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. 



The COVID-19 Wildfire: Nonprofit Organizational Challenge and Opportunity

Nonprofit organizations in Canada were significantly impacted by COVID-19, including lost revenue and needing to adjust the program delivery. The lack of technology capacity in the nonprofit sector is a key barrier for many nonprofit organizations to adapt to delivering programs online. Momentum, a Calgary-based nonprofit organization, experienced both financial and programmatic challenges due to COVID-19. Momentum pivoted program delivery to provide supports during the COVID-19 lockdown and developed innovative approaches to online programming. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, Momentum was able to rapidly develop its capacity to use technology for online programming with the support of critical new funding. Many nonprofits will have to transform their business models to not only survive but thrive in the post-COVID world.



Helping Consumers Claim their Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a guide to assist intermediaries in serving individuals to access their Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). The guide, Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations , provides step-by-step instructions for frontline staff on how to:

  • Discuss the EIP with their clients
  • Determine if clients need to take action
  • Support clients with what to expect and how to troubleshoot common issues



Supporting Financial Health Fintechs in Canada: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

Technology can play a key role in addressing some of the financial challenges that Canadians face on a day-to-day basis. Over the last five to ten years we have seen a growing number of companies, called fintechs, that primarily use technology to change and enhance the way we do banking or access financial advice and services. Many of these companies are building products that are specifically meant to help Canadians improve their financial health.

The purpose of this report is to explore the existing financial health fintech landscape in Canada, the challenges that these companies face, and how an accelerator program that provides mentorship and resource supports over a defined time-frame can better help these financial health fintechs grow and thereby help improve the financial health of people across Canada.



Introducing the Financial Relief Navigator

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the complexities of the benefits and financial relief measures available to Canadians, we developed the Financial Relief Navigator (FRN), an online resource that helps vulnerable Canadians and those that work with them access critical emergency benefits and financial relief from governments, financial institutions, telecoms, utility and internet providers.

In this one-hour webinar you'll hear from Galen MacLusky and Janet Flynn of Prosper Canada who will give you an overview of the FRN and provide tips on how to support your clients to access critical benefits and financial relief. 

Click 'Get it' below to access the video link, and scroll down to access handouts, slides, and video timestamps for this webinar.

Access the Financial Relief Navigator here.



Presentation slides for this webinar

Handouts for this webinar
Introducing the Financial Relief Navigator (FRN)
Access the Financial Relief Navigator here.

Time-stamps for the video recording:
3:22 – Agenda and Introductions
6:00 – Audience poll
9:00 – Why we created the Financial Relief Navigator (Speaker: Janet Flynn)
11:55 – What’s in the Financial Relief Navigator (Speaker: Janet Flynn)
16:35 – FRN Walkthrough using a Persona (Speaker: Galen McLusky)
33:15 – Tips for using the FRN (Speaker: Galen McLusky)
36:00 – The Working Centre experience using the FRN (Speaker: Sue Collison)
41:15 – Q&A

Voice of Experience: Engaging people with lived experience of poverty in consultations

The engagement of Canadians with lived experiences of poverty in government consultations on poverty reduction is critical. But as hard as governments work to try to include people living in poverty as full participating members in their consultation processes, there are many barriers that continue to impede their participation. This paper explores what these barriers and impediments are.

The Financial Health Check: Scalable Solutions for Financial Resilience

A large majority of American households live in a state of financial vulnerability. Across a range of incomes, people struggle to build savings, pay down debt, and manage irregular cash flows. Even modest savings cushions could help households take care of unexpected expenses or disruptions in income without relying on costly credit. But in practice, setting aside savings can be difficult.

Research from the field of behavioral science shows that light-touch interventions can help address these barriers. For example, changing default settings or bringing financial management to the forefront of everyday life have had powerful effects on savings activity. The Financial Health Check (FHC) draws on such insights to offer a new model of scalable support for achieving financial goals.



My Budget Coach Pilot Evaluation


This pilot study explores the delivery and effectiveness of MyBudgetCoach, a financial coaching program designed to help low- and moderate-income adults develop budgeting skills, set financial goals, and work towards those goals. Specifically, this study compares two modes of program delivery, traditional in-person coaching and fully remote coaching. By testing financial coaching in these two contexts, this project seeks to generate a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that underpin coaching and the role technology may play in facilitating behavior change.




Using Design to Deepen Relationships in the Financial Sector


This publication reveals the outcomes of Bridgable's work with a federal credit union, cutting through their overwhelming number of offerings to better engage with their low-income members. It also discusses why agility is a better bet than digitization when it comes to our changing financial ecosystem. Finally, it will break down their approach to one of the most popular design methods today, the design sprint, and how it can produce results while also lowering risk. Note: This link will allow you to download the document from the Bridgeable website. 




Financial wellness at work – A review of promising practices and policies

How FinTech for Good Can Create Financial Health

Online/Offline: How Technology Can Empower Local Refugee Communities

E-learning methodologies: A guide for designing and developing e-learning courses


The purpose of this guide is to provide detailed guidance on designing and developing an e-learning course for trainers and instructional designers who are new to e-learning design. It also provides basic concepts and information on the processes and resources involved in e-learning development, which might be of interest to capacity-development managers. The information in this guide is based on consolidated instructional design models and learning theories and incorporates FAO’s experience in delivering e-learning courses in development contexts.


Benefits Screening Tool Project: Phase 1 report

Canadian Consumer Finance Association: Filling the Gap – Canada’s Payday Lenders

Paychecks, Paydays, and the Online Platform Economy Big Data on Income Volatility

Advancing Health Equity through Benefits Screening

Vulnerable Households and the Smart Grid in Ontario Emerging Challenges and Opportunities

International Review: Mobile Payments and Consumer Protection

Financial Coaching & Counseling Listening & Learning Series: Taking it to the Next Level: Exploring Financial Coaching Platforms & Putting it All Together

MyBudgetCoach Pilot Study: Summary of Findings

MyBudgetCoach Pilot Evaluation: Final Report

Emerging Pathways to Transformative Scale

Big Data, Small Credit: The Digital Revolution and Its Impact o Emerging Market Consumers

Weathering Volatility: Big Data on the Financial Ups and Downs of U.S. Individuals

Competing on Financial Health: How Credit Unions Can Win the Gen Y Market

In-depth Financial Coaching Interviews Final Report

Impact Brief: The Thrill of Impulse Savings

Using Technology in Financial Coaching

Big Data, Big Potential: Harnessing Data Technology for the Underserved Market

Building Consumer Credit: A Winning Strategy for Financial Institutions and Consumers

Designing for Financial Health: Stories and profiles from the Financial Capability Innovation Funds

Consumer Experiences in Online Payday Loans