On the Road to Policy

A Journey Through the Looking Glass

On Wednesday, October 16th, Lisa Lalande, Executive Director, Mowat NFP was the keynote presenter at CUP’s Annual Celebration Event.  Her message was the nature of policy is never permanent – it is always exposed to being changed. It is challenging, complicated, complex and sometimes messy.  The journey to policy is really about understanding ‘impact’ and being able to articulate what you do and why you do it. The work is intentional and ongoing. The relationships you create and the processes you also choose are as important as the outcome. 


During her presentation she referenced these resources:

Mowat NFP 
Bridging the Gap: Designing aCanadian What Works Centre 
What Works Network: Fives Years On 
Committing to Action: Next Steps to Canada’s Evidence Ecosystem 


Policy Capacity in the Social Sector:  A critical time to engage

On Thursday, October 17th, Lisa Lalande, Executive Director, Mowat NFP and Joanne Cave, Senior Policy Associate, Mowat NFP joined Karen Edwards for a panel discussion drawing on their experiences of engaging in social sector policy development provincially, nationally, and internationally to address the role we all play in policy. No matter what your perceived level of 'policy capacity', we all have ways we experience or interact with policy. Whether you are aware of the current context in which social policies are developed, contributing to the evidence they draw on, or engaging in emerging policy conversations, we all need to be part of the conversation.  The audio of the discussion is available here.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:  Learning Our Way Through Complex Social Issues

Projects and partnerships are becoming increasingly complex whether it is the complexity of the issue, the complexity of the partnership, or the complexity of the solutions that arise from the work. Mark Cabaj was the featured speaker at our Annual Celebration Event held on October 19, 2017. The Main Points of his presentation were:

  1. Complex issues require adaptive – rather than linear responses in order to be effective
  2. The stake of employing an adaptive response are high.
  3. The extent to which learning and evalulation in addressing complex social issues is good bad or ugly depends on the orientation towards evaluation
  4. The conditions for complexity-friendly evaluation not great but are getting better.
  5. Social innovators, and the evaluators, researchers, funders and policy makers that support them, can accelerate the development and adoption of complexity-friendly approaches.

His complete PowerPoint presentation is available here.

BureaucraZy Navigating Health and Social Services in Alberta

BureaucraZy documents the experiences of four low-income women as they navigate Alberta's health and social services system, and how that system so often frustrates and discourages the very clients it is meant to help.  To learn more about how to use this video click here.


10 Years of Extending Our Reach

Reflections on CUP's First 10 Years and its future, July 2010.

10 Years of Extending our Reach