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Tamarack’s Communities of Practice are composed of people involved in multi-sector community collaborations solving complex problems of our time, who meet regularly by telephone and online for learning, enrichment and solidarity.

On this page you'll find:

What is a Community of Practice?

“Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a passion for something they do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better.”
~
Etienne Wenger

Vibrant Communities’ communities of practice (CoP)  focus on poverty reduction, but are relevant to anyone working with multisectoral, comprehensive and community-based approaches to social issues.  They meet regularly by telephone and online to learn and share experience on a “domain” or topic.  Each community of practice is unique, but they share the following common characteristics:

  • Peer to peer collaborative networks
  • Driven by the willing participation of members
  • Focused on learning and building capacity
  • Engaged in knowledge sharing, developing expertise, and solving problems

In the past, communities of practice included the Funders Network and the Government Learning Circle, and you will find resources and online seminars on this site related to those sectors.  Current CoPs include:

How to Join

Anyone who is active in community-based multisectoral collaborative initiatives is welcome to join a Vibrant Communities CoP. 

There is no cost to participate in the CoP, beyond long distance changes to access the teleconference bridge, which is located in the United States.

CoP members are expected to be active in a community collaboration, to attend regularly, share their experiences openly, and contribute to the building of a resource base as they are able.

To join or learn more about a community of practice, please email us here.

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Current CoPs

Living Wage

This community of practice focuses on employer practices that reduce poverty; it includes living wages, and employer human resource practices.

 A Living Wage is the amount of income an individual or family requires to meet their basic needs, and to save for future needs and goals.  It differs from a minimum wage; a living wage changes according to the cost of living in each community.  Employer human resource practices and the cost of housing and child care are important factors.  A living wage can be viewed as an affordability index – the hourly wage an individual or family requires to live in a specific community.

This CoP focuses on case studies, tools and techniques that members of collaborations use to research, analyse and affect living wages and employer human resource practices.

Following the Vibrant Communities Living Wage learning initiative in 2004 and 2005, these groups decided to form a community of practice to continue learning from and with each other. Through this community of practice, these groups exchange information, experiences, and best practices related to their work in the living wage and human resource practices arenas.

To join or learn more about the Living Wage community of practice, please email us here.

For more background, visit:

ArrowAccess the Living Wage audio seminar series
ArrowAccess more resources on Living Wage in the Resource Library
ArrowAccess the Living Wage Community of Practice brochure
ArrowAccess more resources on Working Poor in the Resource library

Evaluation

This community of practice focuses on evaluation in complex, comprehensive community collaborations.

It discusses case studies, tools and techniques that members of collaborations use to capture and make sense of the outcomes – particularly poverty reduction outcomes -- of their joint work.

The Vibrant Communities Trail Builders are actively employing and assessing their poverty reduction/quality of life building work. Several other members of the Pan-Canadian Learning Community are also preparing or have already begun implementation of local poverty reduction plans. Through this community of practice, they seek to strengthen their unique local efforts by continual networking, learning and peer support from and with their counterparts in other communities.

To join or learn more about the Evaluation community of practice, please email us here.

For more background, visit:

ArrowAccess the Measuring Learning: Developmental Evaluation audio seminar series
Arrow
Access more resources on Evaluation in the Resource Library

Previous CoP Groups

In the past, Tamarack has assisted learners from funding and government agencies to convene Communities of Practice specific to their sectors. Online seminars that originated in these communities of practice have been archived in the Learning Centre, and can be accessed below.

Engaging Business

This community of practice focused on the potentials and challenges of collaborating with the business sector for achieving social change.

It has been suspended till further notice.  To learn more about learning opportunities related to this topic, please email us here.

For more background, visit:

Arrow
More about Engaging Business in our action-Learning topics
Arrow
Access the Engaging Business audio seminar series
ArrowMore resources on Corporate Social Responsibility in the Resource Library
ArrowAccess the Engaging Business Community of Practice Brochure

Funders Network

The Vibrant Communities Funders Network is open to all national and local funders and contributors of Vibrant Communities. This includes those who support the overall work of Vibrant Communities and those who partner with and provide supports to the Vibrant Communities work in a partner community. The Network is chaired by Tim Brodhead, CEO of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and past chair of Philanthropic Foundations Canada.

ArrowAccess the Grantmaking for Comprehensive Impact audio seminar series
ArrowAccess the Social Justice Grantmaking audio seminar series

Government Learning Circle

The Government Learning Circle (GLC) allows government learners from all levels and portfolios interested in Vibrant Communities to come together to learn how they can play a key role in helping to reduce poverty through collaboration with business, the voluntary sector and citizens at the local level. Susan Scotti, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Social Development Sectors Branch of Human Resources and Social Development Canada, chairs the Circle.

ArrowAccess the Government & Community audio seminar series

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