Cross-Sector Social Partnerships for Social Change: The Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations
2. Literature Review: NGOs’ Roles in CSSPs
2.1. Enabling Roles: Service Provider, Capacity Builder, and Consultant
2.2. Coordinating Roles: Bridger (Broker) and Mediator
2.3. Change Facilitating Roles: Initiator, Convener, Advocate, Leader, and Innovator
3. Case Description: The PEPSO Research Partnership
4.1. Case Selection
4.2. Data Collection
4.3. Data Analysis
5. Empirical Findings
5.1. NGOs in the PEPSO Research Partnership
5.2. NGOs’ Roles in a CSSP on Poverty and Employment Precarity
We developed together, so it started at the beginning of the project, and a year before, we developed the idea and made the proposal together.
The most important role is that they engaged throughout the whole process and did not just participate for a period or at a particular point of time. For example…they are engaged from initiation to execution. They were really encouraged to start this project and facilitated the whole project from seven years ago.
We co-lead Case Studies 2 and 3 with some researchers from Ryerson University, York University, and the University of Toronto. I think the most important role for us is co-leading the research in this alliance and working on the proposal and report.
…The co-lead on the overall project is the United Way. The United Way certainly has a major voice shaping the overall project and also takes the lead on the policy response.
We sat on the community advisory committee and worked on CSSP research, we reviewed the survey questions and brought other sources and information.—NGO partner, Interview
…We contributed the conceptualization of the project and interpretation of the data. My organization contributes to the overall framing, shaping, and messaging of the report.—NGO partner, Interview
A number of experts from non-profits are directly involved in the research project. They effectively participate and assist on designing surveys and interpreting findings.—University partner, Interview
5.2.5. Broker (Bridger)
I think our organization is a valuable partner in part 2 of the case study in terms of reaching out to community members and service providers. We do much to also reach out to people from different sectors in our community.
I know some non-profits also try their best to contact other expertise and researchers in the field to make the whole team become stronger.
We bring people and organization information to the committee table. We provide the committee with staff and resources and we also provide our knowledge and expertise of the local context.
There are two main non-profits that we often contact as consultants. They have provided us with many useful insights about the poverty and precarity in their local community.
5.2.8. Capacity Builder
I think we play a pivotal role in this research partnership. Around the committee table, we facilitate immediate discussions with people from different sectors. At the local level, our organization uses case studies to develop a strategy to educate other partners and the public about poverty and how to take action.
5.3. Most Valued Roles
Conflicts of Interest
- Kindly briefly describe your role in the organization.
- What is your role in the PEPSO project?
- When did your organization become involved in PEPSO research alliance?
- What drives your organization’s involvement in this alliance?
- In your view, what benefits do your organization gain from participating in this alliance?
- Which is the most important benefit your organization gets from this alliance?
- What are your organization’s roles in the collaboration?
- Of these, which is your organization’s most important role?
- In your view, what were your organization’s contributions to the research alliance?
- Of these, what is your organization’s most important contribution?
- Which challenges does your organization face in this alliance?
- Of these, what is the biggest challenge?
- What would you like to achieve through your participating in PEPSO project?
- Is there anyone else I should speak to on this subject?
- Kindly briefly describe your role in the organization.
- What is your role in the PEPSO project?
- In your view, what drives nonprofit organizations to become involved in PEPSO?
- What benefits do these nonprofit partners get from participating in PEPSO?
- What is the most important benefit they get?
- In your view, what roles do these nonprofit partners take in this collaboration?
- Of these, which is the most important role?
- What contributions do these nonprofit partners make to PEPSO?
- Of these contributions, which is the most important one?
- What challenges do these nonprofit partners face in this CSSP?
- Of these, which is the biggest challenge for them?
- What would they like to achieve by participating in PEPSO?
- Is there anyone else I should speak to on this subject?
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|Roles||Related Theory Codes and Citation||Literature|
|Enabling roles||Service provider||Provide communities with services; support supplementary services for public goods; educate and train volunteers to help communities achieve goals|||
|Consultant||Take the consultative role to provide support and documentation and to disseminate information and expertise in the collaboration|||
|Capacity builder||Develop communities’ capacities through education and training or empowerment via credit provision|||
|Coordinating roles||Bridger||Bridge gaps between the public sector and private sectors, between institutions and individuals; connect internal and external groups; connect and coordinate different key stakeholders including government and businesses.|||
|Mediator||Balance power in negotiating and cooperating with stakeholders; take the mediator role for both internal and external political areas|||
|Facilitating roles||Initiator||Initiate social change through partnering with key stakeholders|||
|Convener||Convene processes in building and sustaining multi-stakeholder networks to jointly tackle complex problems|||
|Advocate||Act as advocates and adversaries in the process of public policy formulation and implementation; facilitate community and political awareness; advocacy campaigns; influence and bring about social change|||
|Leader||The lead organization in CSSPs|||
|Innovator||Apply new solutions to solve social problems|||
|Organization (NGO and Non-NGO)|
|Toronto Workforce Innovation Group|
|SPRC (Social Planning Research Council of Hamilton)|
|Wood Green Community Services|
|United Way of Peel Region|
|United Way Toronto & York Region|
|Former employee, Wellesley Institute|
|Social Planning Toronto|
|Worker Action Centre|
|City of Toronto (Government)|
|Region of Peel (Government)|
|Advocate||Impact the lives of community members; make people aware; provide a voice for the community; raise awareness; educate the public; exercise influence so as to change policies and practices; connect research to policy|
|Initiator||Take initiative in research; encourage project initiation; engage from initiation to execution|
|Leader||Lead the case study; co-lead the case study; co-lead the research|
|Analyst||Shape the project; do the case study; review and publish the results; write proposals; do data analysis; design the survey; view graphs; research design; interpret results; frame and shape the report; conduct interviews|
|Broker (Bridger)||Reach out to community members; reach out to service providers; connect community agencies and clients; bring partners together; contact other experts to strengthen the partnership|
|Communicator||Work on key strategic communication across different partners; enhance partnership communication by reporting the findings and disseminating the message of the project to partners and to the public|
|Consultant||Provide community opinion to the table; provide resources; provide grounded expertise; provide experience; bring knowledge; provide information to people and organizations; give advice and provide insights; act as an advisor; facilitate discussion; provide content and information|
|Capacity builder||Have discussions with partners from different sectors; use case studies to help partners develop strategies to educate the partner as well as the public about poverty and how to take action|
|Monitor||Oversee the implementation of a case study project: the impacts of precarity on neighborhoods|
|Funder||Provide funding for the research|
|Roles||NGO Partner (Number of Most Valued Roles)||Non-NGO Partner (Number of Most Valued Roles)||Total|
|Number of Interviewees||12||4||16|
|Literature Review||Empirical Findings||Comments|
|Enabling Roles||Service provider||Not found in this context|
|Capacity builder||Capacity builder||Validate|
|Mediator||Not found in this context|
|Facilitating Roles||Convener||Not found in this context|
|Innovator||Not found in this context|
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Yan, X.; Lin, H.; Clarke, A. Cross-Sector Social Partnerships for Social Change: The Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations. Sustainability 2018, 10, 558. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020558
Yan X, Lin H, Clarke A. Cross-Sector Social Partnerships for Social Change: The Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations. Sustainability. 2018; 10(2):558. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020558Chicago/Turabian Style
Yan, Xinya, Haiying Lin, and Amelia Clarke. 2018. "Cross-Sector Social Partnerships for Social Change: The Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations" Sustainability 10, no. 2: 558. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020558