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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

Background Paper: Government of Canada Implementation

About this Paper

A little background

Almost five years ago, the Government of Canada announced the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI), a joint initiative between the federal government and the voluntary sector aimed at: enhancing their relationship; improving the regulatory framework in which the voluntary sector operates; and strengthening the voluntary sector’s capacity over the long term.

From the outset, a major focus of the VSI was the development of a joint accord or framework agreement that would provide visible and concrete recognition of the importance of the relationship. Signed on December 5, 2001, An Accord Between the Government of Canada and the Voluntary Sector also called for practical guidelines to support implementation of the Accord. Less than a year later – in October 2002 – the Code of Good Practice on Funding and the Code of Good Practice on Policy Dialogue were launched.

The Journey Continues: The Second Report to Canadians on Implementing An Accord Between the Government of Canada and the Voluntary Sector fulfills the sectors’ commitment to report annually to Canadians on their progress in implementing the Accord and the two Codes of Good Practice. A collaborative effort, the report provides highlights of the two sectors’ accomplishments from October 2003 to September 2004. In addition to looking back over the past year’s activities, it sets out joint priorities for the sectors in the coming year. (The Journey Continues is available on the VSI Web site at www.vsi-isbc.ca.

What this paper does

One of two background papers to the joint report, this document is intended for those wishing more detailed information on the activities of federal government departments and agencies over the past year (the background paper outlining voluntary sector activities is available at www.vsf-fsbc.ca.) It focuses on the results of a survey of federal government departments undertaken in the summer of 2004 to assess progress on implementing the Accord and Codes of Good Practice across the federal government. A forum for sharing good practices as well, the report includes tangible, practical examples and ideas to help departments and agencies implement the Accord and Codes more broadly within their own departments.

The paper describes the Government’s activities and accomplishments in the areas established as priorities by the federal government in the previous year’s supplementary report, Taking the Accord Forward: Background Paper – Government of Canada Implementation. These priorities were to:

1. LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR FULLY INTEGRATING THE ACCORD COMMITMENTS INTO DEPARTMENTAL OPERATIONS AND CULTURE BY:

  • developing a voluntary sector lens or approach to ensure that the implications of legislation, regulations, policies and programs on voluntary sector organizations are considered;
  • integrating the Accord into existing reporting mechanisms; and
  • promoting career exchanges between the voluntary sector and Government to increase understanding and knowledge about each other.

2. PURSUE SHORT-TERM IMPLEMENTATION ACTIVITIES THAT WILL:

  • raise the profile of the Accord and Codes, as well as understanding about them;
  • strengthen interdepartmental collaboration; and
  • increase Government-sector collaboration on issues jointly identified as requiring further collaboration and joint research, and identify, promote and share outcomes from the Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD) projects.

The last section of this paper looks to the future, describing the federal government’s priorities for the coming year as it continues its work in implementing the Accord and Codes of Good Practice on Funding and Policy Dialogue.

Find out more!

For more information about these reports, or to find out more about the Accord and Codes of Good Practice or the VSI, see www.vsi-isbc.ca. For information about the voluntary sector report, see www.vsf-fsbc.ca.

The past year has seen some changes in government oversight of the VSI, including responsibility for initiatives related to the Accord and Codes of Good Practice on Funding and Policy Dialogue.

A new departmental lead

Last year, federal government responsibility for the leadership of the VSI was transferred from Canadian Heritage to Social Development Canada (SDC). As part of the transfer, SDC assumed lead responsibility on behalf of the Government of Canada for shaping the relationship with the voluntary sector, including government-wide monitoring and reporting on Accord implementation. As Minister of SDC, the Honourable Ken Dryden provides leadership for the continuing work of the VSI. At the same time, responsibility for enhancing the sectors’ relationship is shared across government as individual departments and agencies put the Accord and Codes of Good Practice to work in their daily interactions with the voluntary sector.

Horizontal structures

At the departmental level, an Assistant Deputy Minister Steering Committee (ADMSC) acted as the Government of Canada’s decision-making body on matters concerning the VSI. The ADMSC, which met three times during the past reporting period (October 2003 to September 2004), recently recommended the establishment of a Director General Steering Committee (DGSC) to provide strategic advice and guidance to the VSI’s Joint Steering Committee. In the coming year, the DGSC will advise SDC on ways to strengthen horizontal integration and implementation of the tools and mechanisms developed through the VSI, including the Accord and Codes of Good Practice.

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Last Updated: 2019-05-26