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Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development

When the Voluntary Sector Initiative was announced in June 2000, part of its mandate was to enhance policy development in federal government departments by creating opportunities for input from voluntary sector organizations. This part of VSI's mandate was known as Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD).

SIDPD was created for projects that:

  • enhance policy development in departments by strengthening opportunities for input by voluntary sector organizations; and
  • strengthen the voluntary sector's capacity to contribute to departmental policy development.

SIDPD supported the following types of initiatives:

  • contributing to building networks, alliances, and other collaborative mechanisms among voluntary sector organizations; and
  • supporting knowledge development and knowledge sharing activities.

In the summer of 2000, a first round of proposal development was launched and 21 projects involving eight federal departments were announced for $11.6 million in funding in August 2001. A second and final round of 46 projects were approved for 17 departments and agencies at a cost of $15.1 million in funding. The remaining $1.7 Million was earmarked for evaluation.

An evaluation of the Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development was undertaken jointly by the Government of Canada and the voluntary sector. The final report (An Evaluation of the Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD): Final Report) documented the status of SIDPD projects, and identified the challenges and lessons learned from the overall process as well as the extent to which Round 1 projects met the two major SIDPD objectives. The findings of the evaluation were of an interim nature, as many SIDPD Round 2 projects were ongoing or had yet to produce a final report at the time the evaluation was carried out. An evaluation of the impact of SIDPD is planned as part of the VSI summative evaluation, scheduled for completion in 2006 - 07.

Despite some weaknesses in design, delivery and coordination, the findings indicate that SIDPD has improved the policy development capacity of the voluntary sector, as well as the capacity of federal departments to engage voluntary sector organizations in policy development.

Two reports on Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD) as a whole are now available. Trends in Collaboration: Lessons Learned from Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD) and Beyond provides an analysis of what was learned from the SIDPD projects particularly about partnerships and collaboration. It is hoped that this report will further the development of collaborative working relationships within and between the federal government and the voluntary sector. Trends in Collaboration provided the basis for discussion during a workshop in March 2005, convened by the Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Affairs Division (Social Development Canada) and the Voluntary Sector Forum. The workshop report, Moving Policy Forward through Collaborative Practice records the discussions about lessons learned from SIDPD.


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Last Updated: 2006-12-05