Community Organizations in the Information Age: A study of community intermediaries in Canada

Prof. Vanda Rideout, Dr. Andrew Reddick, Dr. Susan O'Donnell, Dr. William McIver, Jr., Sandy Kitchen, Mary Milliken

Abstract


The aim of the Community Intermediaries Research Project (CIRP) was to investigate the social challenges and needs addressed by Canadian non-profit community-based organizations, the social and community contexts in which they operate, and the information and services they provide to citizens. These organizations are “community intermediaries” because they act as links between the various levels of government (federal, provincial, and municipal) and citizens, providing social services and information to their clients and communities.

The CIRP research team used a case-study, mixed methods approach. In-depth case studies of four types of community organizations in different parts of Canada were performed. These employed: onsite observations; in-depth interviews with managerial and staff members; focus group discussions with staff (paid staff and volunteers) and with clients; and self-directed surveys with the organization’s staff, volunteers and clients. Quantitative analysis produced in-depth community profiles using secondary Statistics Canada census data. Data were also  gathered from the various forms of content generated by the organizations to deliver the services and information they provide to their respective clients (web pages, pamphlets, newsletters, etc.).

This is an invited re-publication of the CIRP final report .


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The Journal of Community Informatics. ISSN: 1712-4441