BALTA : A North American Reader in Community Economic Development (CED) and the Social Economy Report a Broken Link

This reader is an early project of the B.C. - Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance (BALTA). Sharing key readings relevant to BALTA’s central research questions was viewed as an efficient way of building a common language and points of reference for researchers, partners and students. While an immediate goal of the Reader is to provide a resource to those associated with BALTA, this reader should be of broad relevance to anyone with an interest in community economic development and the social economy.

This reader would not be available in its current online form without the generous and extensive support of Dr. Mike Gismondi and others at Athabasca University. AU is a partner in the BALTA Research Alliance and is playing a key role in BALTA's online communications. Funding was provided by another BALTA partner, the Rural Secretariat of the Government of Canada. BALTA and its research program are supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

The reader is edited by Mike Lewis of the Centre for Community Enterprise and the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal and draws from the extensive collection under copyright with CCE. Many of the readings were first published in Canada's premier community economic development magazine Making Waves. Click here to go to the magazine's homepage or to subscribe.

By choosing material relevant to the main research questions driving the BALTA agenda, the coherence and understanding of the overall project will be advanced. The material presented in this book, however, is relevant well beyond BALTA. It represents a unique reader for English speakers, whether students, practitioners, researchers, teachers, or policy makers, wherever they might be working in North America.

Module 1

Concepts and Context
Mike Lewis. Introduction to Module One: Concepts and Context This first section of the book introduces key concepts, assumptions and ways of understanding the context within which CED and the social economy have evolved. While making no claim, this modest beginning represents some kind of definitive survey of concepts and contexts. The ideas probed in this section can be a useful source of clarification for practitioners and researchers alike. Its title - "Musings from the Trenches: Concepts, Strategies and Practices" - is deliberate. When one is in the trenches, in the heat of the action, so to speak, the assumptions that shape our thinking and our work can become hidden from ourselves. Having available key concepts for review and reflection is a way of removing oneself from the fray, of gaining perspective, of learning from one's experience. Without an opportunity to move out of the everyday, we can lose sight of where we are going and why, and of what we are learning along the way. This section also provokes us to think more deliberately about how concepts shape the strategies we choose and thus our practice in communities, whatever the role we play.
Mark Cabaj. CED & the Social Economy in Canada Cabaj introduces us to the varied strategies, institutions, and tools that people in Canada have created over time to preserve community against an array of hostile forces. . He shows how some communities have striven, despite the odds, to retain or regain a say in their future. This goal, regardless of where we live or work, remains a fundamental value within the current CED and social economy movements.
Nancy Neamtan. The Political Imperative: Civil Society & The Politics Of Empowerment Nancy Neamtan is president of the major umbrella organization in Quebec promoting the social economy ( Le Chantier de l’économie sociale).

A key leader in the CED movement from 1983 to 1996 in Montreal and later the Quebec social economy movement, Neamtan takes us into the dynamism and struggle involved in making real changes in neighborhoods and among people marginalized by the market or ignored by government. Neamtan’s makes an urgent call for the social economy sector to make some significant shifts in how we think about the context we work and how we organize our work should provoke critical reflection and debate.
Stewart E. Perry and Don McNair. Peak Oil, Marginal Communities, & You: How expensive energy will change community practice Stewart Perry is a senior associate of the Centre for Community Enterprise, an honorary member of the National Congress on Community Economic Development in the U.S. and a member of the Canadian CED Network in Canada. He lives in Seattle, Washington and is a BALTA Advisor. Don McNair is managing editor, Making Waves.

This article contemplates the future of CED and the social economy as the age of cheap oil fades into history. Experiments on the ground today provide food for thought about the future relevance of CED and the social economy.
Mike Lewis. Building Community Wealth: A Resource for Social Enterprise Development Mike Lewis is Executive Director of the Centre for Community Enterprise, Managing Director of the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal and the Editor of Making Waves. He is principle investigator for BALTA.

These opening two chapters of Building Community Wealth provide both a practical and conceptual introduction to social enterprise. Nine key dimensions of social enterprise are fleshed out and the web of supports necessary for its growth is elaborated. Community economic development (CED) and social enterprise are distinguished from each other and their complementarities explained. Particularly important for BALTA students, the 2nd chapter provides the conceptual boundaries guiding the BALTA mapping and case study program. To download the whole book or to find out more about the project go to and then to the social enterprise bar.
John Wall, Patrick Duguay, Shannon Rohan. New Synergies - The Co-operative Movement, CED, & the Social Economy Once a means to defend factory workers against the abuses of early industrialization, the co-operative remains adaptable today to social economy and community economic development. This article profiles four co-ops struggling with contemporary challenges and settings that have proven too complex and to demanding for the private and public sector. Reading this article will provide the astute reader with a clearer sense of the friendly tensions that exist between various traditions, perspectives and streams of practice that make up the contemporary CED and Social Economy movements today.
Bill Ninacs, Frank Moreland. Co-Ops, The Social Economy, & CED in Québec A "symbiotic" relationship between the co-op and CED movements may take hold in Québec, built on a mutual commitment to democratic organization and to community-wide empowerment. However, it is not a foregone conclusion. Ninacs does a fine job of leading us to a better understanding of the complexity and nuance that has emerged in Quebec in these interrelated arenas of action.
Michael Lewis, Pat Conaty. Building A Solidarity Economy in the 21st Century: Probing our Roots, Finding our Ground Pat Conaty is a BALTA collaborator and a fellow with the New Economics Foundation in England.

The body of practice and institutions that re-integrate economic and social goals is crucial to getting us on a sustainable path. But is the blossoming of local and regional innovations across the globe sufficient to sustain a transformative process of change? Pat Conaty recently challenged Mike Lewis to go beyond the applied approach of the practitioner; this article is a very modest response to this challenge.
Gregory Baum. Faith-Based Support For CED: God's Call For Justice Theologian Gregory Baum reflects on the linkage between faith-based social justice work and economic historian Karl Polanyi’s conclusion that to positively transform society we must "re-embed" economic activity in our social relationships. Baum argues that community development and CED have an ethical foundation. There is a realization that it is much more difficult to be and remain well, unless others are well too.
Michael Lewis. The Solidarity Economy in North America : An Emerging Debate A small pocket of experienced practitioners and researchers in the community economic development, social economy, co-operative and economic democracy movements are starting to explore the concept of the solidarity economy and what it might mean in North American society. The solidarity economy is conceived as cutting across all sectors – civil society and the social economy, the private sector and the public sector, united those actors committed to economic life becoming conditioned by goals of social justice and environmental sustainability. This paper traces the recent roots from which this dialogue has emerged in both Canada and the United States.
Don McNair, Michael Lewis, Bob Gilson, David LePage. The Root Of The Matter : Insiders' Guide To Community Renewal #1 "The Root of the Matter" supplies, in comic book format, a brief historical summary of the ideas leading to the separation of economic decision-making from social relations and environmental value. It rejects this separation, and claims these core themes must be interwoven again in the future.

Module 2

Social Enterprise in Human Services and Affordable Housing
Mike Lewis. Introduction to Module Two: Social Enterprise in Human Services and Affordable Housing Human services and affordable housing are two constant themes in the history of CED and the social economy. This is not surprising. How we care for each other, or not, speaks centrally to the character of our social relations and what we value. If the big task is to promote the re-insertion of social and environmental goals into the heart of our economic life, as advanced in Part 1, then the smaller tasks associated with making such ideas real, enterprise by enterprise and project by project, are the crucial building blocks. Organizing services and housing in ways that empower us to better care for each other remain important arenas for expanding the social economy.
Kreiner, Sherman. Sectoral Strategies in CED: Critical factors in the success of CHCA & Childspace Scale and markets notwithstanding, Cooperative Home Care Associates (New York City) and Childspace Day Care Centers (Philadelphia) have plenty to teach Canada's co-operators and other CED activists. Kreiner challenges CED practitioners to move beyond creating business just within “their” territory; they are often poor, thus possess weak markets and often have a hard time attracting entrepreneurial and professional management. He asserts one can be often more strategic and get better results through focusing on sectors where the quality of service provided is a competitive advantage. The twin benefit of better jobs (within the sectors targeted) and higher quality service (through workers also being owners) is backed up by the evidence presented in these two cases.
Girard, Jean-Pierre. Revolution Within A Revolution Québec's experiment with co-operative health care & social service delivery Quebec's decade of experimentation with health care and social service co-operatives has given rise to a reconfiguration of the actors in the health system. No longer do people talk about a system with two actors. Rather than wait for the State or for physician-entrepreneurs to supply needed services, more and more citizens are taking effective action through the structure of the solidarity co-op or that of the nonprofit community-based organization.
Fehr, Larry M. Pioneer Human Services: Changing Lives & Changing How Nonprofits Do Business How entrepreneurial can a nonprofit get? Pioneer Human Services, based in Seattle, exemplifies the integration of the enterprise spirit with services to assist the marginalized, in this case, counseling, housing, and employment services for offenders and substance abusers. Pioneer shows that scale is possible ~ 5000 people served per year, 1750 participants engaged at any one time, 1100 enthusiastic ‘gung-ho’ employees and a budget of $55 million per year, most of it based on earned income. Service contracts plus several commercial, profit-making social enterprises are integrated into a dynamic if complex portfolio.
Mottet, Anne-Marie A Day In The Life Of Le Boulot Vers For nearly a generation now, Montreal's Le Boulot vers ... has been helping young people make the break from poverty, alienation, and dependency, and discover instead a world of opportunity. Most often referred to as a training business in English, Boulot vers is a carefully-managed business that manufactures furniture for the Montreal day care market. In a highly structured manufacturing environment, interns experience the discipline and the satisfaction of becoming a craftsperson and the social supports that enable them to break through the obstacles in their lives keeping them at risk.
Lougheed Green, Liz. The Potluck Café: Navigating the "twilight zone" of social enterprise Since 2001, a small shop in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside has been serving 1000s of meals to some of the city's most sick and isolated residents, while training and employing others in food preparation. Now, after three years, the Potluck Cafe has "made it" - it's breaking even. Manager Liz Lougheed Green knows how much and how long it's taken to reach this goal, and wonders: just what is a realistic financial goal for social enterprise?
Abbott, Janice. What Value Social Enterprise? Understanding the success of Atira Property Management A charity that manages transition houses in B.C.'s lower mainland is in the curious position of both making and breaking the case for social enterprise. Atira Women's Resource Society has found itself well-positioned to make property management serve its greater goals and turn a profit as well. Business has given a creative, independent outlet to much of the time and energy once given over to fund-raising. While recognizing the immense value of this experiment, however, executive director Janice Abbott cautions those who might think their entry into the property management business is easily replicable.
Donkervoort, Marty. Success without Succession? Reflections on the Building and Sustaining of Social Enterprise Inner City Development Inc. was established in the summer of 2002 to provide good jobs to people in Winnipeg’s inner city who live in poverty and who are marginalized by systemic discrimination. For more than four years, they have survived in the construction market, creating full-time jobs with average or better sector wages, benefits, education and training, career laddering and a supportive work environment. The enterprise has annual revenues of $2 million and has reached financial break-even and is now expanding into other sectors. The question is, can this, can this enterprise be sustained? Will it grow and expand? Could it be replicated elsewhere? If not, can it be considered successful and what are the implications for social enterprise as a strategy for empowerment on a broader scale.
Lewis, Michael / Gilson, Bob. Taking The YouthBuild Challenge Many 21st century dilemmas will defy small-scale solutions. Here's a way to scale up a hugely successful youth at risk program started in the U.S. with some innovative ways of mobilizing Credit Union financing; the aim - to expand affordable housing, foster citizenship, and to stave off the labor shortages in the building trades. Key to the replication of Youth Build from its Harlem roots was the systematic work of a national intermediary dedicated to support the expansion of the model across the U.S. Recommended several years ago to a large B.C. credit union as one element of an affordable housing strategy there has been little take up. The other component described in the article, a way of reinvesting patronage dividends that could painlessly mobilize $1 billion in no-interest credit within ten years has likewise not been taken up. Meanwhile affordable housing in Canada’s most expensive city is becoming a more and more remote objective.
Perry, Stewart. The Cape Breton Laborers Development Company: A Case Report The main activity of this trade union owned non-profit company is to finance and construct affordable housing. An inspired example of social and economic solidarity at work: the resulting model became recognized well beyond the borders of Nova Scotia. Paradoxically, the financial self-reliance of the CBLDC attracted the support needed for a swift take-off into a substantial housing construction program. The details of the model and its evolution bear careful scrutiny. It is simple and effective. Why has an obviously successful model for creating affordable housing not been replicated, despite many efforts to enlist other trade unions in becoming similarly engaged?
Wilson, Gary. Assets, Equity, & Empowerment At Quint, Housing Is One Part of the Community Development Equation Since its launch in 1995, Quint Development Corporation has skillfully fused local determination with outside expertise, money, & political influence. This article was written before the results were in. Since, Quint's co-op housing strategy to turn renters into homeowners - with all the skills, values, & equity that entails, has since been recognized far beyond the borders of core neighborhoods of Saskatoon. Indeed, national recognition of Quint’s innovation and results has been forthcoming in recent years. This article effectively sets out the lessons learned.
Skelton, Ian / Selig, Cheryl . A Strategic Mismatch: The Implications of Home Ownership Strategies for CED Affordable housing has been central to strategies of neighborhood renewal since the 1960s. But the push in federal policy away from community or co-operative initiatives in the mid 90’s and towards individual home ownership is an area that needs careful review by CED proponents. In communities like Winnipeg where entire neighborhoods have been depressed, the emphasis on home ownership represents an uncritical commitment to market forces. Moves to enhance housing street by street are indeed improving property values and people are getting into their own house, but what does this mean for low income people that cannot afford the increases. There is a deeply disturbing warning at the heart of this article.

Module 3

Natural Resources, Local Development, Social Enterprise
Lewis, Mike. Introduction to Module Three: Natural Resources, Local Development, Social Enterprise Mark Cabaj in his "Peoples History" (2004) of CED and the Social Economy notes the fundamental and pervasive role of natural resources in the evolution of Canada's peoples and communities.. Landscapes carved by natural forces eons before the advent of human existence have shaped our communities, our livelihoods, our cultural identities and our expectations. It is interesting to reflect upon how this history reflects itself in our current relationship and attitudes towards nature? What assumptions have been at the center of our approach to the use and development of nature's bounty? How does our past reflect itself in the struggles of today and the issues of tomorrow?
Weir, Doug / Pearce, Cindy. Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation: A Community Venture Repatriates Benefits from Local Public Forests Economically prostrate in the mid 1980s, the town of Revelstoke, BC has demonstrated how a small community can regain a say in its economic future. Shrewd leadership, solid research and advice, a strategic and cooperative approach to CED, and a determined citizenry managed to turn back a generation of reliance on urban, corporate, and senior government decision-making. An appended article, "Revelstoke's Entrepreneurial Community," explains the strategy that mobilized local participation in the decision to launch RCFC.
Burda, Cheri & M'Gonigle, Michael. Tree Farm... or Community Forest? Revelstoke CFC cannot hope to realise sustainable practices until provincial forest legislation changes While generally supportive of the progress made by the community-owned forest corporation in Revelstoke, according to these authors, it is not a real community forest. Communities like Revelstoke are forced to fit into the tenure system, management structure, and pattern of economic development that caused the very problems the community is seeking to escape. Since provincial policy changed in 1996, the constraints on achieving meaningful community forests of any scale, or achieving breakthroughs such as those made by Revelstoke in the early 1990s (Weir and Pearce), are even more severe.
Julian, Maggie. West Chilcotin Forest Products A joint venture defies the odds in B.C.'s troubled forest industry. Since 1995, the inhabitants of Nimpo and Anahim lakes in the Chilcotin region of west-central British Columbia have found a way to run a logging and manufacturing business that respects First Nations traditional territory, the environment, social equity, and the need for profits and jobs. The resulting joint venture combines private and community ownership and is a solid example of crafting an enterprise based on local solidarity. It demonstrates the critical role of co-operation to achieve access to the forest resource, sufficient financing, and solid management.
Helbert, Steve. Death Of A Co-op: The Quesnel Hardwood Co-Operative Struggling to survive drastic restructuring in BC's forest industry, small-time harvesters and processors in Quesnel, BC combined forces. They created a co-op to channel "nuisance" birch and aspen into hardwood markets in Canada and abroad. Hard work and opportunity were not enough. The complexities of this case represent well the importance of the linkages between conceptual, contextual, strategic, and nitty-gritty management and technical issues, and how they play out to foster success or, as in this case, failure.
Moreland, Frank and Mark, Sandra. Food Facts: How are Canadians Experiencing the Food Wars? Canadians have achieved unprecedented levels of efficiency in the production and distribution of food. So how come it is undermining our health and well-being? "The Food Wars” have turned Canada into a colony and a colonialist. Our agriculture has been intensely specialized to satisfy the demand and supply of foreign markets by a handful of corporations. Yet growing and preparing domestic food is becoming increasingly marginal to mainstream Canadian consumers. We rely more and more heavily on people inside and outside the country to do it for us. This article is really about context, about us as Canadian citizens, producers, and consumers. As such, it represents the terrain within which the social economy must contend.
Heasman, Michael / Lang, Tim Plotting the Future of Food: Putting ecologically-driven, community-based policy at the heart of Canada's food economy Amidst the rising acrimony over how we expect to feed ourselves in the next 50 years, three main schools of thought and strategy emerge. Two remain devoted to technological innovation, driven by corporate investment and international competition. A third proposes something more dramatic: configuring a food system integrated with the life of natural and human communities. This article is a powerful example of how assumptions and concepts shape the way we think, the strategies we formulate, and the practices we either adopt or invent. The result of these international food experts analysis - community-based food policy that is economically driven - is a wake-up call to all of us, in particular to Canadian food policy makers.
Mark, Sandra / Moreland, Frank Canada's Conscious Consumers: 7 consumer trends are changing the landscape of Canada's food industry This is another article on context. In this case, the key trend of "market fragmentation" is introduced and with it what the authors think is an enormous opportunity for social entrepreneurs in the food sectors. By connecting to these consumers, linking with this “piece of their mind,” community-based initiatives can become major drivers of change. The strides being made by Co-op Atlantic are worthy of note. By creating productive relationships with farmers and retailers at every step of the food chain, Co-op Atlantic is creating a regional food system that is maximizing the value to Maritimers of every food dollar they spend - no matter where they are in the chain.
Moreland, Frank / Mark, Sandra. Brain Food: How social enterprise can reshape the food system In a world of giant transnational corporations, the deck appears stacked against social enterprise in the food sectors. Getting some theory under their belts based on the idea of the social market and a commitment to linking social goals into reforming the food system, the authors take theory and translate it into practice-relevant tools that can help social economy actors and institutions to redefine competitors, allies, purpose, and thus be in a better position to "reshuffle that deck."
Lenthall, Judith. Kauai Fresh: From food bank to a catalyst of food security As its "Kauai Fresh" food brand demonstrates, Kauai Food Bank Ohana is learning how to give its charitable activities an entrepreneurial edge. Dependency is giving way to capacity and partnerships as this organization attempts, literally, to work itself out of a job. Kauai Food Bank’s reputation has come to be built not so much on feeding the hungry, as crucial as that is, as on addressing the root causes of hunger through original and unique programming. Kauai Fresh enables the smallest backyard grower to get a foothold in the local produce market and provides him or her with an income stream that through the multiplier effect contributes to the local economy on the island of Kauai and a measure of greater food security.
Hamilton, Blair. Rural Paradox; The agricultural land trust looks tailor-made for CED. But is it? In the agricultural land trust, rural Canada has at hand a useful structure for defending small-scale farming from industrial agriculture. But trusts will not get to square one until farmers themselves start to question their contradictory beliefs in "rugged individualism" and in the invincibility of market forces that constrain seeking solutions based on co-operation and sustainability.
Campbell, David. Community-controlled economic development as a strategic vision for the sustainable agriculture movement David Campbell describes the efforts of the California Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture to coax institutions, using grassroots energy as one important means, to make serious changes in the way things get done in the world of food. It is a sophisticated, multi-dimensional approach based on a solid analysis of the context within which the sustainable agriculture movement operates as it struggles to counter the globalization of the food and agricultural economy.
Herman, Roger / Fulton, Murray. New Generation Co-Operatives : Part of a Revitalization Strategy for Rural Communities Their exclusiveness puts them at odds with some co-operators and CED activists New Generation Co-operatives are nevertheless proving an effective instrument of rural revitalization, helping producers move up the value chain by co-operatively processing their agricultural production into a wide range of niche products. Beyond describing the process by which NGCs are put in place, the authors provide an excellent discussion that contrasts CED and the NGC differences, tensions, and complementarities. While differences and tensions may exist, it is argued, they are seen as tools lodged within a larger CED strategy; both have important roles to play in rural revitalization.
Lewis, Michael with the research and analytical assistance of Michelle Colussi and Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Lockhart. Sustainable Livelihoods Written as a national policy paper for the Rural Secretariat, this paper provides a succinct and clear overview of several rural trends, challenges, strategies, and policy options for increasing the sustainability of rural communities in Canada. While framed by the focus on sustainable livelihoods, its reach—conceptually and with reference to practice—is relevant to several of the key research interests of the BALTA Social Economy Research Alliance.

Module 4

Spinning the Web of Supports: Building the Infrastructure of the Social Economy
Lewis, Mike. Introduction to Module Four: Spinning the Web of Supports: Building the Infrastructure of the Social Economy The idea of a web of supports being of central importance to the revitalization and renewal of a particular place, or to the development of social enterprises, has been amply illustrated in several of the contributions thus far. Early in Module One (Concepts and Context), the key economic and social functions relevant to community functioning were identified. How the various functions are organized and the extent to which they are linked together on a strategic basis (or not) constitutes key features of the web of supports. At the community or regional level, this web has been referred to in CED circles as the community’s or region’s development system.
Richard, Pierre. Transformed By Community Economic Development--Southwest Montreal Now Has A Future As Well As A Past It's taken well on 20 years, but the decline of Montreal's old southwest quarter has been halted. A community-driven strategy, unprecedented in Canada for its scale and comprehensiveness, has turned five rundown neighbourhoods into a hotbed of socio-economic creativity and a political force to be reckoned with. The Executive Director of RESO, the local community economic development corporation (CEDC), explains how this transformation has come about and what challenges the city's southwest has yet to face... now that it has a future
Colussi, Michelle / Perry, Stewart E. From this Earth: NECRC & the evolution of a development system in Winnipeg's North End The power and promise of the community development corporation (CDC) lies in the way residents can use it to co-ordinate and focus the energy that people and organizations, near and far, are willing to pour into local revitalization. How does such a sophisticated instrument arise out of the organization of a distressed community and remain true to citizen engagement? Winnipeg's North End Community Renewal Corporation reads like a textbook example of the evolution of a multi-stakeholder, multi-functional CDC.
Decter, Michael / Kowall, Jeffrey. A Case Study Of Kitsaki Development Corporation This selection from the book "Regional Development from the Bottom Up" (Centre for Community Enterprise, 1993) details the evolution of one of Canada's foremost community economic development corporations in the 1980s and early '90s. With the help of the Kitsaki Development Corporation (KDC), the La Ronge First Nation now has several enterprises employing over 500 people and generating gross revenues of over $50 million per year. The benefits generated are beyond anything this First Nation could have imagined 25 years ago. Moreover, the development capacity housed within KDC has become a key vehicle for fostering aboriginal enterprise among First Nations across northern Saskatchewan by leveraging KDC capacity to syndicate shared ownership opportunities.
Galdston, Ken. Community Organizing & Economic Democracy in New England Citizens' action organizations in the Naugatuck and Merrimack valleys in rural and small town Connecticut have been integrating strategies of social and economic development to restore a region seriously threatened by the changing American economy. Thousands of jobs have been saved and new ones created through community organizing being linked to economic and enterprise development processes. Community organizing has been a key in forging relationships across religious, union, local government, education, and business divides, without which the Mobilization of the region's political, social, and economic resources would not have occurred.
Galdston, Ken. Regional Citizen Action: New England's InterValley Project advances the cutting edge of democratic economic development Six years later, Ken Galdston reports on the advances made since his article "Community Organizing & Economic Democracy in New England" (Galdston, 1991). He reinforces the crucial role of stable, long term development capacity and demonstrates the results being achieved by broad-based organizing. Amesbury Gardens Tenants Association, just one of the initiatives taken on by the InterValley Project in the last five years, demonstrates the power of the IVP's ground-floor community organizing and leadership training. Threatened by a buy-out of their housing, they fought back and became owners instead.
Soots, Lena K./Perry, Stewart/Cowan, Jamie Supporting Innovative Co-operative Development: The Case of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Development System In recent years, social science research has increasingly acknowledged the role of the social economy in building sustainable communities, and, around the world, co-operatives are recognized as major actors in the social economy. In Canada, the Nova Scotia Cooperative Council has forged several innovations in the past decade resulting in the development of a co-operative development system unparalleled in Anglophone Canada.
Perry, Stewart E. / Lewis, Mike Community Economic Development, Community Development Finance: Introducing the Terms – Exploring the Relationship How the two terms community economic development and community development finance are defined is crucial to the construction of any development system, whether it be geographic or functional in scope. What the terms are thought to entail will influence the fundamental direction of any effort. In this article, the authors set out what is generally accepted as the connotation of these terms, and then report the particular principles that appear to underlie the most effective practice in CED and Community Development finance.
Perry, Stewart. Learning Community Development Finance: Doing Development in Arkansas This thoughtful book review is a rich and fascinating case study of community development finance. The case study is based on ten years of work by an organization started in 1986, called Southern Development Bancorporation. Its aim was to revitalise one of the poorest counties in the United States. Criticism of the initiative is instructive, revealing more failure than success. It is instructive about the complexity of employing development finance in community and regional revitalization efforts in rural areas.
Black, Joe. An Inch Wide & A Mile Deep: Southern's targeted approach to rural revitalization Having worked for 10 years in the rural outback of Mississippi with a relatively rich array of development finance tools at their disposal, Southern Development Bancorporation had marginal success to point to. Instead of packing their bags, they decided to dig deeper to learn and to re-orient their strategies. The results of a coordinated and strategic approach, where development finance is one piece of the puzzle, has started to make a real difference in a rural region still burdened by the legacies of slavery and plantation agriculture.
Dickstein, Carla / Branscomb, Diane / Piotti, John / Sheehan, Elizabeth. Crafting Sustainable Development: A Case Study Of Maine's Coastal Enterprises, Inc. What do community economic development practitioners have to learn from environmentalists? What does environmentalism stand to gain from CED? By implementing a multi-dimensional concept of sustainability, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (a long-established community development corporation in Maine) has shed new light on the synergy of principles and practice.
MacLeod, Greg. Breaking The Rules : Strategies For The Survival Of Small Investment Funds By definition, the credit needs of marginalized communities and populations are unlikely to be met by conventional means. Reflecting on the success of BCA Holdings, Inc., Greg McCleod, one of the pioneers of CED and Community Development Finance in Canada, offers community loan funds some unconventional advice: share resources to reduce the costs of staffing and overhead; create loan funds to finance interest-free mortgages; take a multifunctional approach in community business so profitable activities can support unprofitable ones; and create community investment funds that allow people to invest their RRSP locally.
Van Doorselaer, Sean. Venture Capital for Social Enterprise: SCP's Approach to the Social Capital Market Like any venture capital organization, Social Capital Partners of Toronto has to separate "exciting ideas" from "worthwhile investments." But that's where the similarity ends. SCP is looking for partners with the will and the way to achieve real social returns as well as financial ones, to meaningfully employ the hard-to-employ as well as compete on the open market. Sean Van Doorselaer explains this selection process and the strategic lessons that it has for the CED sector as a whole, for social enterprise, and for that rare resource, social entrepreneurs.
Lewis, Michael on behalf of the National Policy Working Group of the Centre for Community Enterprise. Build On Positive Results: CED's Best Practice In Canada Should Have Major Implications For Upcoming Reforms To Social Security Legislation In a brief to the Parliamentary Committee on Human Resource Development (March 1994), the policy advisory council established by the Centre for Community Enterprise (CCE) insisted that social security policy reform would not translate into real benefits for poor people without organizational capacity at the local level. It asserted that a national strategy that links economic growth to increases in social equity was required. A cornerstone to such a strategy was building community-based organizations and institutions that could mobilize, direct, and manage development strategies dedicated to "growth with equity." In short, the strategy was to try and convince the Liberal government of the day that social security reform should take into account the learning and best practice flowing from a range of exemplary CED practices. By scaling up what was working well, by creating an enabling policy environment and supportive program supports, durable impacts could be generated at some significant scale.
O'Regan, Fred / Conway, Maureen. Growth With Equity: Research Reports Best Practice In The USA Excerpts from "From the Bottom Up: Toward a Strategy for Income and Employment Generation Among the Disadvantaged" (Aspen Institute, 1993) came out about the same time as people in Canada were beginning to organize around a basic policy agenda to promote the scaling up of exemplary practices. This US research generally supports the role of "best practices" being a cornerstone from which to scale up, however, they were clear that the web of supports to do so could not be ignored.
Lewis, Michael. The Ecology Of Success: The Problem Of Scaling Up What Works In CED This is the keystone article of this volume, with respect to the challenge of scaling up innovations achieving demonstrable results. Lizbeth Schorr, one of America's foremost researchers on the subject, distills the lessons from across many disciplines, including neighbourhood revitalization. Author of "Common Purpose: Strengthening Families and Neighbourhoods to Rebuild America", which this article draws from, Schorr identifies the key system dynamics that sometimes support but more often thwart replication and scaling up efforts. Any person concerned with expanding the benefits of what is making a real positive difference in communities, whether through CED, social enterprise, or some other field of endeavour, need to read the book this article is based on.
Greenwood, Rob. Strategy For Structures: Lessons In Community & Regional Economic Development The current distribution of power between local, regional, and national governments often runs contrary to common sense as well as economic reality. There is no cut-and-dried solution. But research into recent experience in the North Atlantic Rim clarifies the capacity that must be cultivated at the local level so that a sensible and effective devolution of authority can proceed. Greenwood's simple but effective representation of how power, authority, and resources are distributed between the federal, provincial and local levels in Canada represents a thoughtful and powerful judgment of how the system works against the harnessing of local knowledge and capacity so crucial to development in the modern economy.
Perry, Stewart E. The Challenge In Designing Government Programs For CED The often sorry record of government in community economic development has important lessons for future CED program designers. Ingrained socio-economic distress requires long-term, multidimensional action. Local people must have real authority in creating and directing the program, or customising it to local conditions. The success of RESO (Richard, 2004, Module 4), New Dawn, and other outstanding CED organizations lies in their grasp of these fundamentals.
Loewen, Garry. The Good News from Manitoba: How one provincial government has evolved into a leader in CED policy & programming Garry Loewen explains how Manitoba has evolved into a leader in CED policy and programming. The party in power is one key factor. Another has been the growth over the years of a local "CED community" from which that administration can draw talent and advice. A third factor was the evolution of the Canadian CED Network, whose draft national policy framework became an important guide to Manitoba policy development. The result is a policy and program framework that is further ahead in Manitoba than any other jurisdiction in English Canada
Perry, Stewart E. Team Players: Good news from Nova Scotia about the role of government in CED What would it be like if government officials responded to CED and social enterprise initiatives not with detachment or disdain (or alarm) but eagerly, as committed partners? It's been happening in Nova Scotia. The whole experience report here was hinged on a few champions determined to make public resources part of the local solution. Lizbeth Schorr (Lewis, 2000, Module 4) identifies such public sector entrepreneurs as being an important factor in successful attempts to scale up success.
Guenter, Cornelius. The Edmonton Recycling Society: Cutting-Edge Business With A Social Mission The Edmonton Recycling Society shows how economic activities can be environmentally sound, provide meaningful employment to people with disabilities, earn a competitive rate of return, and be seen to be one of the top innovators in the Canadian recycling industry. But ERS turns on a complex relationship with the municipality, a factor that brings its replication (as well as its own future) into question. One might call such questioning prescient; within a relatively short time span, ERS went out of business, the victim of a new mayor and council who placed no value on the multiple bottom lines ERS achieved; the result : a US multi-national took over the contract based on a single factor, price.
Knobbloch, Frank. Community-Based Recycling put on Hold: Cambridge's failed bid to replicate the ERS Inspired by the success of the Edmonton Recycling Society,(Guenter, 1995, Module 4) an innovative CED organization in Southern Ontario mobilized to compete for a major recycling contract in the Waterloo region. However, procurement practices in the regional government did not consider a double bottom line. Financial considerations were the primary bottom line and the tender was lost by $5000. The article provides an interesting insight into the context municipal decision makers consider in coming to such a decision, especially in light of traditional procurement policies.
Pomerantz, Mark. Municipal Involvement In Social Enterprise: The Seattle Experience Seattle, Washington sets a standard for investment in entrepreneurial solutions in the non-profit sector. They have dedicated money and staff for non-profit capacity building because they believe there will be a return on investment through better services and stronger, more stable organizations. A variety of strategies that network non-profits and social venture capital are introduced. All in all, Seattle is an excellent example of a pro-active approach to social enterprise and community capacity building facilitated by smart policy and targeted investment; quite a contrast with the cases reported in Guenter (1995) & Knobbloch (1995).
Restakis, John The Emilian Model - Profile of a Co-operative Economy Emilia-Romagna is a region in Italy that is among the most economically productive in Europe. It contains the densest concentration of co-operatives of any region in Italy and amongst the highest in the world. Its social economy is intimately linked to its success.
Lindquist, Evert A. Alternatives For Public Sector Reform: Co-operatives & the ASD Debate Local, non-governmental contractors may well outperform the bureaucrats in service delivery, assuming communities have social capital adequate to the job. What kind of business offers efficiency and accountability while building civic engagement and capacity? The co-op has some important features that recommend it as an alternative service delivery (ASD) option, one that has significant advantages over private sector approaches.
Lewis, Mike. Public Institution or Public Nuisance? HRSDC, the community sector's increasingly dysfunctional "partner" Human Resources & Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) went off the deep end in the years following the so-called "Billion Dollar Boondoggle" back in 2000-01. In response to perceived public pressure, the Ministry introduced policies and procedures that are supposed to make its operations more publicly accountable and transparent. In fact, they have been very destructive. Pressure emanating from a coalition of community-based interests, solid policy analysis by the Canadian CED Network, articles such as this one, and working closely with supportive politicians from different parties managed to get an advisory council to the Minister established. Since then, some progress has been made in undoing the destructive array of rules and resulting practices that caused so much damage.

Module 5

Tracking Progress - Some Issues and Tools
Lewis, Mike. Introduction to Module Five: Tracking Progress - Some Issues and Tools Tracking progress is easy to say and hard to do. It becomes even harder in an era when tracking progress and accountability have often been morphed into rigid patterns of bean counting. People working in the trenches are increasingly frustrated with the lack of concern on the part of funding organizations, and in particular governments, with performanceoriented tracking. It often seems narrow concentration on financial details consumes far too much human energy compared to discussion focused on what is being learned and how results can be improved.
Torjman, Sherri. Are Outcomes The Best Outcome? This commentary challenges the obsession with outcomes as part of the preoccupation with accountability. It recognises the need for clearly defined targets, but it argues that many crucial and equally important developments can be inadvertently overlooked in the question to quantify. This practice runs the risk of ignoring some of the most valuable accomplishments CED organizations or other community organizations can make.
Leviten-Reid, Eric. The 3 Levels Of Outcomes: A Framework For Evaluating Multidimensional CED CED organizations can undertake a tremendous range of activities in the service of their constituents and communities. This article reports on how one CED organization clarified the outcomes they desired from a particularly complex initiative and then established a process and chose methodologies that enabled progress to be tracked at the individual/family, organization/business, and community/network levels.
Lockhart, Sandy / McNair, Don. Works In Progress: Keeping The Measurement Of A Community's Progress Community-Centred Indicators are complicated and sensitive instruments, no question. So whenever they get applied to community development, there is a trade-off between technical standards and local engagement. Often (too often) that trade-off favours the former, to the benefit of organizations of great merit but no great commitment to building community capacity. Two initiatives in the Pacific Northwest, the Community Resilience process and the Oregon Benchmarks, show how to make indicators integral to community-based planning and change.
Colussi, Michelle. The Community Resilience Manual--A New Resource Will Link Rural Revitalization To CED Best Practice All our small towns aren't reeling from current economic developments; some have prospered, responding to crisis with creativity, unity, and a determination to control their own destiny. What have they got that others don't? What are they doing that others should? The Community Resilience Manual details a process by which small towns can assess themselves and inform their revitalization planning with reference to rural best practice from across Canada and the US. Since being released in 2000, this manual has been adapted into a variety of contexts in different parts of the world. Most recently (2006-2007), it is being adapted as part of a national poverty reduction program in Botswana. (The manual can be downloaded for free at
Lewis, Michael. The Oregon Benchmarks: Oregonians Are Getting Results From This Approach To Governance. Can We Too? When the ends are in sight - and measurable - the means are less divisive. Thanks to a focus on specific outcomes for policy, Oregon is building a culture of collaboration and learning between sectors, regions, and interest groups that have long been at odds. At the end of the day, tracking progress is only as meaningful as the outcomes one establishes from the outset, both what they are and who is involved in setting them. (For access to the larger study this article was based on, go to
Cabaj, Mark. Incrementality - This Strange Term Is Key To Setting Realistic Goals And Standards For CED Practice Funders and policy analysts have unrealistic notions about evaluating CED, which applies unique combinations of resources to complex social and economic problems. That said, community groups could improve their effectiveness and credibility by building evaluation methods right into their strategies. In particular, these groups must make an extra effort to see how they can distinguish the specific effects of their work from other factors: in other words, the "incremental" impact of their initiative.
Emerson, Jed / Cabaj, Mark. Social Return On Investment To show sceptics some hard evidence on your project's accomplishments, check out the Return on Investment Tool under development by the Roberts Enterprise Foundation of San Francisco. It interprets the transformative impact of nonprofit organizations in terms of three types of measurable value (economic, socio-economic, and social). It uses this tool to make investment decisions and to get a firmer grasp of the full range of accomplishment for which Third Sector organizations are responsible.
Lewis, Mike / Lockhart, Dr. R.A. Performance Measurement, Development Indicators and Aboriginal Economic Development This report defines the language of outcomes, indicators, and performance measures and then summarizes a review of applications of several strategies and tools for tracking progress that have been developed since the late 80s. It then reviews the current performance measurement practice of Indian and Northern Affairs at the policy, program, intermediary, and community level. The results demonstrate a confused, wholly inadequate approach to the application of indicators and performance measures at every level. An important feature of the report is found in the Appendix, which sets out a very preliminary strategy for designing indicators that link the characteristics of best practices in Aboriginal Economic Development to possible indicators relevant to each of the four levels, right from the national policy level to the site of the aboriginal community.