Canada's Community Data Program

Submitted by Donna Jean Fors... on December 5, 2012 - 12:33pm

This past week the Cities Reducing Poverty Convener call hosted Michel Frojmovic of the Canadian Council on Social Development.  His role is with the Community Data Program.  He gave a wonderful presentation and highlighted the work of the program as well as how the cities reducing poverty could connect to this data.

What is the Community Data Program?

The Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) established the Community Data Program (CDP) in the mid-1990s as a gateway for municipalities and community sector organizations to access customized tables from Statistics Canada and other providers to monitor and report on social and economic development trends within their communities.

The Community Data Program is a national network of 21 community data consortia. There is a Community Data Consortium in most big Canadian cities. Members include more than 50 municipalities and 1000+ users, including local police, social planning councils, health and family service agencies, school boards United Ways and other organizations working on the ground for social development. 

There are three core purposes to the Community Data Consortium:

  1. Purchase and facilitate access to social data at the smallest geographies possible
  2. Train organizations to analyze community data and use it for better decision making
  3. Communicate and disseminate the results as widely as possible

The Community Data Consortium model has enabled the CCSD to negotiate with Statistics Canada and other data providers for the preparation and lower-cost purchase of a wide variety of data that is geographically specific for planning local programs and services, and includes a replication of income and demographic data bought in previous years.

Here is an example from the Peel Region about how they have used their Data Consortium and the data of the community data program.

Michel then created this resource for the group so that each community could know the Data Consortium that either already exists for their community or that they could create a consortia and connect to this valuable data that way.  Take a moment to look for your community! 

If you are currently part of a consortia and have used the Community Data Program I would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.