Silos to Systems: Building Collaborative Capacity to Tackle Community Issues that Matter in the South Cariboo

By Lisa De Paoli

Silos to Systems was a South Cariboo Community Planning Council workshop presented in partnership with Interior Health in October 2015. It was facilitated by BC Healthy Communities Society (BCHC) on behalf of the PlanH program. It brought together government, community leaders, organizations and service providers to discuss how the community can collaborate  to make significant impacts in reducing poverty.  It was the first time the community leaders and providers convened to talk about issues that impact poverty and how collaboration can reduce poverty in the South Cariboo.

Presentations by Interior Health and the South Cariboo Community Planning Council described how child vulnerability, food insecurity, aging population, anxiety and depression and employment affect the health, well-being and economy of the South Cariboo. Participants explored what the community needs to be healthy and what the barriers are. Emphasis was placed on social connectedness and building bridges for collaboration.

It was the first time that community leaders and providers got together to talk about issues that impact poverty and how collaboration can reduce poverty in the South Cariboo.

The evaluation results from the workshop showed significant support for bringing leaders, service providers and community members together from across many sectors and communities – face to face. Participants felt it was an excellent model to initiate positive discussions, common understandings and an excitement to work together. 

The well-developed BC Healthy Communities facilitation model also contributed to the success of the day. Each of the presentations and group work done throughout the day generated discussion about how the community can work together to make a positive difference to those most vulnerable while also improving overall health and well being and economic development in the South Cariboo. Lea Smirfitt, a member of the workshop planning committee told the 100Mile Free Press that a strength of the community is, “a community working together for the health and wellbeing, safety and sense of belonging in the South Cariboo.”

The Planning Committee is working on a document to summarize the work completed by the team discussions throughout the day. The summary will also include proposed actions to move forward in collaboration and poverty reduction. This document will be provided to BC Healthy Communities to include on their website.

For more information please contact Marna Forsyth Executive Coordinator South Cariboo Community Planning Council: marna.forsyth[at]gov.bc.ca”

Photo credit: Gavin Cites, 100 Mile Free Press