Brokering Community Engagement- Models of Practice

Brokering Community Engagement- Models of Practice

Geri Briggs, B.ED. MCE

At our meeting in July we discussed the potential value added of third party brokering of community engagement partnerships.  The KMb Hub is sponsoring a project lead by  Volunteer Canada, Kitchener-Waterloo Volunteer Centre, University of Ottawa, and CACSL  to explore the role of the third party broker in community engagement.  The work will take place over the next few months and will include round table discussions, a conference, and a guide for third party brokers based on the learning generated from the groups.

Through observation and reflection I’ve identified several models of how the relationship can be brokered.   Part of the work to be done by Volunteer Canada will be to more fully describe the models, and how the process works from community perspective.   Included below is a brief description of the models as I’m seeing them:

Adhoc: Primary responsibility for the matching and relationship development is up to the community members and the faculty/students.

Institution based centralized office.  Some focus on one aspect of community engagement.  Examples:  Co-op programs, York University (Knowledge Mobilization Unit focussed on community based research).  Others provide a central point for multiple types of community engagement.  Example: University of Ottawa

Not for Profit Community Organization- Sole purpose to broker partnerships.  Examples: Trent Centre for Community Based Education brokers multiple types of projects with multiple institutions.  Centre for Community Based Research (Waterloo)- focuses on community based research engagement.

Volunteer Centres.  Volunteer centres exist to provide support to community organizations in a variety of ways.  Many have taken on the role of facilitating community campus partnerships as an additional service. Examples:  Volunteer Centre Calgary, Kitchener-Waterloo Volunteer Action Centre.

What other models have you seen?  If CFICE were to establish a project to broker engagement broker engagement, what do you see as the most appropriate organizing principles?

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