Capacity Joint Table Terms of Reference
Pursuant to the mutual commitment to a collaborative approach by the Government of Canada - Voluntary Sector, and to support increased government - sector co-operation, the proposed mandate of the Capacity Joint Table (CJT) is to:
- Examine ways of enhancing the voluntary sector's ability to meet future challenges and to continue as an effective partner with the Government of Canada in improving the quality of life for Canadians.
- Jointly work to contribute to the base of knowledge, bring greater understanding, make strategic investments, and develop greater sector wide capacity.
- The work is to be done across the following five dimensions: financial stability and sustainability, human resources planning and management, knowledge management and use of information, policy capacity, and structural capacity (e.g. physical assets and organizational capacity).
- Invest in the goal of strengthening capacity: to enhance the ability of the sector and organizations to achieve their missions; and, to increase the capacity of the both voluntary sector and the federal government to work together in the development of shared policy, program and service interests.
- Further dialogue and shared understanding by more broadly engaging the voluntary sector and government in the development of perspectives on current and emerging policy capacity concerns.
- Provide joint leadership of three strategic initiatives that frame the work to be undertaken across the five capacity dimensions: Research and Information Sharing (including further analysis and dissemination of the NSGVP); Policy Internship and Academic Fellowship, and Skills Development and Recruitment.
- Undertake applied and participatory action research as well as consultation to build a base of knowledge, share information and assets, and develop new tools or resources that are of value to voluntary sector organizations and government in addressing capacity challenges.
Relationship with the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC):
A Joint Co-ordinating Committee will provide overall coordination for the various joint groups and tables of the Voluntary Sector Initiative, and help manage the collaborative process on behalf of the government and the voluntary sector.
The co-chairs of the Table will act as a conduit between the JCC and Capacity Table members and will provide the JCC with information on the work plan and consultation process as well as formally raise issues of concern.
Following the model established in the Joint Tables Process, the CJT will be composed of an equal number of government officials and sector leaders, and will be jointly co-chaired.
Size of Committee:
Given the Table's advisory function, it is proposed to keep the number of members small, with eight from government and eight from the sector (this number includes the two co-chairs). Attendance is non-substituted.
In addition, chairs/co-chairs from other VSI groups will be invited to participate in Joint Table meetings as ex-officio members. These include: the co-chairs of the NSGVP Coordinating Group, the chair of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Federal Funding, and the chair of the Voluntary Sector Working Group on Funding.
- Government members
The government members will be approved by the ADM Steering Committee and normally be at the Director or Director General level.
- Voluntary Sector members
Members from the voluntary sector will be selected through an open and transparent process from the broad spectrum of national/regional/local voluntary sector organizations, and may include individual volunteers.
Government and voluntary sector members participate fully in the deliberations of the Joint Tables as colleagues in a spirit of mutual respect, openness and consensus building, recognising that the development of innovative approaches to collaboration is at the heart of the VSI.
All members will conduct themselves with due regard for the shared principles of operation defined by the Joint Coordinating Committee and endorsed by table members. This would include:
The role of government and voluntary sector members is not to represent the more narrow interests of their respective individual departments or organizations per se, but to advance and represent the respective interests of the federal government or the voluntary sector as a whole.
- Being well prepared for and attending all meetings;
- Contributing relevant expertise and ideas;
- Participating regularly and consistently in the collaborative work of the team;
- Treating the views and contributions of other team members with tolerance and respect.
Government members are accountable for advancing the cross-governmental interest of this horizontal file and will seek the guidance of the ADM Steering Committee in carrying out their work while retaining accountability to their individual departments for their participation.
Voluntary sector members are accountable for advancing the sector-wide interest of this file and will seek and represent a broad voluntary sector perspective.
Federal departments with the unique responsibility for the stewardship of VSI resources (HRDC, PCH, HC) are accountable to their Ministers and to Treasury Board for the management and results of the Initiatives. Members, and in particular co-chairs, of the Joint Table will actively support fulfilment of this accountability.
The Capacity Joint Table will:
- Design, assign, co-ordinate and oversee a Work Plan reflecting the five capacity dimensions that include management of the component initiatives:
- Research and information sharing
- Analysis and dissemination of the NSGVP
- Policy internships and academic fellowships
- Skills development and recruitment.
- Develop a consultation strategy that provides the opportunity for broad engagement of the voluntary sector and all levels of government, as well as experts and intermediaries from all sectors, in the interest of developing shared perspective and coherence of activity. Consultations are to fit within the consultation Framework Strategy proposed by the JCC.
- Provide a forum for dialogue and sharing of resources and expertise among members and between members and others that builds linkages, identifies and resolves issues, and promotes effective investment of resources through partnership.
- With respect to transparency and accountability, define the process and criteria to assign outside work. Receive and review reports from those organizations commissioned by the CJT to carry out activities; and provide reports on fulfilment of work plan to the JCC.
Time Frame and Meetings
- The CJT is constituted for two years, commencing in the Fall 2000.
- The CJT will meet once a month or at a frequency to be determined by the co-chairs, using face-to-face meetings, conference calls and/or electronic correspondence.
- Working groups and sub-committees could be convened to address specific issues or undertake certain activities as required.
- The CJT will review its Terms of Reference at the end of the first year and may revise them for the second year as required.
The CJT Secretariat/Work Team support will be provided by a team of government and voluntary sector staff working together under the direction of the co-chairs to support the successful operation of the Capacity Joint Table and implementation of the various initiatives.
The CJT Secretariat/Work Team will serve as a Working Group for the Joint Table and include staff from HRDC, PCH, and HC as well as the VSI Secretariat. The team will undertake the day to day management of the Joint Table work plan, present options to members for consideration, and report on progress.
The Secretariat/Work Team salary and non-salary expenses will be supported through the operating budgets allocated to departments for the management of Initiatives through the Joint Table.
Representatives of the Voluntary Sector Task Force (VSTF) and the CJT Secretariat/Work Team to the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) will attend meetings to advise and provide support on issues referred by Table members, which are consistent with the mandates of the VSTF and Secretariat, VSI.