Five Good Ideas about using human-centred design for social change

With a growing number of barriers to accessing vital services, we need to think critically about accessibility and people’s services experiences in the social and public sector. Human-centred design is an approach which centres the voices and lived experiences of people who are impacted in the design or re-design of a program or service.

During this session, Galen MacLusky and Nandita Bijur of Prosper Canada share the mindsets and principles that have helped their organization introduce and integrate human-centred design into their projects. Specifically, you will hear how they used human-centred design in their work integrating financial empowerment into municipal services and in designing impactful frontline services for people living on low incomes. Human-centred design can often feel overwhelming, but this session will help you think about small shifts you can implement in your practice and decision-making that could make a big difference.



Eyeing the ID: Bio-metric Banking for Saint John

NB Social Pediatrics and the Saint John Community Loan Fund recently surveyed 157 New Brunswick and Nova Scotia residents about their experiences with finances, banking, and ID to better understand if biometrics or ID banks could be effective solutions for people living without ID.

 Eyeing the ID: Bio-metric Banking for Saint John identifies access to identification, as well as stringent identification requirements as the most prevalent barriers to receiving services in the community and were also inherently linked to other barriers, such as housing and finances. For example, lack of address was identified as a barrier to accessing an ID because government agencies require a mailing address to send ID documents to customers, but lack of ID is also directly linked to precarious housing because you often need ID to be placed on local subsidized housing lists, and to set up power and utilities. Cyclical barriers to services could be improved by addressing ID requirements and making ID more accessible.

The top three solutions identified to mitigate ID barriers were biometrics, ID banks, and an ID acquisition service.

Also available in French: Un regard sur l’identification : Services bancaires à identification biométrique à Saint John

 



Countervailing Power: Review of the coordination and funding for financial counselling services across Australia

In 2019, the Australian Government committed to additional actions to improve the financial outcomes of Australians, including undertaking an immediate review of the coordination and funding of financial counselling services that disadvantaged Australians rely on. 

The review noted the benefits of financial counselling to the community, including early intervention and prevention of further financial hardship, advocacy support, and referral to other services for complex issues. The review also highlighted the challenges faced by the financial counselling sector, including increasing demand, fragmented delivery, and the array of complex situations and financial products that can lead to financial hardship. 

The review:

  • Assessed whether existing financial counselling services adequately support clients’ current, emerging or changing needs, including areas such as small business and natural disasters;
  • Explored the most efficient and appropriate way to deliver financial counselling services;
  • Considered how to improve the coordination and consistency of delivery of financial counselling services across all jurisdictions in Australia;
  • Recommended options for improving the predictability and sustainability of funding financial counselling services, including by drawing on successful international funding models and considering options for industry funding; and
  • Considered how the use of data can inform policy, service delivery and demand trends.



Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Montreal “Cultural Communities”

This exploratory study aims to better understand the challenges experienced by members of cultural communities in Montreal, particularly the most disadvantaged groups, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020.



Unconnected: Funding Shortfalls, Policy Imbalances and How They Are Contributing to Canada’s Digital Underdevelopment

In an effort to understand the challenges and opportunities facing civil society and community organizations working to improve the quality of Canada’s internet, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) commissioned research firm The Strategic Counsel to conduct a qualitative and quantitative assessment of stakeholder perceptions of the nation’s digital philanthropy landscape.
The research results show that digital development in Canada is underfunded, piecemeal, ad hoc and unorganized despite stakeholders sharing many of the same goals. The research results show that digital development in Canada is underfunded, piecemeal, ad hoc and unorganized despite stakeholders sharing many of the same goals – the connecting of Canadians to the internet in an affordable and reliable manner so that they can comfortably and knowledgeably participate in an increasingly digital economy and society. The research also found that these goals and the challenges surrounding them have only become more pressing with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global crisis that has pushed nearly every aspect of our daily lives online.



Barriers to Digital Equality in Canada

Internet is an essential service. As technology increasingly shapes our world, it is important that Canadians can keep up with the rapid changes, latest skills and emerging industries. Unfortunately, not every resident of Canada is able to access these opportunities to unlock a potentially brighter future.

AIC and ACORN partnered to undertake research with low and moderate income Canadians, in order to uncover the barriers to digital equity that exist in Canada today and shine a light on the urgent need to tackle these barriers to ensure equal access to digital opportunities.



Disability Inclusion Analysis of Lessons Learned and Best Practices of the Government of Canada’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

This report provides the findings of research conducted to assist Employment and Social Development Canada in identifying good or best practices and lessons learned from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

Conducted in partnership with the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada (DAWN), this research helps us better understand how diverse people with disabilities in Canada have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of government COVID-19 measures on diverse people with disabilities in Canada.



Overcoming Digital Divides Workshop Series: Framing Paper

Canada’s digital divide has often been narrowly defined as the gap that exists between urban and rural broadband internet availability — Canadian urban centres have significantly greater internet subscription levels at faster speeds than rural communities.(Government of Canada, 2019). The cost of building new internet infrastructure in less developed areas continues to impede equitable access to sufficient internet services.

This series aims to engage people living in Canada, industry, academia and policymakers to advance a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the circumstances that precipitate the conditions that shape digital inequities in Canada. Through expert panel discussions and thoughtful participatory dialogue, the series aims to drive toward innovative solutions to greater digital inclusion across Canada. The series will be presented in six parts, each tackling a specific theme with unique concerns. The series will also build on intersectional connections across themes while identifying new issues and impacted communities.