What We Do
Living SJ is the embodiment of the movement to end generational poverty in Saint John
Living SJ is a Collective Impact Initiative.
Living SJ is co-led by a diverse and growing network of 100 plus members who are a combination of content leaders (understand the issues and solutions) and context leaders (know how to drive solutions forward).
There are four Collective Impact Teams guiding strategies and actions to achieve key targets in the following priority areas:
Education: Close the education achievement gap;
Employment: Connect low income residents to employment through education and training;
Health: Improve the health of residents through neighbourhood-based models of care;
Neighbourhoods: Transform low-income neighbourhoods into vibrant mixed income communities.
Living SJ is about working differently together in the Saint John area. It’s about applying an approach to mobilizing action around our community priorities. This includes:
developing a common agenda – agreeing on what we can do together differently;
measurements – knowing the difference we are making with our actions;
communication – sharing information;
broad stakeholder involvement – contributing differently to the solutions; and
a centralized structure to keep the momentum going – supporting our work, the sharing of information and our results.
This approach highlights the collaborative spirit of our community. We can work across different groups in our community whether government, business, non-profits or residents, with activities that build on each of our strengths and focus on common priorities to make a difference.
Step #1 Research
We started off by collecting local, provincial, national and global reports and strategies relevant to community issues and solutions. These were synthesized into 12 issue areas that serve as important quality of life components for Greater Saint John.
Step #2 Community Engagement
We held 27 focus group sessions around twelve issue areas between March and May of 2014 and heard from 111 people in the community, including service providers, community leaders, businesses and government. The Lean 6 Sigma approach was used in the focus groups with a number of tools and strategies for weighting and prioritizing needs. This helped ensure that our approach to prioritizing key social issues in Greater Saint John was objective and comprehensive.
Each focus group area met between two and four times to complete this work.
The input was very rich.
Almost 500 critical needs were identified.
62 priorities were identified that would have the most impact on the community.
We narrowed this to 4 Priorities.
We have developed a road map forward - our social renewal strategy.
Step #3 Action
Four Collective Impact Teams, led by co-chairs have devised action plans to meet the Living SJ targets and measure its success. Improving the quality of life of Saint John's residents depends on genuine ownership by the larger community and continues to be a principle of the work of each Collective Impact Team.
Step #4 Learning & Adaptation
A number of quantitative and qualitative methods are being employed to monitor Living SJ progress. A growing network of partners is offering data collection/analysis support to track progress. We are learning and adapting as we go, so we can have the greatest impact.