The Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) has established a cultural diversity program to develop its capacity in ethno and cultural data and analysis. Its mission is to assist social service and community organizations as well as various levels of governments in developing culturally relevant policies, programs and services. This initiative is supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Multiculturalism.
What do we mean by cultural diversity?
Canadian society is made up of communities and groups with various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, each with its unique perspectives, values, and experiences. All of them have contributed to the social, economic, and cultural vitality of our society. We therefore respect and celebrate the diversity of Canadian culture. Further, we acknowledge that our cultural backgrounds play important roles in our perspectives, motivations, as well as social and economic well-being.
Why a Cultural Diversity Program at the CCSD?
The CCSD is a national, self-sustaining, not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to advance social programs and policies that are central to the well-being of children, families, and communities in Canada. In recent years, the Council has focused on the research and analysis of social and economic trends and their effects on the lives of Canadians. As a national organization, the CCSD has recognized the importance of reflecting the country's cultural mosaic in its work, and recently we began to explore the role that the Council could perform in ethno-cultural data and analysis. The need for a cultural diversity program is derived from several factors:
- the changing social and cultural demographics in Canadian society.
- roundtable consultations with community service agencies and those who are active in the gathering and the dissemination of ethno-cultural data and analysis.
- the need to disseminate accurate information on cultural diversity in a timely and 'jargon-free' manner.
As an integral component of the CCSD, the program will be guided by an advisory group of experts in cultural diversity research and service delivery. It is designed to reflect the three fundamental goals of the Multiculturalism Policy: identity, civic participation, and social justice. Through effective communication and marketing, the program will seek to establish a client base to ensure its financial sustainability in order to secure its long-term goal: to provide research critical to the design and delivery of social service policies and programs.
What Are Our Objectives?
- To provide custom-tailored information on ethnic populations for planning and service agencies, using the census, and other national surveys available at the CCSD.
- To collaborate with agencies in carrying out topical research, including developing research questions, methodology, data analysis, as well as conducting environmental scans on an area of research that is of interest to the users.
- To prepare, highlight, and disseminate information on existing research and activity in a range of formats, such as technical reports, newsletters, articles, and fact sheets.
- To develop opportunities for diversity-focused organizations and individuals to share their experiences and research.
How Do We Accomplish These Objectives?
Given the funding basis of the CCSD, to the extent possible, all services will be delivered on a cost-recovery basis. Building on the Council's existing capacity for policy research and advocacy, the program will provide services and products in the following broad areas:
- perform contract and independent research in response to the needs in federal, provincial, municipal governments and other organizations. facilitate information exchange among organizations and individuals active in the area.
- prepare topical reports based upon in-house research.
- develop newsletters providing snapshots of current policy and research developments.
What Have We Been Doing?
- A study of the economic integration and income mobility among refugees (Citizenship and Immigration Canada).
- Setting priorities in race relations in Canada: an environmental scan for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to identify strategic issues and program priorities in the field of race relations (Canadian Race Relations Foundation).
- Developing indicators on economic disparities among ethno-racial groups in Canada (Canadian Race Relations Foundation).
- An evaluation of a project on the use and misuse of medications by seniors: a cross-cultural education model (Canadian Ethnocultural Council).
- A report on immigrant children and youth, using national and community surveys as well as focus groups.