What is "civic capacity"?

    There are 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.”

    What do you mean by "resilience"?

    Resilience is 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.”

    Who can use this tool?

    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 toolkit 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 are they (a) 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. 

    Is this part of the Harris Centre's Thriving Regions Partnership Process?

    Yes and no. We will be using this toolkit in the process we call Thriving Regions Partnership Process (TRPP). So if you live in a region we are working with at the moment, you will likely be hearing about this and invited to a workshop to participate in the discussion. But you do not have to be part of a TRPP process to use this toolkit. Anybody can download and use the resources on this page - including the assessment tool. 

    Can I get help using the tool?

    The Harris Centre will be offering facilitated workshops using the Community Check-In tool through our Thriving Regions Partnership Process. If you would like to explore how to use the tool and resources on this page in other settings, we would be glad to have a quick chat to answer your questions and explore different ways you can best use the tool for your context. 

    Where and how can I get started?

    Here are a few ideas for different types of Community Check-In conversations you could consider:

    A.    “Can we have a chat?” – Sometimes an easy and useful first step is just to have a conversation with a few other people. You can share the Community Check-In tool with a few friends, neighbours, or family members. If some of them are interested, see if you can find time to have a chat about how your community or region tends to engage in public discussions, come to collective decisions and work together. Start the conversation and see if this is something that people may want to explore further. 

    B.    "How can our region support thriving businesses and organizations (and vice versa)?" – There is a relationship between healthy, thriving places and vibrant and successful organizations. The performance and sustainability of businesses, service organizations, not-for-profits and other community-based enterprises is affected by the health of the relationships and strength of the “community capital” in the places where they work and serve. Whether as part of an informal “lunchtime discussion” or included as a planned session for a meeting or conference, Community Check-In may help identify the ways in which organizations, networks or associations can be part of a virtuous cycle of thriving places and thriving enterprises.

    C.    “How are we doing as a community?” – Perhaps you are a community resident actively engaged in community life, a local elected official, a business owner in the community, or a member of a local community group who is concerned about the future of your community. Chances are others also share your concern. The Community Check-In tool is a useful way for you to frame and start a community conversation on how you can all work more effectively together to address community challenges and priorities.