Social Capital and Social Planning Practice
Dr. Joey Edwardh and Peter Clutterbuck
Much like “health is a resource for living”, social capital is a resource for social change and development. The raw material for social capital lies in the assets and capacities of communities (people, organizations, settings, etc.), which can be mobilized, activated and developed.
SPNO case study research suggests that good social planning practice does not “form” social capital as much as support the activation of social capital in communities. The research further indicates that social planning organizations, as trusted community “brokers” and “convenors”, frequently play important “bridging” roles across communities and sectors. Opportunities arise when social planning can promote and even lead in “scaling-up” or vertical linking strategies for policy, systemic, and institutional change.
This presentation will develop these and other learnings from a series of SPNO community case studies on social capital highlighting the Food for Thought Program of the Halton Social Planning Council.
Dr. Joey Edwardh is Executive Director of the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre. Born in Alberta, she studied at Syracuse University in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where she earned her doctorate in Human Geography and a Certificate in Gerontology.
Dr. Edwardh’s career has been dedicated to work in the area of social and health sciences, social research, policy analysis and community development both in Canada and internationally. Dr.Edwardh brings to the Halton community experience in a range of service, planning and advocacy organizations which include grass roots community organizations, agencies of the voluntary sector, universities, municipal government and the United Nations. She has written extensively on productive aging, issues of poverty and income equity, the social implications of the privatization of health and social service and the need for a strong and vibrant civil society. Her role as a volunteer in a number of community agencies marks her commitment to her community. She brings her understanding of how divisiveness, fear, economic insecurity and opportunism are overcome in the process of building healthy communities.
Peter Clutterbuck has worked in the voluntary human services sector at the community, provincial and national levels for almost thirty years. He just recently completed almost ten years of leadership at the executive director level with the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto and its predecessor organization, the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto.
Since May of 2001, he has combined a community research role with the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) with independent consulting and research. His work with the SPNO involves researching community case studies on the social capital activation strategies of local social planning councils. On behalf of SPNO, Peter has also worked with the Laidlaw Foundation in developing a social inclusion framework for Laidlaw’s Children’s Agenda Programme, now called “Building Inclusive Cities and Communities”.
Peter has extensive experience in the voluntary sector. He conducted sector surveys on funding issues with the Metro SPC in the early 1980s (Neighbourhoods Under Stress), which led to the creation of a new funding program for community services (Community and Neighbourhood Support Services Program). Peter also participated in the design and oversaw the Metro SPC's research contribution to two surveys of 400 community agencies on funding issues in 1995-96 (Profiles of a Changing World).
Peter remains actively involved in research and consulting in the non-profit sector. He has also developed and teaches an undergraduate university level course called Critical Issues in the Non-Profit Sector in Ryerson University's Certificate Program in Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Studies.
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