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:
- Purchase and facilitate access to social data at the smallest geographies possible
- Train organizations to analyze community data and use it for better decision making
- 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.
The Community Data Program is led by the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD). CCSD is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, which was founded in 1920. CCSD’s mission is to develop and promote progressive social policies inspired by social justice, equality and the empowerment of individuals and communities. CCSD does this through research, consultation, public education and advocacy. Its main product is information. Its sources of funding include research contracts, the sale of publications and memberships, and donations.
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