Data Policy Coalition - Moving Into Action!

Data Policy Coalition - Moving Into Action!

This is an exciting moment: The Data Policy Coalition we’ve been building towards has launched into action! 

In June 2019, the Data Policy Coalition met as a whole coalition (bringing together all stakeholder groups) for the first time. We then used the rest of the summer to refine our guiding principles and interim governance structure. Both of these helped pave the way for establishing our coalition steering committee and will continue to guide decision-making as we develop our policy agenda and action strategies. 

The stellar line-up of our steering committee includes representatives from each of our three stakeholder groups: 

Advocacy Groups: Michael Kerr (Colour of Poverty-Colour of Change)

Service Providers: Marlene Ham (Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses), Liz Sutherland (Ontario Nonprofit Network)

Funders: Ines Chaalala (Philanthropic Foundations Canada), Mike Ronchka (RBC)

We're so excited to have such an incredible group come forward to steward the coalition's vision. The Steering Committee met in September to discuss how to work together as a group and identified conversations we'll need to have over the next few months to develop a shared agenda.

So what is this Data Policy Coalition all about?  

Our coalition has set out to address a pervasive challenge in the nonprofit sector: Currently, most social sector actors cannot access information that could help them address complex social problems and make evidence-based decisions. Administrative data sharing could transform the way our sector uses evidence to create impact. 

The Data Policy Coalition brings together nonprofit advocacy groups, service providers, and funders to develop and pursue a shared agenda for the social sector’s access to and responsible use of government-held administrative data. This includes for purposes related to policy advocacy, integrated services, research, and impact evaluation. 

Here you can see the core hypotheses and guiding principles driving this work.

Right away, the coalition has jumped into action by contributing a collective voice to the Ontario Data Strategy Consultation currently underway (more on that in the next post!). Throughout the fall, we’ll also continue to learn from research and roundtables to assess and prioritize opportunities to advance this game-changing initiative. 

So many collaborators to thank

As we embark on this exciting transition from an exploratory phase into action, we’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible. 

Thanks to all coalition members, roundtable participants, and advisors who have shared knowledge, time, and commitment to helping us better understand the administrative data issue and potential to impact real change in community programs and outcomes. 

Powered by Data would especially like to thank our four co-convening partners who have helped shape this initiative: Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change, the Ontario Nonprofit Network, Philanthropic Foundations Canada, and Well Living House. Their collective commitment to bringing the right partners and questions to this work have led us to this exciting launch point.

We are also grateful to the following funding partners for sustaining this initiative’s 2019 activities: the Counselling Foundation, the Graham Boeckh Foundation, the Lawson Foundation, the McConnell Foundation, the Metcalf Foundation, the Toronto Foundation, the Trottier Family Foundation, and Virgin Unite. 

We are grateful to all of you for your role in bringing the coalition to this point. Thank you for taking this journey with us so far and joining us to build the pathway forward. Together we can strengthen the voice and impact of the social sector for the benefit of our communities.