Strengthening Communities

Strengthening Communities

Exit dialog mode

Join this week’s Open Dialogue to describe how you are strengthening your community and to learn from others who are doing the same.

Imagine, inspire, and put these ideas into action…

  1. 706 days ago

    Chulanee Attanayake

    The Organization I work with is a part of a network called “Active Citizens for Development Network”. Our primary concern is strengthning citizens participation in monitoring government budgets to ensure transparency and accountability. This is a pilot project funded by a British donor organization called “CAFOD”. We are at the second year of the pilot programme.

    ACDN has established Citizens Forums in 09 districts through its grass-root level partners. They have discussions and dialogue about national and local level budgetary allocations, citizen’s right and responsibility in government budgets, how to communicate their needs with respective stakeholders…etc.

    The biggest and foremost difficult task to achieve have been approaching State stakeholders. Our partners are using different methods at grass-root level from discussion and advocacy to activism. We also do an analysis about budgetary allocations and disseminate it at different levels of the society.



  2. 720 days ago

    Alia Noelle Lamaadar

    Hi Karen, what organization are you with?

    At the CleanTech Community Gateway (www.ctcg.org) we help rural and remote communities to transition away from diesel towards more sustainable and beneficial renewable energy systems. I completely agree with you on the importance of face-to-face interactions. Particularly in the more remote locations where a premium is placed on the trust that comes from having met someone in person. But we also use technology to the fullest extent. We’ve used various VoIP services for conference calls, and http://www.prezi.com is great for streaming engaging presentations to people in remote locations, and we’ve had success in using http://www.basecamp.com to work with communities to manage collective projects, have online conversations, and share materials with one another.

    As far as marketing and branding, I agree, it’s a serious challenge. We’d like to be helping more communities, but raising awareness about our services in small, remote locations is easier said than done. I’ve found that old-fashioned networking, attending conferences, and participating in discussions like this have had the most success.



  3. 720 days ago

    Ted Barton

    Hi Karen, thank you for your comments. It is true that technology has greatly impacted information sharing but it is not like meeting and discussing in person. One of the things we have found is that streaming directly to a group and using text messaging and or live email helps to put a face and personality to the message or information. It is possible to stream with any small video camera and laptop. This way many different groups would have access to it and of course be able to dialogue via text or email. Technology can not replace human contact but it is at least better then the hand written letter and a postage stamp. Thanks for your comments Karen.



  4. 721 days ago

    Karen Mason-Bennett

    We work in northeastern BC from Dawson Creek to the Yukon border, so distance is really a challenge. Utilizing technology has really helped to bridge the gap here, however, there’s still a lot of disconnect that comes from not having your feet on the ground in specific communities. Like Peggy, we also struggle with being identified as a well branded organization within our communities.



  5. 722 days ago

    Ted Barton

    Hi Mathew, there are so many web based communication tools that many of our sport organizations use it is hard to keep track of them all. Each group of people seem to have found what works best for them. We love using live streaming interactive communication (via text messaging) because distance is eliminated as a problem and our communication is not just instant but lives on archived sites as long as it is still relevant. Thank you for your information and participation.



    • Mathew Peake

      Hi Ted, Thanks so much for your comment. Text messaging is an excellent medium to encourage active community discussion. We’ve researched adding a text message “channel” to the MiCasa feature set and it is absolutely possible.

      721 days ago


  6. 722 days ago

    Mathew Peake

    Mathew Peake from MiCasa here.

    We use technology to help build communities in condo buildings. Internally we refer to our Community Mission as “knocking down walls” (an awkward analogy, given the context of our MiCasa web application). We believe that this mission is an important part of improving the lives of people living in condo buildings.

    Most of MiCasa’s community building success comes from providing outbound services like: better operational transparency and enhanced communication, rather than resident-to-resident discussion (i.e. message boards). For this reason, we are always looking at creating better tools to help facilitate resident discussion.

    Conversations [like this] are an important way for us to gain a better understanding of the ever-evolving, community needs of condo residents.

    We would love to hear from you.



  7. 724 days ago

    Perry Stein

    Hi there, this is Perry from EMBERS Staffing Solutions.

    Our biggest challenge as a social enterprise (and opportunity!) is brand awareness. Competing in the marketplace against for-profit companies is difficult for organizations such as our who would rather invest hard-earned revenues back into our clients than into marketing and advertising – especially when those revenues were earned by our clients in the first place!

    We are constantly working to find an appropriate balance between the two dynamics of our organization, “the social” and “the enterprise”. But that’s what makes being a social enterprise so exciting. We get to be pioneers, helping other organizations that are looking at us. They get to see how we ‘learn by doing’.



    • Mathew Peake

      Hi Perry, I’ve been looking at the Embers website (http://embersvancouver.vcn.bc.ca) and you guys do a fantastic job. Congratulations on your community focus. Embers (as a not-for-profit) is a perfect candidate for using social media to build brand awareness, because it’s free. Don’t underestimate the power of good intent in social media. Not-for-profits are all about good intent. I have visited the Embers Facebook page. This is a great start, keep at it. If you haven’t done so already, develop a good, sustainable, social media plan to help you leverage your not-for-profit(ness), to build trust and facilitate real discussion (this is building brand awareness). All it will cost is your time. I’m happy to chat about this further if you like.

      717 days ago


  8. 724 days ago

    Sarah Mintz

    Welcome Community Builders! Please tell us about your work. What are the trends, challenges and opportunities that you are experiencing?