The Government of BC’s Poverty Reduction Planning & Action Program is providing $5M over three years to support local governments to reduce poverty at the local level. The program was developed based on a recognition that local governments are crucial partners in poverty reduction. They see the impact of poverty first-hand and play a central role in developing collaborative local solutions.
Applications for the program must focus on one or more of the six priority action areas identified in TogetherBC: BC’s first poverty reduction strategy. They must be completed within one-year, and must directly involve community-based organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, and local First Nations or Indigenous organizations. Applications should specify which measures will be used to track progress toward the project’s intended outcomes, and must be submitted by February 28, 2020.
Stream 1 of the Poverty Reduction Planning & Action Program provides up to $25,000 to municipalities to develop or update poverty reduction plans. Stream 2 provides up to $50,000 for local projects that reduce poverty, such as affordable transportation and/or recreation pilot projects, tax-filing programs, awareness campaigns, social enterprise initiatives, and local food security initiatives. Regional districts are eligible to apply for up to $150,000 under either Stream.
Vibrant Communities – Cities Reducing Poverty (VC-CRP)’s goal is to support as many municipalities as possible to access this incredibly important and timely opportunity. Recognizing the range of levels of readiness and capacities of municipalities and community-based groups across BC, our team is offering a range of resources, tools, connections and supports to make it as easy as possible for communities to apply.
Learning topics include:
- Engaging local government: The role of Cities in reducing poverty, identifying local champions, making the case, and acquiring a Council or Board resolution
- Multi-sectoral Collaboration: Meaningfully engaging people with lived/living experience, business, and local First Nations and Indigenous organizations
- Developing a Poverty Reduction Strategy (Stream 1): Applying a multi-sectoral, comprehensive, and collaborative approach to developing a poverty reduction plan
- Implementing a Community Plan (Stream 2): High-impact ideas for poverty reduction, based on promising practices and lessons learned from the CRP learning community
- Evaluation: Sourcing local data, understanding the local picture of poverty, and moving from tracking and reporting on activities and outputs to outcomes and impact
VC-CRP is providing this support by way of a range of learning opportunities, including:
- Expert Coaching: Customized and ongoing support from Tamarack’s Expert Coaching Centre for Cities and communities to develop local poverty reduction plans
- Developing a Common Agenda for a Poverty Reduction Plan: Written to support Stream 1 funding applications. This guide describes a proven method for developing a community-wide poverty reduction plan that builds on existing assets and creates collaborative partnerships across key sectors: government, business, non-profits and people with lived/living experience. It includes a sample timeline, milestones, activities, and budget
- Impact Reporting: From Activities to Outcome: Supports poverty reduction groups to move from reporting on activities and outputs to developing an evaluation that supports them to determine whether an initiative is achieving intended results and is moving the needle on poverty
- Peer Learning: Bi-monthly BC Communities Reducing Poverty Community of Practice (BC CoP) calls that connect changemakers from across the province to share information, experiences, promising practices, and lessons learned, and to build the capacity of their local poverty reduction initiatives.
- On the November BC CoP call (access notes, powerpoint, and recording), Leah Squance from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and Danyta Welch from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) answered questions about the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program. Leading up to the grant deadline, Sasha Prynn is available to answer additional questions.
- On the January's call (access notes, powerpoint, and recording), SPARC BC, the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, and Tamarack Institute spoke to resources, tools and supports that each organization is able to provide:
- Lorraine Copas at SPARC BC offered to source local data and create customized local poverty profiles via the Community Data Program
- Tamarack presented: Developing a Common Agenda for a Poverty Reduction Plan
- The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition presented the Toolkit for Local Governments, which provides guiding principles and ideas for high-impact, upstream actions and initiatives
VC-CRP is encouraging all BC municipalities to apply for this incredibly important and timely funding opportunity. For more information on supports available, or to access coaching, resources, and tools from the Cities Reducing Poverty network, contact Alison Homer.