Voluntary Sector Task Force Final Report
Working In Partnership with the Voluntary Sector
The VSTF’s mandate for the VSI existed from the announcement
in June 2000 until it closed its doors at the end of January 2003.
Although the VSI conferred a common purpose on the two secretariats,
the VSTF and the VSIS had inherently different mandates and approaches.
The VSTF had two distinct roles: one across government and within
PCO, the other in relation to the joint structures and the VSIS.
In its working relationship with the voluntary sector, it faced
numerous challenges in developing ways of working jointly that
surpass the normal requirements of a partnership. Roles and tasks
were divided both along functional lines — with the VSTF
providing support and strategic counsel within and across government
— and by project or initiative.
The physical proximity of the offices of the two secretariats
facilitated regular joint working sessions and effective communications.
The VSTF worked in parallel and jointly with the VSIS –
with daily meetings during peak periods to collaborate on key
aspects of the VSI (such as the three All-Tables Meetings and
the December 5, 2001 event that launched the Accord) – to
provide active support to the Joint Coordinating Committee and
the Joint Accord Table and to coordinate key aspects of communications.
Issues and differences were dealt with in a positive manner.
The need to be flexible and practical was paramount as decisions
could not be postponed and progress had to be immediate. The VSTF
environment was team-focused, collective, open and vibrant. It
challenged people to be resourceful, creative and to consistently
“think outside the box” to deliver on an innovative
mandate within a fixed timeframe.