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The Rubber and the Road: A Workbook for Implementing the Codes of Good Practice

1. Before you start

About the Codes of Good Practice
When the Government of Canada and the voluntary sector signed the Accord in December 2001, they knew their work was just beginning. The Accord built a strong foundation for a renewed relationship between the sectors. But how would it play out on the ground – in the hundreds of daily interactions between the two sectors?

That’s where the Codes of Good Practice come in. They are a resource of tangible, concrete ideas about how to take the spirit and guidelines of the Accord and put them into action in both government and voluntary sector organizations. The Codes are about building relationships, looking for common ground and accepting one another’s differences. They’re also about making Canada a better place to live by improving policies and programs for Canadians. What makes the Codes so powerful is that they were developed in a truly joint process and are endorsed by both sectors.

Who should use this Workbook
The Workbook is meant to be used both by people working in Government of Canada departments and agencies, and in the many organizations that make up the voluntary sector. The Codes focus on funding and policy dialogue because these are two of the areas where the sectors come together most often. So if you’re a policy analyst or program officer who deals with the voluntary sector, check it out! If you’re the administrator of a large national organization that receives Government of Canada program funding or would like to, or the part-time co-coordinator of a three-person advocacy group that wants to be heard, check it out!

What the Workbook can do
For many of you, living up to the Accord and the Codes of Good Practice will just mean “business as usual.” You already devote a lot of time and energy to the relationship, collaborating with the “other” on key issues, sharing information and resources, and exploring new ways of drawing on each other’s unique insights and skills. For some, it may only take a little tweaking here and there to put the relationship on a brand new footing. And for others, the spirit may be willing, but you’re not quite sure how to begin.

Wherever you are now, this Workbook can give you some ideas about how to move forward. If you work in a voluntary sector organization, it may mean doing some research about how government funding processes work. If you’re part of a government policy group, it might involve getting out into the field a little earlier in the policy process to find out what voluntary sector organizations are thinking. Or maybe it’s just a matter of inviting some new faces to sit down at the table and talk.

How to use it
Choose how you use the Workbook. It’s designed to be flexible so you can decide for yourself what approach best suits your needs. Here’s how the rest of the Workbook is set out:

  • section 2: Where are you now? – poses some questions to get you thinking about your current relationships and how they’re working – or not working

  • section 3: Moving forward … on policy dialogue – looks at some good practices that apply to the policy process, helps you assess how you’re doing now, and suggests how you can improve

  • section 4: Moving forward … on funding – looks at some good practices that apply to funding, helps you assess how you’re doing now, and suggests how you can improve

  • section 5: The road ahead – asks you to set out an action plan for the future, based on what you identified as priorities in either of the previous two sections

You may want to get a group of colleagues together – either from your own or other organizations – and engage in a dialogue about these two Codes. As a group, you can choose to go through the exercises and map out an action plan. Or you may decide to work through the exercises on your own and present your findings to your co-workers. Another option is to organize a workshop and invite members from your own or both sectors to participate in a half-day session using the Workbook as a discussion tool.

If you would like more information, or further suggestions on how to get started, you can refer to the contacts listed at the end of this Workbook.

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Last Updated: 2019-08-19