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FAQ for Community Partners

The initial phase of the Green Resilience Project in 2021-2022 was an opportunity to bring people and organizations together to begin the process of imagining community-based responses to climate change that demonstrate and sustain community resilience. 

The Green Resilience Project wanted to explore how the uncertainties brought on by climate change, income insecurity, inequality and discrimination overlap in Canadians’ lives. By listening closely to conversations in every part of Canada, we learned how communities are responding, individually and collectively, to the challenges they face. To do this we partnered with local individuals and organizations to host and facilitate their own conversation and report on what was said. Our community partners were encouraged to design their own project experience.

To learn more about how the project functioned during the initial phase, please check out the FAQ’s for Community Partners below. If you have any questions about the Green Resilience Project, or our current community conversations project, Transportation Shift, please contact our Project Manager, Janet Patterfung, at janet@greenresilience.ca.


General

Climate change and income insecurity are two of the most urgent challenges facing Canada and the world. The climate crisis is accelerating, Canada has made a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible by 2050 (net zero), and a fast transition to a green economy lies before us. But that moment has arrived at a time of deep income inequality, when so many Canadians face deep insecurity and uncertainty about their incomes and livelihoods. Our experience with COVID-19 has shown us that governments, individuals and communities can quickly shift priorities and take dramatic action when required. Recent public opinion polls show strong to overwhelming public support for action on both climate change and income security. The conversations we support community partners to deliver in the course of this project will enable people from a wide range of communities and backgrounds—including people who are often left out of public consultations—to talk about how these issues play out and interact, what a just, practical transition would look like in their own lives, and what policy-makers can do to help that transition to a green, sustainable future succeed.
We’re looking for community partners whose work already ties in with some aspect of climate change, incomes and livelihoods, or the connections between the two. Beyond the opportunity to be part of this conversation, some specific benefits include:
  • A funded opportunity to engage with your network
  • A report reflecting the conversation in your community that may help navigate two of the biggest challenges facing many communities across Canada. You can share this report with your network, your city council and other decision-makers. You may also choose to use this report as a supporting document for future funding applications.
  • An opportunity for staff and volunteers to build skills and expertise
  • An opportunity to network with other organizations working on similar issues across Canada
  • An opportunity to network with organizations working in your community, but outside of your area of focus, whose work may complement your own in unexpected ways
  • Opportunities to amplify your work and raise your profile via cross promotion with project communications and other partner organizations.
The anticipated time commitment is approximately 50-60 hours, depending on existing capacities. This includes time to:
  • Become familiar with the conversation (or “listening session”) content
  • Attend a facilitator training session
  • Secure enough breakout group hosts and (if needed) note-takers
  • Determine your participant mix
  • Invite participants
  • Set up a time and place (online or in-person) for your conversation
  • Host the 2-2.5 hour conversation
  • Record the conversation
  • Review notes/transcripts from your conversation
  • Write your Community Summary Report
  • Provide copies of the notes/transcripts and your Community Summary Report from your conversation to the Project Manager
  • Attend a project wrap-up session
  • Additional time may be needed if you plan to engage on social media, promote your findings, etc.
Funding of $4,500 is available for each community conversation. It is to be used at your discretion to cover any costs associated with your conversation, including staff time or stipends for participants (if needed). The anticipated in-kind contribution from community partners is approximately $3,000 and may include additional staff or volunteer time, use of existing resources such as internet connection, software, or other aspects of “keeping the lights on.”
You are encouraged to partner with other organizations in your community if you wish. Another organization may help increase capacity and/or reach a more diverse set of participants. In cases where organizations are working closely together, the project team can work with you to determine how the funding will be divided.
The project team is here to help ensure your success. The team will provide:
  • Training for conversation facilitators
  • Conversation presentation materials and discussion guide
  • Training for conversation note takers
  • Conversation logistics support (eg. help set up your virtual platform)
  • Communications support (eg. promotional templates, amplification, cross promotion)
  • Networking opportunities
  • Community engagement opportunities
  • Reporting template
  • Regular project and related news updates.
We hope that the Community Summary Report, as well as the relationships that may emerge from your community conversation, will help build momentum for designing and implementing community-based solutions to achieve 2050 goals for a net-zero emissions. The project website will remain live for as long as it continues to be relevant. This project, funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Climate Action and Awareness Fund, will be submitting a final report to ECCC that summarizes what was heard in all the community conversations.
As the local community partner, you are in the best position to determine who should attend your conversation. The project team will provide you with a list of considerations for identifying your conversation participants. The aim of the project is to hear from a range of people with diverse lived experiences, with particular emphasis on people who are too often left out of the discussion—on climate change, or on poverty and exclusion. This includes populations that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (essential workers in settings like elder care and food retailing, and people who are unemployed, marginally or precariously employed) and who made up the under-appreciated, essential workforce that got the country through the pandemic lockdowns.
Generally speaking, the project team asks for a minimum of 30 participants, with the ideal number closer to 40 or more, if you have capacity. However, there is an understanding that the number of participants will vary from conversation to conversation. Here are a few considerations for determining the group size for your conversation:
  • Do the participants represent a good mix of people with diverse lived experiences?
  • Will the participants be comfortable speaking in each other’s presence?
  • How many people from your network would you like to include?
  • Will you use an existing event or gathering as the starting point for this conversation?
The conversations are expected to take place online, with the understanding that for some communities, this is not possible and the conversations will need to take place in-person.
The community partner is responsible for facilitating the conversation (it is best if the facilitator is from the community where the conversation is taking place). In order to provide opportunity for each individual to be heard, we recommend participants spend discussion time in smaller breakout groups of five to six people. It will be necessary to take notes or transcribe the conversation, including breakout groups. There should be a host for each breakout session who is familiar with the conversation content and comfortable leading the discussion. For a group of 40, one central facilitator and seven hosts would be ideal.
It is up to each community partner to propose the best route for your conversation, keeping in mind the importance of hearing from people with different lived experiences.
As the community partner, you will be the main point of contact for your conversation participants. You’ll determine the time and date for your conversation, the exact format and your invite list. You’ll send out your own invites or promotions and handle your own RSVPs. The project team is available to provide communications support.

Reporting

As the community partner, you are responsible for recording, in written form, your conversation, either through notetaking or a transcription service. Recording the conversation, including the breakout sessions, is extremely important: after all, this is the listening part of the exercise! Notes or a transcription will be very helpful for creating your Community Summary Report, and as a reference for the project’s final report to ECCC. The project team can suggest options for recording or notetaking and provide training for notetakers. Each option will require some staff or volunteer time and may have an associated cost.
As the local community partner, you will be asked to fill out a Community Summary Report to share your findings with the project team (estimated at approximately four to five pages). You’ll use the transcription or notetaking from your session as a reference for this report. Your report will include a summary of what you heard, and your own analysis or recommendations.
Your Community Summary Report, along with reports from other participating communities, will form the basis of the project’s final report to ECCC. Your Community Summary Report, or excerpts from it, may (with your permission) be shared on the project website. We also recommend sharing this report, or your findings in another format, with your networks, city council and other decision-makers. It should be noted that it is the assumption of the project team that your participants will not want to be identified, so steps will be taken (and recommended) to ensure full anonymity of participants.

Authority & Ownership

The project materials are created with the project goals in mind and as a basis for all communities. However, the understanding is that as a local community partner, you know your community best. We’ll encourage you to frame and ask the questions in a way that makes sense to your participants, as long as the focus remains on the interconnections between climate change, income security and community resilience as we transition to a net-zero economy.
As with the project materials, the suggested format of the conversations was created for all communities, and again, the understanding is that you will know the format that will work best for your community.
The project team will need demographic information about your group of participants, and a brief description of their lived experience. There is no need to share personally identifying information about your participants with the project team, and participants will not be personally identified in either the Community Summary Report or the final report. The project team can provide some tips on ways to maintain the anonymity of your participants while including some information for context.

Timeline

All community conversations must be completed by January 31, 2022. If this deadline will not be possible for your group, please let us know prior to confirming your participation. The duration of the organization process depends on your capacity. It is recommended that your training, conversation and summary report be completed as close together as possible to maintain momentum, and to share your findings with participants, other participating communities and the public as quickly as possible. It will be helpful for the Project team to receive your Community Summary Report as early as possible to include it in our Final Report, due March 31, 2022. We can discuss your timeline once your participation is confirmed.
To be included in our Final Report (due March 31, 2022) and to receive the full amount of funding, your Community Summary Report must be submitted by February 10, 2022.