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The Potential for Philanthropic Intervention in Integrated Service Delivery

Author: Open North
Published Date: 19 June 2018

Summary

As the philanthropic sector looks to expand and deepen its impact, new avenues of intervention need to be investigated. Through documentation and interview research, this project focused on the Hub model in the Province of Saskatchewan (Canada), an integrated service delivery model run by the Government of Saskatchewan. With roots in Scotland, particularly Community Safety Glasgow (formerly Glasgow Community and Safety Services), this model is becoming integrated into local-level human service delivery by enabling collaborative approaches to risk intervention and reduction.

The operational components of the model are twofold: Hubs and the Centre of Responsibility (COR). Hubs are local-level meetings between frontline service providers where elevated risk situations are discussed and collaborative responses decided upon, while the Centre of Responsibility is an analytical support unit devoted to identifying systemic issues and providing a frontline, holistic view of data collected from all fourteen Hubs (and two First Nation Intervention Circles) across the province of Saskatchewan. While not new, this system represents an effective approach to reaching across government jurisdictions, encourage government collaboration with non-government organisations, and collect highly granular data on risk factors that enable service providers to examine root causes instead of symptoms. Through a central database managed by the Government of Saskatchewan, the Hubs and COR allow policy makers in the Government of Saskatchewan to be informed by a frontline view on service delivery and risk factors including: drug abuse, violent behaviour, and mental health issues.

This system was also assessed for potential avenues for philanthropic intervention. Given this particular model’s tight integration with government (most service providers were government or government funded institutions) and strong privacy protection protocols, direct philanthropic intervention or support for ground-level staff was not recommended. Instead, a need for support for research activities, particularly for the COR, was identified. This report recommended indirect philanthropic intervention in the Hub model, through research funding, convening to connect with research and statistical expertise, and funding for NGOs to participate and/or support the Hub.

Longer term intervention was suggested in the form of support for open data and knowledge mobilization, and the development of performance metrics to incentivise strong NGO involvement in the Hub model.

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