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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 initiatives.

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Last Updated: 2019-08-19