhood indicators and crime, as well as other indicators of community strengths.  The Department will report back with the selection results including the neighbourhoods recommended to participate in the Community Development Framework.


Three neighbourhoods will be chosen at one time for application of the Framework, based on the above noted analysis and ranking.  This prioritization is necessary in order to ensure the maximum, sustainable positive impact to each chosen neighbourhood, and because the City cannot initiate the level of investment in all neighbourhoods at the same time. Existing City investments in other neighbourhoods will continue, but where possible will be tailored towards informing the Framework’s goals. The Community Development Framework will endeavour to re-align existing services and identify new and resources to support its implementation without taking away from existing services.  Duration of Framework activity in a particular neighbourhood will depend on evaluation results over time.





The Community Development Framework adopts the core principles of the No Community Left Behind strategy, a local social development initiative to prevent crime and address social determinants of health through a collaborative approach and integration of services at the neighbourhood level.


No Community Left Behind


Since July 2005, working in close partnership with various other agencies, South East Ottawa Centre for a Healthy Community (SEOCHC) has effectively engaged and supported social housing communities to restore their sense of safety and pave the way for effective service delivery through the No Community Left Behind initiative (NCLB).


This initiative has brought together community development specialists, community policing professionals and neighbourhood activists to address factors that contribute to crime, victimization, fear of safety, and social inclusion.


As part of the NCLB strategy, communities conduct needs assessments, define problems, assess strengths and weaknesses, strategically mobilize around areas of common interest, collaborate and develop and advocate for solutions.  


The results of the NCLB strategy’s community health and safety surveys indicate that between 2005 and 2007, perceptions of safety have increased in the neighbourhoods where the strategy is employed.  For instance in 2005, 34% of residents reported feeling safe compared to 64% in 2007[1]. 


The Community Development Framework also builds on the experience and recent success of the City’s Neighbourhood Planning Initiative (NPI).  


Neighbourhood Planning Initiative


The Neighbourhood Planning Initiative (NPI), one of CPS’s twelve strategic priorities, implements the concept of collaborative community planning through a neighbourhood focus, coordinated resources in the community and between City departments.  The NPI was identified to develop a new process to improve the way the City of Ottawa plans, designs, and (re)develops neighbourhoods across the City.  Through collaboration and dialogue between City departments, residents and community stakeholders, the social, economic and physical infrastructure of local neighbourhoods, are enhanced based on the identification of local needs and priorities.


The intent of NPI is twofold: to create active engagement with citizens in the planning of their neighbourhoods and develop strategies; and processes to better coordinate all planning and related City services in a geographic area.  NPI seeks to improve the physical infrastructure of communities by focusing on geography of a “neighbourhood” and joining up the planning for services and programs within that small geography.  NPI is a successful planning tool that embeds community development principles and approaches that can be applied to any neighbourhood. 


One key learning from NPI was that geographic neighbourhoods must be a size that is concrete, manageable and meaningful, and the neighbourhood experts must be people who live there.  These factors lead to reality-based decision-making.  When provided with current and accurate information, communities can make good decisions.


The longer term planning lens of NPI, however, does not fulfill the need for a citywide, coordinated service approach in working with communities on social, economic or general health issues in the present and short term.  The Community Development Framework is that approach and will work as a complement to the planning focus of NPI.


Community Development Framework


The Community and Protective Services Department sees value in building on already successful community-led initiatives. As such, the Community Development Framework expands on the NCLB approach by broadening the scope beyond crime prevention in social housing neighbourhoods and builds on the NPI by developing a citywide structure to support communities to grow into and remain healthy communities. 


The goal of the Community Development Framework (CDF) is to create healthy and safe environments and provide accessible, integrated and holistic services to communities in need.




The Community Development Framework is based on the four key guiding principles inherent to the NCLB strategy and demonstrative of the CPS direction:


·        Collaboration

·        Coordination

·        Community Participation

·        Leveraging of Resources




The strategic objectives of the Community Development Framework are as follows:

  1. Design and implement a city-wide collaborative framework of community development/community problem solving (integrating NCLB principles)
  2. Identify links and align connections/partnerships with other community development initiatives in CPS and across other departments (e.g. Neighbourhood Planning)
  3. Create a resources table to collaboratively leverage and allocate resources (financial and human capital) as part of the community development framework
  4. Identify and implement a methodology for prioritizing neighbourhoods
  5. Ensure the strategic coordination of City services at the neighbourhood level
  6. Align and tailor existing community development initiatives to the NCLB strategy
  7. Identify and implement an outcome-based evaluation process.




The Community Development Framework is designed to work at both the systems and the community levels.  The community level will include a coordinating function to connect what is occurring at the neighbourhood to the systems level.  In turn, grassroots neighbourhood activities are supported by the systems level (see figure 1.).


Figure 1.












Within the systems and community levels, the intent of the Framework is to have the following component tables work together in tandem to meet the objectives of the Framework:


q       A Community Table (shared experience)

q       A Community Development Roundtable (shared leadership)

q       A Knowledge Transfer Table (shared knowledge)

q       A Resource Table (collaborative processes)

q       A Municipal Services Table (coordinated services)


Community Level


The Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres (CHRC’s) have agreed to lead the Community Table component of the Framework that will facilitate the sharing of approaches and good practices across NCLB sites in neighbourhoods.  This table will align neighbourhood-based community developers, currently working in CHRC’s, towards the Framework objectives and will create a mechanism for collaboration across grassroots community organizations and with residents.


As the three neighbourhoods are selected, related CHRC’s will be identified to initiate Framework implementation at the neighbourhood level, such as tailoring the NCLB planning approach in their respective communities. As described earlier in this report, the NCLB strategy will work with existing neighbourhood groups, citizens, and leaders to identify the neighbourhood’s needs, assets and priorities for action.


At the Community Level, the City will play a role as a service provider, but will not initiate the community level activities.  Residents, facilitated by CHRC’s will initiate these activities.


Systems Level


The following additional components of the structure will be implemented to support the community level by transferring knowledge, coordinating services and leveraging resources. 


1.  Community Development Roundtable


The Community Development Roundtable will work as a “community leadership team” to promote, guide and facilitate the implementation of the Community Development Framework within the City of Ottawa.


This “community leadership team” will focus on the Framework to ensure its functioning, evolution and promotion.  The Roundtable’s key activities will include:

·        convening key stakeholders to facilitate decision making, remove organizational roadblocks and inform policies;

·        identifying and prioritizing the neighbourhoods for greatest benefit;

·        facilitating the collaboration of the stakeholders through the various component tables;

·        mobilizing new and existing resources;

·        aligning services and resources to community needs; and

·        providing oversight and leadership for the overall strategy (e.g. monitoring and tracking, evaluation and accountability processes).


In turn, the component tables will provide support and guidance to the Leadership Roundtable in their decision-making.


The first meeting of the Community Development Roundtable was held in late May to review the Community Development Framework and endorse the Terms of Reference and neighbourhood selection methodology.


The following organizations have committed to participating on the Roundtable:


§         Community Representative (TBD)



2.  Knowledge Transfer Table: 


The City convened a meeting with various academics and experts in the community development field to become members of the Knowledge Transfer Table.


The City of Ottawa has engaged researchers from this Table to conduct research that will guide and support implementation of the Framework. They will conduct a systematic review of good practices in place-based community development in order to inform and construct an evaluation structure for the CDF.  An additional important deliverable is to identify criteria to assist the Community Development Roundtable in prioritizing which neighbourhoods the CDF will focus on at a time (to a maximum of three).  The criteria used to select neighbourhoods will be constructed using social determinants of health indicators, including health, early child development, poverty and crime, as well as other indicators of community wellbeing, as determined by the Community Development Roundtable. 


The Knowledge Transfer Table will also endeavour to identify and share research results and research and evaluation tools that may be standardized to be used at the neighbourhood level.


3.  Resources Table


The Resource Table brings together stakeholders with specific funding mandates to work together to identify various resource leveraging opportunities to support the CDF.  This Table will focus on maximizing stakeholder engagement, investment of resources and sustainability of initiatives across neighbourhoods. The Table will also monitor applications received for funding under the Framework and consider their collective impact on sustainability of community development initiatives within the city of Ottawa.


4.  Municipal Services Table


The CPS, Deputy City Manager’s office will assume responsibility to create a community development team to specifically support the Framework.  Staff from this office will be reallocated into this team, which will be responsible for supporting the operation of the Framework structure, implementing system-level work activities and ensuring communication structures are in place to maintain momentum and transparency.


The community development team will establish the Municipal Services Table.  The intent of the Table is to bring together staff from across CPS, including library and emergency services, and the corporation to contribute to and support the Framework.  The Ottawa Public Library (OPL), as a municipal library service with a strong community development focus, will begin as a member of the Municipal Service Table and explore other roles as the Framework develops.  Staff will work collaboratively to share community intervention strategies, knowledge and assets, identify and breakdown organizational barriers with a goal to contribute to neighbourhood outcomes.  The overall goal will be to align city services and investments and promote horizontal communication and decision making in order to maximize city resources and demonstrate coordination of city services at the neighbourhood level.





The intended next steps in the development and implementation of the Community Development Framework are the following:


·        Knowledge Transfer Table finalizes the approach to neighbourhood selection;

·        Community Development Roundtable selects neighbourhoods;

·        Communication/marketing strategy is developed (internal and external);

·        Communities/neighbourhoods are consulted;

·        Establishment of the Municipal Services Table and resources begin to be aligned;

·        Launch of Framework in selected neighbourhoods (fall 2008); and

·        Development and implementation of an evaluation framework.





Several community-based organizations have been consulted over the past year in preparation for the development of this Framework.  These agencies include:


·        Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres

·        South East Ottawa Centre for a Healthy Community

·        Community workers

·        Coalition of Community Houses

·        United Way/Centraide

·        Community Foundation of Ottawa

·        Ottawa Police Service

·        Ottawa Community Housing Corporation

·        University of Ottawa

·        Carleton University

·        City of Ottawa Staff


The Community Development Framework was presented to the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee (HSSAC) at its meeting of May 27, 2008.  The HSSAC was supportive of the concept and expressed an interest in future involvement with the project and wished to be kept apprised of the progress of the initiative.


Neighbourhoods selected for support under the Framework will be consulted prior to implementation.





There are no financial implications as a result of this report.  The Community Development Framework will draw on existing and budgeted resources.





The City of Ottawa Leadership Roundtable will implement the directions of Council.




[1] Additional information and results of NCLB strategies can be obtained at