The Journey Continues: The Second Report to Canadians on Implementing
An Accord Between the Government of Canada and the Voluntary Sector
B. The Foundations for Change
Since the beginning of the VSI, both sectors have recognized
the need for effective accountability structures – both separate
and joint – to strengthen the relationship.
Shared leadership of the VSI
Made up of 12 senior representatives – six each from the federal
government and the voluntary sector – the Joint Steering Committee
(JSC) coordinates and oversees the work of the VSI, including
implementation, dissemination and delivery of VSI products and
services. In addition to reviewing implementation and follow-up
activities for the Accord and Codes of Good Practice on Funding
and Policy Dialogue, the JSC provides a forum for sharing information,
identifying and considering emerging issues, and serves as a mechanism
for dispute resolution. Over the past year, the JSC met three
times (November 2003, March and June 2004).
Coordinating voluntary sector activities
Chaired by Monica Patten, President and CEO of Community Foundations
of Canada, the Voluntary Sector Forum (VSF) ensures that the work
of the VSI is completed, coordinates the sector’s work on key
crosssectoral issues and directs outreach activities. Its 20 members
reflect the knowledge, diversity, experience and interests of
Canada’s voluntary sector.
New government accountabilities
On December 12, 2003, responsibility for the VSI was transferred
from the Department of Canadian Heritage to Social Development
Canada (SDC). The department’s Social Development Directorate
includes the Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Affairs Division , which is the focal
point for coordinating crossgovernmental activities related to
the voluntary sector, including government-wide monitoring and
reporting on Accord implementation.
In the Spring of 2004, the Assistant Deputy Minister Steering
Committee (ADMSC) recommended the establishment of a Director
General Steering Committee (DGSC) to provide strategic advice
and guidance to the JSC. Part of the Committee’s mandate is to
strengthen horizontal integration and implementation of the VSI,
including the Accord and Codes. While the ADMSC will continue
to meet as required, the new DGSC will represent departments and
central agencies across the government.
A Ministerial Consultative Committee (MCC) has a mandate to meet
annually with the voluntary sector to review results, report to
Canadians on the status of the relationship and guide future work.
A network of champions across the federal government is responsible
for raising awareness about the Accord and Codes of Good Practice
on Funding and Policy Dialogue in each department. The champions
will continue to play a role in the Government’s implementation