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IM/IT Advisory Group Meeting Minutes

June 6, 2003
Delta Hotel
Ottawa, Ontario

Don McCreesh thanked everyone for attending the meeting and asked participants to introduce themselves.

Don McCreesh (Co-Chair/coprésident)
Margaret Fietz
Brenda Herchmer
Martin Itzkow
Francine Pelletier
Paula Speevak-Sladowski
Jo Sutton
Ross MacLeod (Co-Chair/coprésident)
Bernard Chabot
Liz Hong-Farrell (replacing T. Gorber)
Rodney Hagglund
Vivian Knapp
David Reid
Brenda Cameron-Couch
Elinor Bradley, Director / Directrice
Gisèle Proulx
Michèle Leury
Lyne Martin
Louise Lalonde
Annie Joannette
Celestica Inc. / YMCA
Family Services Canada
Niagara Centre Community Leadership
Manitoba Voluntary Sector
Centre for Voluntary Research Development
Industry Canada
Industry Canada
Canadian Heritage
Canadian Heritage
Voluntary Sector Forum
Industry Canada
Industry Canada
Industry Canada
Industry Canada
Industry Canada
Industry Canada
Jaqueline Tuffin
Ian Kershaw
Karen McGrath
RBC Foundation
Focus IT Solutions Inc.
Health & Community Services
Item 1 - Program Update

Bernard Chabot provided a debrief on the Secretariat’s activities since the last Advisory group meeting in January and explained that a transparent process (RFP) requires several steps, research and consultation to finalize items. Two research papers were also produced during this period and will be part of the discussions for this meeting.

The RFP for ‘Changing Funding Practices’ was posted on the VSI Web site in March. There were over 900 hits and 2 proposals were submitted. A working group of the IM/IT Advisory group evaluated the proposals and made its recommendation to Industry Canada. The bid was won by IMPACS, the same organization that did the environmental scan. The Secretariat will be informing the Advisory group shortly with the details of IMPACS’ statement of work.

The Secretariat plans to make use of the VSI Extranet. It will be used by IMPACS for the Changing Funding Practices contract and a section will also be created for members of the Advisory Group. The Forum needs to make a few modifications prior to using the Extranet. The Secretariat will inform the Advisory group when it is available.
IMPACS will be responsible for contacts outside the federal government. The Secretariat will pursue discussions with the Forum to address Changing Funding Practices within government.
Following a first meeting of the ADM-Champions, Industry Canada has started work on the Accord and the Codes of Good Practices. The first step is to raise the level of awareness within the department. A plan is being prepared to address this issue.
PCH informed the group that tools are being developed for the implementation of the Accord. PCH is preparing a video, a workbook and a checklist (i.e. how departments are engaging their staff, what tools are you using, how are you making it known, etc.).
Following a request by the group for a list of key government contacts that will be taking on champion roles on the Accord and the Codes of Good Practices, PCH mentioned that a list of champions will soon be available and it will be posted on the VSI website. The group also expressed the need to have Accord champions in federal government offices in the regions.
Some of the members expressed their concerns over funding issues, more specifically on government funding. Because Canada is facing many challenges, such as SARS, MadCow desease..., funding are being re-directed from programs to address the new challenges. This situation is creating a very delicate financial situation in many voluntary organizations. Industry Canada mentioned that the federal government has a working group to which the co-Chair of the IM/IT Advisory Group could raise the VS concerns on this issue. The co-Chair will report back on this issue. It was also agreed that the voluntary sector should provide further updates on this situation.

Item 2 - Training and Technical Support Network

The Secretariat received a total of 31 proposals from organizations that are already providing training and technical support services to the voluntary sector. The June 7th meeting will mainly test the vision expressed by the IM/IT Secretariat and those from the organizations and will provide an opportunity for organizations to discuss how they can work together to form a Canada-wide training and technical support network.

Organizations that were not chosen were open to providing their coordinates to the other organizations in the event they would like to partner with them.
Don McCreesh mentioned that for members attending the June 7th meeting, their roles and responsibilities are to provide guidance and advice to organizations in order to help them understand the vision. The sub-group for the network will likely continue to be involved with these organizations
Item 3 - Funding Exchange Strategy - Presentation by Terry Kuny

Terry gave his presentation based on a 2 step strategy:
1 - an RFO to get buy-in from key stakeholders
2 - implementation if there is consensus

Members had not realized that federal departments would not be included in the Funding Exchange.
David Reid mentioned that Canadian Heritage was previously the lead on a project similar to the Funding Exchange but for the federal government. The business case for this project showed that it was too overwhelming. That project finished 18 months ago and will not be resurrected. This is to say the Funding Exchange should be attempting to cover the federal government side.
Following Terry’s presentation, the group stated a need to revisit this deliverable because the government is a very important piece of this project. The group suggested a different strategy to address this issue. The strategy would be to post an RFO to identify who presently has a database of funders that could be enhanced and adapted with a reasonable access cost and do two pilot projects to establish local funding exchange distribution projects at the local/regional level, especially in cities that have started the process.
The Group recognized that a Funding Exchange would be a long process and could not be done within the actual time remaining under IM/IT. Enhancing existing databases and doing pilots could serve as beginning steps toward a goal to establish a Funding Exchange at a later date if the opportunity arises.
The Advisory group came to a consensus on the new strategy.
Item 4 - VS Government On-line (GOL) Portal
Presentation by Suzanne Clément

There have been discussions at the senior leadership of the GOL about whether there is a role for the Canada site in relation to the voluntary sector. There is an interest in developing proposals for the creation of a voluntary sector presence on the Canada site or an access point to specific federal government information. PCH has agreed to lead this file if there is an interest from the Sector. PCH will prepare a proposal to develop a Business Case and determine the interest of the Sector in this type of project, i.e. what type of content or cluster-like approach would be required, how this could help the Sector when designing its own Portal, etc.

The Group stated how everyone needs to understand the GOL initiative and that there has not yet been any formal engagement from the Government in order to get the VS on line with GOL.
The IM/IT Advisory Group agreed to be the contact point for this project. The Forum will seek more representatives from the VS to expand the group as necessary. The IM/IT Secretariat will provide support to this initiative
PCH will package a proposal within the next two weeks or so. The Advisory group will receive a copy of the proposal via e-mail or extranet. PCH may have to send the proposal prior to sending it to members because of the short window of opportunity to submit this proposal.
If the proposal for a Business Case is accepted, the new committee will likely meet in September. PCH will be looking to the Sector for advice on developing the plan and a budget. A go, no-go decision would be taken after completion of the Business Case.
Item 5 - The Portal - Long term governance issue

The Secretariat brought two issues to the Group: a) the question of who retains the Intellectual Property of the Portal, domain names, etc., and b) how we should deal with the Governance issue.

The following options were proposed for IP:
1 - IP stays with the government
2 - Secure flexibility and ownership now with a given national association and transfer it to whatever consortium is created, if any, to represent the Sector in the future
3 - Leave ownership and IP to contractor while having guidelines in agreements on governance.

The Group chose Option #3. This will permit the contractor to continue to improve the Portal once it is developed.

Option #1 was rejected because the government would not be able to return the ownership to the sector as it would be an asset of the Crown.

Option #2 was also rejected because the Contractor would not have a vested interest and not contribute as much to the Portal knowing that is could be moved at any time depending on decisions out of their control.

Industry Canada will verify with its lawyers about the proper terminology to use to ensure that the Group and the JSC could be involved in making suggestions to the contractor during and after the contribution agreement has expired.

The sub-group on the Portal will revise the RFP and will make its recommendations to IC for the best candidate that has submitted a proposal to build the Portal. The Advisory Group plans to provide their input on the Portal on an on-going basis.

Item 6 - Susan Phillips - presentation

Dr. Susan Phillips, a Professor at Carleton University, has done many research papers on the Voluntary Sector. Industry Canada commissioned this research paper “The Voluntary Sector: A productive Force in the New Economy” to get a better understanding of the VS needs after IM/IT, the role of the VS in the new knowledge-based economy and what possible role Industry Canada may be playing, if any, after this phase of the VSI is completed.

  • Dr. Phillips’ presentation is attached. The recommendations are:
  • Supporting Research and Development
  • Fostering Innovation
  • Fostering Technological Innovation
  • Investing in Skills, Education and Employment
  • Enhancing Network Capital
  • Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship
  • Promoting Good Governance and Self-Regulation
  • Supporting Community Development
  • Building a Stronger Relationship with the Voluntary Sector

Information that will be coming out of ‘The Satellite Account’ working group, which should be released in January 2004, will likely provide supplementary information on this subject and give us a much better picture. It could provide us with good supporting tools to move forward.

Item 7 - Martin Itzkow - presentation

Mr. Martin Itzkow is Director, Manitoba Voluntary Sector Initiative. Industry Canada commissioned this research paper “Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector – Information Communication Technology – Strategic Opportunities and Partnerships – Lessons learned and future opportunities within an environment focussing on innovation” to get a better understanding of the VS needs after IM/IT. The paper deals with where the VS is going and what will need to be done by IM/IT if there is a second phase to the VSI.

The following recommendations were made:

  • That a new class of ICT technology be developed to provide an innovation ICT platform for communities;
  • That a community based program initiative be created to find, animate and organize known and buried assets toward innovative e-communities.

There was lots of discussion about Open Source software versus other software such as Microsoft. The Group agreed that the IM/IT Secretariat should be encouraging the use of Open Source when possible. The IM/IT Secretariat and PCH are members of an advisory committee led by Industry Canada=s ICT Branch studying Open Source. The Secretariat will keep the Group informed of development on this issue.

Item 8 - Open discussions on future orientations

Ross MacLeod, DG of Information Highway Applications Branch (IHAB) and co-Chair of the IM/IT Advisory Group debriefed members on IHAB plans for the future. The funding for most of the IHAB programs runs out next year and IHAB is looking at how it could best serve its clients, and what innovative approaches can be looked at to fulfill its mission within the IC mandate. The funding for IM/IT will run out in March 2005. Industry Canada would like to begin discussions on the future role of IHAB for the Voluntary Sector.

Members expressed the following comments:
- need discussions at the local level;
- need awareness of what is already out there;
- need more awareness of SchoolNet and CAP initiatives;
- as IC develops rules and regulations, invite the private and voluntary sectors to be part of the discussions;
- corporate social responsibility; need some counterparts;
- regional lead ministers need to understand that the Sector plays an important role;
- need for centers of voluntary sector and academia to meet together;
- need for more outreach to reflect Canada=s diversity;
- the Centers of Excellence should be the focal point;
- need a whole range of tools around technology such as database management, templates for creating new web sites, on-line meetings, sharing information, providing learning, evaluation tools, etc;
- need to find a solution for an evaluation of software;
- need a place to find best practices, etc…
- there was an interest from the group in discussing future directions. (It was agreed that this will be discussed at future meetings).

A motion presented by Don McCreesh and seconded by Maggie Fietz to include
Brenda Cameron-Couch (Forum) and David Reid (PCH-GOL) as full members of the IM/IT Advisory group was accepted in unanimity.

Meeting Notes
“Creating a Canada-Wide Training & Support Network for the Voluntary Sector”
Delta Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario
June 7, 2003

Opening remarks
Don McCreesh, Co-Chair for the IM/IT Advisory Group opened the meeting and welcomed participants. See Annex A for list of participants.

Bernard Chabot, Manager of the IM/IT Secretariat reminded participants that the purpose of this meeting was to offer an opportunity for organizations already providing training and technical support in the voluntary sector to express their views on how they see the setting up of a network. Participants were asked to introduce themselves and provide a brief description of their organization and services offered.

To initiate the discussion Jo Sutton, member of the IM/IT Advisory Group provided an overview of a vision for the training and technical support network. See Annex B.

A general discussion was held and participants provided their views and comments as to how they see the development of a training and technical support network for the voluntary sector.

Participants generally supported the idea of a regional model. The regional networks could then be linked together to form a Canada-wide network.

Participants were invited to gather in groups to begin discussions on possible partnerships. The participants gathered by regional representations, such as the west, prairies, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic.

Next steps
B. Chabot encouraged participants to continue discussions among themselves. He reiterated that, as organizations are already sustainable and are already providing training and/or technical support and that Industry Canada is seeking to help these organizations enhance their services and increase their visibility in the sector.

In July, a Request for Funding Opportunities (RFO) will be forwarded to organizations, which were retained through the Letter of Intent process. Organizations are encouraged to form consortia are encouraged to offer services to a region.

Annex / annexe A

Representatives from sector organizations / représentants des organismes du secteur :
Leslie Adams, Peter Royce, Pacific Community Networks Association (PCNA), BC/Yukon, (previously BC Community Network)
Renee Bernier, Jane Lister, Community Futures Dev. Corporation of Boundary Area (CFDC), BC
Steven Soucy, Daryl Beatty, Community Information and Referral Society (CIRS), AB
John Corriveau, Mario Mihoc, NetLAN Consulting Inc., AB
Edwin Arinze, Adebayo Bakare, Afro-Caribbean Cultural Association of Saskatchewan Inc. (ACCAS Inc.), AB
Connie Crockett, Journeys Education Association Inc., MB
Linda Bliss, reBOOT Canada , ON
Larry Rooney, Phoenix Community Works Foundation (PCWF), ON
Peter Frampton, Dieter Soegtrop, The Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF), ON
Arti Freeman, Brenda Herchmer, Niagara Centre for Community Leadership, ON
Bill Marvel, Tetyana Slautina, CompuCorps Mentoring/Les mentors de CompuCorps, ON and BC
Ken Northmore, Craigwood Youth Services, ON
Sylvio Boudreau, Ken Boudreau, Fondation ConceptArt multimédia, ON
Geoff MacDougall, ITAC, ON
Monique Chartrand, Martin Charles, Communautique, QC
Mohamed Soulami, François Faucher, Actions Interculturelles de développement et de l'éducation (AIDE), QC
Linda Stilborne, Peter MacGibborn, The Quebec Learners' Network, QC
David Boyce, Southeast Environmental Association Limited (SEA), PEI
Penelope Row, Pamela Corrigan, Community Services Council (CSC), NFLD and Labrador
June Hooper, Easter Seals March of Dimes / Timbres de pâques - Marche des dix sous, Jim Asher, Data Shepard, NB

Members of the IM/IT Advisory Group / Membres du Groupe consultatif GI-TI:
Don McCreesh (Co-Chair/coprésident), Ross MacLeod (Co-Chair/coprésident), Margaret Fietz,
Martin Itzkow, Francine Pelletier, Jo Sutton, Bernard Chabot, Rodney Hagglund

Other participants / autres participants :
Elinor Bradley, Director/directrice, Innovation and Inclusion / Innovation et inclusion, Industry Canada / Industrie Canada

IM/IT Program staff / équipe du programme sur la GI-TI : Gisèle Proulx, Michèle Leury, Lyne Martin, Louise Lalonde, Annie Joannette

Annex B
Speaking notes - IM/IT Advisory Group’s Vision of the
Training & Technical Support Network for the Voluntary Sector
Speaking notes for meeting June 7th.

The vision is to make IM/IT training and support services available to voluntary organisations all across Canada which enable VSOs to further their work using IM/IT and to encourage the flourishing of IM/IT initiated growth and effectiveness of the voluntary sector.

The organisations

  • The training and technical support network for the voluntary sector will be created as an extension of existing IM/IT training and support available to the voluntary sector.
  • The services will be provided by coalitions of organisations, largely founded in the groups who are present on June 7th. We will encourage the growth of consortia of organisations.
  • The serving organisations must have demonstrated that they are able to offer IM/IT training and technical support to the voluntary sector
  • The IM/IT Advisory group has long argued that, wherever possible, the network and training for the voluntary sector should come from the voluntary sector
  • The models are expected to be self sustaining

The model

  • Services will be regional. We intend that there be coverage from coast to coast to coast, but may not be able to achieve this immediately.
  • There may be organisation/consortium/consortia which will be able to negotiate equipment and software at advantageous prices for voluntary sector organisations. The store will advertise the rates and prices it has negotiated.
  • A central access point to facilitate voluntary organisations’ access to IM/IT (support through 1-800 number, web based information with interactivity and email, and a growing list of online FAQs which comes out of the experience of the use of the 1-800 number)
  • Outreach by the consortium to encourage VSOs to take part, including ensuring participation by francophone organisations.
  • Outreach by the consortium to ensure that the networks reflect the diversity of Canada. This includes the North, rural, remote, people with disabilities, women, immigrant, and visible minority.
  • Outreach by the consortium to ensure that VSOs understand the value of IM/IT in their work
  • On-site services if possible (eg distance will limit some) for training and support
  • The network will enable multi way online conversations between those taking up the services offered. These will largely be for information sharing and be according to the needs of participants. The conversations may offer such things as mutual technical support, notification of meetings and events, or sharing knowledge of resources.
  • The network will provide regular communications about activities, resources available, other relevant information and offer expert advice.
  • There will be IM/IT workshops

  • Online IM/IT planning curriculum for organisations - the process for ensuring successful take up of IM/IT by the individuals within an organisation and planning for the most effective placing of the technology.
  • Online IM/IT learning to learn to use the technology
  • Online IM/IT learning to apply the technology to their work
  • Self sustaining should include the aim that the voluntary sector organisations eventually have the capacity to use IM/IT effectively for their mission and, as far as possible, independently of ongoing technical support

Expectations of the VSOs to be served

  • Will look for their geographically nearest Network when wanting IM/IT learning
  • Will contact the vendor or manufacturer when in need of hardware or software support
  • Will be able to contact a network call centre for referrals to places where they can find an answer to their technical and application needs.
  • Should expect on-site training and support where possible
  • Will be able to buy hardware and software at advantageous prices (both charities and non-profits)
  • Will be able to extend their knowledge and experience from other VSOs in online forums (listserv/chat/web board/blog) supplied by the consortium
  • Should be willing to share their experience and information online with other VSOs (lessons learned, sometimes as an evergreen document).
  • Should consider and share their creative and fun ways of using IM/IT for their work.
  • Should be encouraged to see themselves as part of a network
  • Should continue to be self sustaining in their use and implementation of IM/ITs in the long run

June 2003

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