The MIX Challenge Toolkit: Tools & Techniques for Challenge-Based Innovation Partnerships & Procurement

The Municipal Innovation Exchange (MIX) project team created this Toolkit to assist municipalities - individual line managers or project owners, or municipal strategic teams (like a Smart Cities Office) - that are contemplating or undertaking a procurement by means of innovation partnership.

The Toolkit can help municipal staff decide which projects are a good fit for this approach to procurement. It can help them initiate and manage an innovation partnership. It can also help them assess the whole experience afterwards and determine if and how to apply innovation partnership again.

10: A Guide for a Community-Based COVID-19 Recovery

Our cities and communities are where people live. It is here we see the effects of public policy and it is here where we will address the issues that matter most to Canadians. The choices made today will impact Canada’s recovery from COVID-19. If we want a future where our cities are thriving, we need to work together to achieve a collective community-based response. We are all in this together and it will take all of us in a community to find our way through.

If you are a community leader, such as a mayor, an elected official, a business leader, a community activist, or a concerned citizen, this guide was written for you. We created it to be accessible and easy to use, with five sections and links to resources throughout.



Cities Reducing Poverty: 2020 Impact Report

The Vibrant Communities – Cities Reducing Poverty 2020 Impact Report is the Tamarack Institute's first attempt at capturing and communicating national trends in poverty reduction and the important ways in which member Cities Reducing Poverty collaboratives are contributing to those changes.

This impact report is meant for poverty reduction organizers and advocates, and public decision-makers to get a sense for how collaborative, multi-sectoral local roundtables with comprehensive plans contribute to poverty reduction in their communities and beyond; and spotlights high-impact initiatives that are demonstrating promising results.



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.

A Scan of Municipal Financial Capability Efforts

As the connection between financial capability and social mobility is made evident, both public and private actors are increasingly interrogating the drivers of personal financial health and investing in the innovation of products and services designed to improve the condition of economically vulnerable individuals.

This high-level scan of existing U.S. financial capability initiatives and the ways they fit together lends insight into the role that cities and their core institutions can play in promoting residents’ personal economic growth. This study, funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and executed by Urbane Development (UD), leverages
primary and secondary research to explore features of the broad range of programs and policy efforts that make up the financial capability landscape of the U.S. This examination focuses particularly on programs deployed by and within municipalities.

 



Urban Spotlight: Neighbourhood Financial Health Index findings for Canada’s cities

This report examines the financial health and vulnerability of households in Canada’s 35 largest cities, using a new composite index of household financial health at the neighbourhood level, the Neighbourhood Financial Health Index or NFHI. The NFHI is designed to shine a light on the dynamics underlying national trends, taking a closer look at what is happening at the provincial/territorial, community and neighbourhood levels.



Homelessness and Brain Injury – Program Findings

Across Canada, homelessness has always existed but with the creation of statistical reporting across the country the awareness of the pressure this puts on Canadian society is more apparent. The statistics on homelessness are staggering and understanding the path to homelessness, included by those who have experienced brain injury, is a critical piece in the prevention strategies that must be implemented in order to solve the issues. 

In 2018 the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST) received Ontario Trillium Seed Grant funding for a Homelessness Prevention Coordinator (HPC) whose role was to assist individuals with cognitive disabilities with housing issues. This report discusses the current homeless crisis and its relation to the findings of this project.

 



An Evaluation of Financial Empowerment Centers: Building People’s Financial Stability as a Public Service

This report is a three-year evaluation of the Financial Empowerment Center initiative’s replication in 5 cities (Denver, CO; Lansing, MI; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA and San Antonio, TX). Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service. The evaluation draws on data from 22,000 clients who participated in 57,000 counseling sessions across these first 5 city replication partners, and provides additional evidence of the program’s success. 



The Who’s Hungry Report

The Who’s Hungry Report provides quantitative and qualitative data about the experience of hunger and poverty in Toronto. To create the reports, trained volunteers conduct face-to-face interviews with over 1,400 food bank clients at nearly 40 member agencies, collecting demographic data as well as information about the day-to-day experience of living with hunger.



Indebtedness and Wealth Among Canadian Households

Understanding the health of the balance sheets of Canadian households is a complex issue that continues to generate considerable discussion. A new Statistics Canada study contributes to these discussions by highlighting the extent to which national measures of indebtedness and wealth mask significant variation across the country. The study is largely based on results from the 2016 Survey of Financial Security (SFS), which allow for a detailed profile by census metropolitan area (CMA) and by income groups.



Spotlight on Canadians and Debt: Who’s Vulnerable

Debt-to-income ratios in Canada have continue to rise since the 2008-2009 recession, especially in urban centres where housing prices have increased over the last few years.

This infographic from Statistics Canada shows where debt-to-income ratios are highest across Canada. 



Innovative use of technology for VITA

In this presentation, German Tejeda, National Director of Financial Programs, Single Stop USA, shares results from the Virtual VITA Program in the United States since 2012. 

This presentation is from the session 'Innovations in tax filing assistance', at the tax research symposium hosted by Prosper Canada and Intuit, February 7, 2019, in Ottawa.

View all presentations from this event here.



State of Cities Reducing Poverty

How has the Vibrant Communities – Cities Reducing Poverty (VC – CRP) network contributed to poverty reduction in Canada? In seeking to answer this central question, the State of Cities Reducing Poverty paper highlights the network’s numerous and varied impacts.



Boosting the Earned Income Tax Credit for Singles

By providing a refundable credit at tax time, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is widely viewed as a successful public policy that is both antipoverty and pro-work.  But most of its benefits have gone to workers with children.

Paycheck Plus is a test of a more generous credit for low-income workers without dependent children. The program, which provides a bonus of up to $2,000 at tax time, is being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial in New York City and Atlanta. This report presents findings through three years from New York, where over 6,000 low-income single adults without dependent children enrolled in the study in late 2013.

The findings are consistent with other research on the federal EITC, indicating that an effective work-based safety net program can increase incomes for vulnerable and low-income individuals and families while encouraging and rewarding work.



A Much Closer Look: Enhancing Savings Counseling at Financial Empowerment Centers


Building savings is a fundamental strategy for empowering individuals and families with low incomes. Even relatively small amounts of savings can serve as a buffer against inevitable financial shocks that can otherwise undermine social service efforts and successes – and short-term savings offer realistic first steps toward building longer-term savings and acquiring assets.

The CFE Fund conducted a research pilot at municipal Financial Empowerment Centers to better understand how clients are saving, and inform new savings indicators for financial counseling success. This report explains the insights of this research pilot, and client outcomes in savings and goal setting. 




Chicago – The Cost of Eviction and Unpaid Bills of Financially Insecure Families for City Budgets

Where are the Unbanked and Underbanked in New York City?

LIFT-UP – An Innovative Approach to Municipal Financial Empowerment

The Case for Social Investment in Microcredit

Creating Mobility from Poverty: An Overview of Strategies

Canadian Demographics at a Glance – Second edition

First Nations, Metis and Inuit Women

The fall and rise of Canada’s top income earners

Perceptions of the Social Determinants of Health Across Canada: An Examination of the Literature

Strengthening Banking in Inner-cities: Practices & Policies to Promote Financial Inclusion for Low-Income Canadians

LIFT-UP: Innovative City Strategy Reduces Utility Debt and Financial Insecurity for Residents

The Cost of Poverty in Toronto

Implementation and Impact Evaluation of Local Interventions for Financial Empowerment through Utility Payments (LIFT-UP) Final Report

Implementation and Impact Evaluation of Local Interventions for Financial Empowerment through Utility Payments (LIFT-UP) Executive Summary

Racial Wealth Divide in Miami

Precarious Positions: Policy Options to Mitigate Risks in Non-standard Employment

2016 BC Child Poverty Report Card

The statistics and stories in this report tell a painful truth about British Columbia
We like to think of ourselves as a caring, civilized society, but in fact we have
been tolerating and sustaining shameful levels of child and family poverty for
decade



Pilot Lessons. How to design a basic income pilot project for Ontario

No Vacancy. Affordability & Homelessness in Vancouver.

Thinking Regionally: How to Improve Service Delivery in Canada’s Cities

Racial Wealth Divide in New Orleans

Ending homelessness in Canada: A Study of 10-Year Plans in 4 Canadian Cities

Aboriginal Financial Literacy in Canada: Issues and Directions

Closing the gap in a generation. Health equity through action on the social determinants of health

Break the Barriers: Millions in Canada still struggle to get by

Collective Impact 3.0: An Evolving Framework for Community Change

A Game-changer Approach to Poverty Reduction Strategy and Evaluation

Geographies of Inequality

TOcore Community Services & Facilities Study Phase One: Taking Stock

We ask because we care. The Tri-Hospital + TPH Health Equity Data Collection Research Project Report

Child Rich Communities: Aotearoa New Zealand’s ‘Bright Spots’

The Invisible Crime: A Report on Seniors Financial Abuse

On the Map: The Atlas of Student Homelessness in New York City

Advancing Health Equity through Benefits Screening

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

The Very Poor and the Affordability of Housing

What You Should Know if Your Branch Closes

Toronto’s Vital Signs

Building Economic Security in America’s Cities New Municipal Strategies for Asset Building and Financial Empowerment

Toronto’s Vital Signs

The Unequal City 2015: Income and Health Inequities in Toronto

The Unequal City 2015: Income and Health Inequities in Toronto – Technical Report

TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy

Aboriginal Life Skills and Financial Literacy Curriculum Development and Education

Taking Back Our Neighbourhoods: Mapping the Need for Neighbourhood Revitalization

The Opportunity Equation: Building opportunity in the face of growing income inequality

The Working Poor in the Toronto Region: Mapping working poverty in Canada

Family income and income of individuals, related variables: Sub-provincial data, 2014

Toronto Employment & Social Services Programs & Services

The destructive legacy of housing segregation

Beyond Housing First: Essential Elements of a System-Planning Approach to Ending Homelessness

Financial Literacy and Aboriginal Peoples

Findings from the Citywide Financial Services Study

Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs. Strategy #1: Integrating Professional Financial Counseling

Thriving Residents, Thriving Cities: Family Financial Security Matters for Cities

Umbrellas Don’t Make it Rain: Why Studying and Working Hard isn’t Enough for Black Americans

A population-based study of premature mortality in relation to neighbourhood density of alcohol sales and cheque cashing outlets in Toronto, Canada

Evaluating Student Performance in Pathways to Education

Living in the Red – Winnipeg bankruptcy and debt

The Color of Wealth in Boston: A Joint Publication with Duke University and The New School

The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles

End Poverty in a Generation: A Road Map to Guide Our Journey

Enough for all: Unleashing our communities’ resources to drive down poverty in Calgary

Building financial capability in youth employment programs: Insights from a roundtable with practitioners

Programs, Policies, Partnerships: Coming Together to Heal the Racial Wealth Divide

Banking on the Margins: Finding Ways to Build an Enabling Small Dollar Credit Market

Working Poverty in Metro Vancouver

Social Isolation and Community Connection Backgrounder

Summer Jobs Connect: Connecting Youth to Developmental and Financial Goals

The Ever-Growing Gap: Without Change, African-American and Latino Families Won’t Match White Wealth for Centuries

Choosing Financial Services Where the Options are Limited: A Report on a Survey of Financial Service Choice of Residents in Inner-city Neighbourhoods in Toronto, Vancouver & Winnipeg

In from the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness

“There Are No Banks Here.” Financial & Insurance Exclusion in Winnipeg’s North End

Aboriginal Financial Literacy Needs Survey and Framework

Does Community Access to Alternative Financial Services Relate to Individuals’ Use of These Services? Beyond Individual Explanations