Government Of Canada Welcomes Report To Help Canadian Voluntary Sector Innovate
OTTAWA, February 28, 2003 — Industry Minister Allan Rock welcomed today the report and recommendations of the Voluntary Sector Initiative's Information Management/Information Technology Joint Table, for improving the technological capacity of voluntary organizations and enabling them to better serve Canadians.
The report, which was released today by the Information Management/Information Technology Joint Table, calls on the Government of Canada to work with the voluntary sector to establish sector-wide services, such as an online funding exchange as well as information technology planning and training services.
"I congratulate the members of the Information Management/Information Technology Joint Table on their comprehensive report and on giving us a solid blueprint to work with to strengthen the sector as a whole," said Minister Rock. "By ensuring that voluntary organizations have access to the best technological tools available, such as an online sector portal, the Government of Canada is helping this important sector to innovate and better serve Canadians and their communities."
The Honourable Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister Responsible for the Voluntary Sector, also applauded the contribution of the Information Management/Information Technology Joint Table to the overall Voluntary Sector Initiative.
"Voluntary organizations play a vital role in Canadian life," said Minister Copps. "The Information Management/Information Technology Joint Table's report is an excellent example of how the Government of Canada is working with voluntary organizations to find innovative solutions to achieve their missions. Improving the sector's access to technology will result in better services for millions of Canadians."
The Information Management/Information Technology Joint Table, one of six Voluntary Sector Initiative joint tables, was made up of voluntary sector leaders and government officials. It was created to provide recommendations on how to improve the technological capacity of Canada's voluntary sector.
The Joint Table's report, Strengthening Voluntary Sector Capacity through Technology, centres on a five-part strategy to help voluntary organizations use technology to develop more effective ways of carrying out essential activities, such as raising and donating money, recruiting and supporting volunteers, and delivering services.
The strategy includes sector-wide tools, such as a voluntary sector portal that will serve as a meeting place for the exchange of ideas and best practices. An online funding exchange that connects funding agencies with voluntary organizations will increase the effectiveness of raising and donating funding. The report also addresses the needs of voluntary organizations to have ongoing access to information technology planning, hardware and software training, and technical support at preferential rates. It also raises the awareness — both within the sector and with funding agencies — about the importance of investing in technology.
Industry Canada's Information Management/Information Technology Secretariat will work with both the voluntary sector and the various components of the Voluntary Sector Initiative to address the report's recommendations. Funding for implementing this strategy comes from the $10 million allocated by the Voluntary Sector Initiative in 2000 for enhancing the sector's access to, and use of, information technology.
Launched in June 2000, the VSI is a joint, five-year, $94.6-million undertaking between the voluntary sector and the Government of Canada. The long-term objective of the VSI is to strengthen the voluntary sector's capacity to meet the challenges of the future, and to enhance the relationship between the sector and the federal government in order to better serve Canadians.
For more information on the Voluntary Sector Initiative's Information Management/Information Technology Joint Table and its report, please visit http://www.vsi-isbc.org/eng/joint_tables/im_it/index.cfm.
For more information, contact:
Office of Allan Rock
Office of Sheila Copps