This case study, written by FSG, focuses on Vibrant Communities, a multi-layer collective impact initiative focused on unleashing the potential of communities across Canada to reduce poverty and ensure a good quality of life for all citizens. This case study provides collective impact backbone organizations, funders, and partners with an overview of the initiative and key lessons learned.

This case study accompanies a video interview with Paul Born and Liz Weaver, president and vice president of the Tamarack Institute.

Key Facts
Initiative / backbone name:
Vibrant Communities / Tamarack
Year initiative formed: 2002
Mission: Create and grow a movement of diverse leaders and communities from across Canada who are committed to exploring, challenging, and testing ways to unleash the potential of communities to substantially reduce poverty and ensure a good quality of life for all citizens
Geography: 50 communities across Canada
Impact area: Community Development - Poverty Reduction

Summary
Vibrant Communities is a multi-tier collective impact effort that unleashes the potential of communities across Canada to substantially reduce poverty and to ensure a good quality of life for all citizens.

Problem
By the early 2000s, efforts to reduce poverty in Canada had stalled:

  • National poverty fell from 29% to 13% between 1961 and 1977, but lost momentum in the late 1900s and remained in 14-19% range through 2000s.
  • Human service agencies struggled to meet community need as they simultaneously faced increased demand and decreased funding.


Innovation and collaboration were needed to regain momentum in Canadian poverty reduction.

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