“Collaboration, Cooperation, Co-Creation: Case Studies of Social Service Innovations During COVID-19” is a five case study research series.
- The research series “Collaboration, Cooperation, Co-Creation: Case Studies of Social Service Innovations During COVID-19” was authored by United Way Greater Toronto in partnership with the Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network (PhiLab)
- Social services sector’s innovations during COVID-19 provide examples of tools and recommendations to create change on social issues in the future
November 3, 2022 (Toronto, ON) – Throughout the pandemic, United Way Greater Toronto’s network of over 300 funded agencies across Peel, Toronto and York mobilized quickly to meet urgent needs – leading to effective innovations with the potential to move the needle on critical issues facing communities.
Now those innovations – and the lessons they have to offer for meeting urgent needs, overcoming longstanding challenges, and charting a path through instability and uncertainty beyond the pandemic – are detailed in a new case study series called “Collaboration, Cooperation, Co-Creation: Case Studies of Social Service Innovations During COVID-19”, authored by United Way Greater Toronto in partnership with the Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network (PhiLab).
“A non-profit sector that is rooted in community and fortified by decades of expertise knows where we need to go before a crisis like the pandemic even hits. But times of crisis can spur innovation, accelerate it,” says Daniele Zanotti, CEO of United Way Greater Toronto. “These stories of innovation show that a path forward is not about recovering our pre-COVID ‘normal’ but building something better – and reveal the tools to get there.”
These tools, the research shows, include flexible funding allowing organizations to target resources to where they are needed most; general operating support allowing agencies to engage in strategic, future-thinking work; deep understanding of community and intersecting issues; and collaborative, cross-sector networks to accelerate problem-solving and amplify impact.
UWGT has long championed these tools and the innovation they make possible. The case studies series highlights five powerful innovations with lessons to offer for achieving lasting change beyond the pandemic, including:
- Auduzhe Mino Nesewinong Clinic (Place of Healthy Breathing): Advancing Indigenous health and data equity
- Cedar Centre’s STAIR Group’s virtual program transition: Balancing impact with client safety, privacy, security and cost
- Etobicoke recovery site for people experiencing homelessness: Reimagining partnership between the healthcare and community services sector
- Apna Health and community health ambassadors in Peel Region: Advancing health equity in the South Asian community
- What’s Up Walk-In Clinics’ strengthened network model: Moving along the collaboration continuum (a youth mental health-focused network of six agencies)
The case studies series is the latest addition to United Way Greater Toronto’s body of original research – one of several ways that the organization drives lasting, systems-level solutions to create healthy, safe, and flourishing communities without poverty.
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Manager, Communications, United Way Greater Toronto