How are we doing as a community? As a region?
How well do we work together?
Are we welcoming and engaging all the voices and talents in our communities?
Asking these questions, and the conversation that follows, are the first steps in building the kind of vibrant and thriving neighbourhood, community and region we want to live in – a community that comes together to take on the next challenge. Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, we've had our share of tough times. As the challenges keep coming, seemingly larger and more complex, it is more important than ever to understand each other and work together in ways that tap into all the skills, knowledge and resources present in our communities and regions.
The Community Check-In tool is designed to support these conversations and the people across Newfoundland and Labrador who see a greater untapped potential for their communities and regions - a potential unleashed by finding ways of working, creating solutions, and building hope together.
The Harris Centre uses the Community Check-In tool through our Thriving Regions Partnership Process (TRPP). However, all of the resources on this site - including the tool itself - are available for download and use by anyone interested in hosting a conversation, not just those actively involved in TRPP.
If you would like to use the Community Check-In tool in your community, network or region, feel free to get in touch with us. We are glad to have a chat, answer your questions and help you consider your options.
Chris Paterson, Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator
The short answer is “anybody who cares about their community or region.” The Harris Centre uses it as part of our Thriving Regions Partnership Process (TRPP), but any individual, organization or group of people can download and use the materials. This could include all types of individuals; e.g.,
- A community resident actively engaged in community life
- Local elected official
- Members from a community organization or regional network
- Ministers or other faith leaders
- One or more business leaders in the community
In all of these and other possible examples, two key qualities include (a) they care about their community’s or region's future and (b) are interested in bringing other people into the conversation about ways of strengthening their community and region.
There is no single recipe for building a thriving, vibrant community or region. But past research and practice has identified some key ingredients or “practices” that contribute to a community’s civic capacity and resilience – its ability to come together and effectively address problems and tough challenges. Using the Community Check-In tool is one way for diverse groups of people within communities and regions to develop a better shared understanding of what they view as strengths and areas needing improvement around these practices. This is a good first step and foundation for then identifying ways of strengthening those practices and working more effectively together – unleashing the untapped potential within our communities and regions.
There are many different definitions for "civic capacity". The description we prefer is “a community’s (or region’s) capability for collective action to solve local problems and its willingness to energize this capability.” Resilience is another one of those terms that people use in different ways. A definition that captures how we think about it comes from the McConnell Foundation – “A resilient system is one that remains healthy and successful while responding to shocks or disturbances. In other words, without losing its essential qualities, it adapts. This goes beyond simply coping, or `bouncing back’ to a prior state; it involves learning and integrating new and old in a fresh synthesis.”