ONRC Project Initiatives

Systemic Change – Getting to the Root of the Problem

Charity is the act of helping people meet their present needs by supplying food, clothing, accommodation and immediate needs. Systemic Change on the other hand is making fundamental change in the system so that people can help themselves. It’s making changes that address root causes of barriers for those in need. Some examples are correcting long term problems in communities, advocating for just social policies, or developing local community enterprises. As Vincentians it is important that we address both. We need to take care of the immediate need but we need to look further and try to uncover the fundamental cause or “Root Cause” of the problem.

The ONRC Systemic Change committee is focused on helping to start new projects and initiatives which would bring about Systemic Change for those in need. Project requests come from councils or conferences that have a financial request for seed money to launch a project to provide new help for those in need. These projects vary in size and scope however the ones that make fundamental change or remove barriers on an on going basis provided the best social impact. We now have several projects in place and we encourage all members to look for Systemic Change opportunities to help those in need. ONRC may be able to provide the seed money and help needed to get your project going. Application forms are available on this website.

The “Systemic Change Projects Committee” provides more than just the basic funding screening function. We collaborate with the requesting Councils or Conferences by addressing their fundamental project questions of:

  • Why the change is required (Social impact)
  • What needs to change (the barriers, root cause investigation)
  • Where will the changes be made (local, business, charity org., government services, etc?)
  • How do we make the changes (Process, resources, prerequisites, etc?)
  • Who will carry out the changes (resources needed and commitment)
  • When will it be done (the basic schedule)
  • Cost estimate of expenses for the project
  • Sustainability – How will the change be sustained
  • Replicability – Is it replicable in other areas, conferences, councils, etc

We have limited funds set aside for this committee to allocate to qualifying projects. Funding may also come from other sponsors such as councils, other conferences, or other organizations. We are encouraging all conferences and councils to dedicate effort and hopefully name a “Systemic Change” person in their group to explore issues in their area. They may well find that by simply raising the awareness of Systemic Change that they may be able to make Systemic Changes without the need of the committee. Systemic changes come in all shapes and sizes and do not have to involve an external committee. Projects may range from a very specific change situation for an individual to larger changes in local services, policy to even bigger changes to government services. We encourage local groups to explore efforts that may be also operating in your neighbourhood, city or region that may be addressing similar issues.

Our Systemic Change Committee attempts to network with all council and conference vincentians to bring about positive change for those we serve. We hope that we can provide a catalyst in working with others (councils, conferences, and individuals) to make meaningful and sustainable Systemic Change. For inquiries about this committees please email Jere Hartnett Chair Systemic Change Project Committee at systemicchange.ssvp@ssvp.on.ca


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