News from the CCSD Community Data Program Team

Canadian Council on Social Development

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In volume 5, issue 1 - Summer 2016:
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Follow up on the 2016 annual meeting in Banff

The annual meeting in Banff was a great success! We had one and a half days of very engaged discussion and extremely helpful feedback on the program. It was a real pleasure to meet such committed stakeholders in person and see how the data is being used in member communities.

The meeting report has been finalized and contains links to the presentations and several other files that were used. These reports are posted to the Leads' meetings page.

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Data news


New data in the catalogue

The last two 2011 Community Poverty Project tables have arrived:
  • CPP Table 10a-EF: Elderly or non-elderly status of spouse or economic family reference person (3), Presence of children (5), Income status in 2010 - CPP - EF (7), Selected cultural and activity limitation characteristics (12) and Selected income characteristics A (31) for the Economic families in private households, 2011 NHS
CPP Table 10a-UI: Age groups (3), Sex (3), Income status in 2010 - CPP - UI (7), Selected cultural and activity limitation characteristics (11) and Selected income characteristics (25) for the persons 15 years and over not in economic families in private households, 2011 NHS

Working Poor and Income Inequality tables for 2012 and 2013 are now available and include data at the Census Subdivision geographic level. These CSD geographies have been constructed from Postal Codes using the Postal Code Conversion File, which does not create a perfect correspondence between Postal Geography and Census Geography. There will be some error associated with these data, with smaller geographies typically being more susceptible to having greater errors. We are looking into how to assess the error associated with these data and will post updates to the catalogue page and email users who have downloaded the tables. 
We have also posted Insolvency data by Forward Sortation Area up to 2015 in the catalogue. 

Schedule B

A number of great recommendations came up in the annual meeting and Schedule B has yet to be finalized as we continue to look into pricing and feasibility. The Draft Schedule B used in the meeting is highlighted where some questions remained. We hope to post the finalized Schedule B soon.

Custom geographies and custom tables are a priority for this program year

On top of the usual data products that come in throughout the year, this program year we are going to focus on:
  • getting our custom geographies organized and processed
  • putting in an order for taxfiler (T1FF) data at custom geographies at the end of the summer
  • acquiring customized tables (e.g., custom age groups) for taxfiler data 
  • getting our custom geography order for the Census ready and in the queue
If your organization has a defined catchment area for which you would like Census and taxfiler data, please send us a shapefile by the end of the summer or get in touch with us for more details.

We will no longer be purchasing data from the 2011 Census.
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We will be having another orientation on using the CDP catalogue and Beyond 20/20 on August 16th at 9:30am Eastern time. We will look at some example reports and indicators and go through how to find the data in the catalogue and extract it from a Beyond 20/20 file.
Register for the August 16th orientation

You can also view a recording of an excellent orientation on the CDP catalogue and Beyond 20/20 by the City of Calgary's Jasmine Ing.

We are planning to have an orientation on using data from the T1 Family File (taxfiler data) early this Fall. Keep an eye out for the announcement!

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Research report on the Community Data Program

Arief Kartolo, a M.A. student at the University of Windsor has prepared this excellent research report for the Windsor-Essex Working Table that investigates the workings of data consortia in the Community Data Program. The report provides an overview of existing data consortium programs in other communities, identifies key components of successful data programs and explores various consortium program governance models and structures within Ontario.  Extensive literature reviews and five semi-structured interviews with coordinators of existing consortium were conducted. 

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Community Snapshots
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit - Low Income report

Community Snapshots highlight the work being carried out by CDP members. 

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit used Statistics Canada Taxfiler data and National Household Survey data to determine those individuals living in low income in Simcoe County and District of Muskoka. This report also showcases health disparities by income categories in order to determine the social and health impacts low income has on individuals in Simcoe and Muskoka.

We would like to know what your organization is doing with CDP data!  You can use this template to create a Community Snapshot or simply send us an email with the information.  All the Community Snapshots are available on the Community Reporting Resources page.

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Follow up on the Community Data Canada webinar - Updates to the 2016 Census

The May 3rd webinar on the 2016 Census was so popular we had to schedule a second event on May 16th! In total approximately 200 participants joined us online for a presentation by Joe Kresovic, Director of Census Operations at Statistics Canada.  Mr. Kresovic and his colleague Dr. Michalowski responded to questions on the Census from a very engaged audience. A brief report of the event, including a transcript of the questions and brief summary of the answers have been posted to the website.

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Follow up on the User Survey

In April we conducted a survey to assess the needs and gauge the capacity of our members in using the data. We would like to thank all those who participated in the survey and say that we are using the results to help inform our training and capacity-building mandate.

We also asked you for success stories related to the Community Data Program...
  • “CDP is absolutely essential to our work. Through the CDP, we have affordable access to a wealth of data that we can use to support evidence-based research for social change....This work helps community organizations to make the case for funding to improve community services, meet local needs and enhance quality of life in our neighbourhoods. It also helps organizations to understand who is living in their catchment area and whether they are reaching marginalized groups.”
  • “Data from the Community Data Program has been used to push important issues on the public agenda and to developing important policy solutions.”
  • “The Community Data Programs’ portal has made data access, sharing and use much easier and productive. The professional exchange of knowledge behind this collective effort is invaluable and the way forward for future collaboration and increased use of municipal data.”
  • “We are frequent users of the data provided by the Consortium, we do not need to order them directly from the original sources when they are needed and it saves us time and money in general.”

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News from our friends and partners

Planning for the Federal Poverty Reduction Strategy underway
On June 7th, the CCSD participated in the second meeting of the All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus (APC) since the election of the Liberal government. Launched in 2012, the APC brings together MPs and Senators to identify and examine “concrete solutions to end poverty.” The APC will have a key role to play as Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) begins to develop a new federal Poverty Reduction Strategy – a key plank of the Liberal government’s social change agenda.
Informal consultations are underway right now to evaluate the progress of existing provincial/territorial and municipal Poverty Reduction Strategies and to develop a community engagement strategy. In the meantime, ESDC is working on a new National Early Learning and Child Care Framework and a National Housing Strategy, two “ingredients” according to the Minister in charge, Jean-Yves Duclos, of a broader poverty reduction strategy. A formal consultation process on the National Housing Strategy was announced on June 28, starting this summer, to be concluded in time for National Housing Day in November.
Peggy Taillon and Katherine Scott, speaking for the CCSD, stressed the importance of evidence-based policies and programs that speak to the unique realities of each community. The Community Data Program will be a critical resource for members as they participate in upcoming dialogues.

Draft of Canada’s new plan on Open Government

The Open Government team of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat posted a draft of Canada’s new plan on Open Government and invited feedback and suggestions for improvement from June 16 to June 30.
This draft is part of an iterative cycle of input, discussion, and evolution based on guidelines set out by the Open Government Partnership. If you’d like to learn more about the process and about the public consultations that informed the development of this draft, you can read their recent blog post. The draft plan sets direction for the next two years of Open Government in Canada,

Federal government facing data shortfalls in social policy

This article highlights the need for good data for evidence-based policy making and the challenges being experienced at the federal level due to shortfalls in this area:

"... for months now, civil servants have been looking for innovative ways to fill significant data gaps in priority social policy areas like child care, parental leave, youth employment and labour market information, say internal documents prepared for senior officials at Employment and Social Development Canada.

There are holes in data that would help the government craft a national poverty reduction strategy, including helping at-risk populations like aboriginals on reserve, and helping the country's seniors by helping them financially through a seniors price index."

Vancouver's Healthy City Strategy

Vancouver's Healthy City Strategy is a great example of how data from the Community Data Program are being used. The Healthy City Strategy is comprised of 13 long-term goals for the well-being of the City and its people, including ambitious targets to reach by 2025, with several indicators being tracked with CDP data.

Working Poverty in Metro Vancouver

This study examines Metro Vancouver working poverty trends by neighbourhood pre- and post- the 2008 recession. Over 100,000 working-age people in Metro Vancouver were working but stuck below the poverty line in 2012, not counting students and young adults living at home with their parents. Contrary to stereotypes about poverty being concentrated mainly in Vancouver and Surrey, this study finds the growing ranks of the working poor are spread out across the Metro Vancouver region. The study explores the economic and public policy contributing to working poverty and develops recommendations for change.

The study is a co-publication of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office, the United Way of the Lower Mainland, and the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition.

The Community Data Program has the same data on working poverty in the catalogue (now at the Census Subdivision level!). Let us know if you need help using these data!

United Way report maps poverty and shows need for investment

The United Way of Windsor-Essex County recently released their Taking Back Our Neighbourhoods report, a collaboration with the University of Windsor’s Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research. The report, which uses data from the Community Data Program features 68 maps of the region mapping out poverty and other socioeconomic indicators.

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