CDH produces and distributes some solid data.

News 100 redBY Pepper Parr

August 5th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

Ward 1Community Development Halton has been in the news frequently this last month.

Joey Edwards, the Executive Director for the past two decades, announced that she will retire in the fall. The Board has been actively developing the direction the organization will take in the years ahead.

A Gazette reader set out what he thought CDH needed to focus on as they revive an organization that has lost its focus.

Go onto Community Development Halton’s website and the one obvious thing that is lacking is a current statement of their Mission, Vision and Values. Virtually every organization today has this prominently displayed on their home page. CDH lists a lot of activities, but there is no easily accessible statement attesting to what they stand for, how they do it and their unique value proposition. I eventually found something called “Independent Community Based Planning in the Voluntary Sector”, but it was buried well into their website.

The second item that needs to be addressed is their name. Sorry, but “Community Development Halton” is amorphous and ill-defined. Develop what, and for whom? Looking at their website most of what they purportedly provide is social planning. Interesting research, but frankly not hugely impactful for a lot of residents, and most don’t connect with how this betters or improves their personal situation.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is their mandate. CDH’s website is laden with words like “facilitate”, “coordinate”, “partner”, etc. That does not describe an action oriented mandate or agenda. If you want broad-based community support, funding and engagement you need to be leading, directing and implementing. The not-for-profit community is strewn with all sorts of think tanks and research based agencies. Interesting from strictly an academic point of view, but not hugely impactful.

CDH operates with a 1990’s mindset, but that isn’t going to carry them very far into the future. The purpose statement on their website from the Social Planning Network of Ontario was written in 1994. The organization needs to re-position itself for changing times or else it will quickly fade into obscurity.

Recently CDH produced a profile of each of the six wards in the city – they sent the information to the ward Councillors but neglected to send the material to media – there is some solid data in those profiles.

The Gazette will be doing series on each ward and including that data. To give you a sense as to just how rich that data set is – look at what they have produced for ward 1.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply