PARTNERING FOR CHANGE: COMMUNITY BASED SOLUTIONS FOR ABORIGINAL AND INNER CITY POVERTY
Our current project examines how promising community-based solutions can be supported at the institutional and policy levels to resolve deepening poverty-related problems in Manitoba’s inner-city and Aboriginal communities.
In 2 previous SSHRC-funded projects we deepened our understanding of these issues and identified effective solutions and various limits to transformational change. We are now investigating the impact of promising community-based solutions—such as innovative housing, education, employment and safety strategies, and personal and community empowerment—to determine how they can be expanded and made sustainable at the institutional and policy levels. We will build upon our past research to find solutions that are sustainable and transformational in Aboriginal and inner-city communities.
Our work is organized around 4 integrated themes derived from our previous work: justice, safety & security; housing & neighbourhood revitalization; capacity building, education & employment; and community economic development.
We employ the same multiple-method research approach used successfully in 2 previous SSHRC projects—qualitative methods, especially community-based participatory research, and quantitative analysis. We also aim to move to a deeper level of inquiry by: using longitudinal analysis to map personal lives within a wider web of familial, community and societal relationships; documenting the multiple, conflicting interventions made by state systems (e.g., criminal justice, child welfare); and working with community and government partners to develop practical policy solutions. We will combine the skills of university researchers with strong publication records with the experiential knowledge of our community partners and the policy skills and capacities of our government partners.
While we focus on Manitoba to build on previous research and ensure an in-depth analysis, our research has broad importance. Because inner cities and Aboriginal communities everywhere face crises, our findings will interest academics, policy makers and community organizations at local, national and international levels.