Community Engagement

How Kingston CHC is using the CIW as a community engagement tool


Community Engagement ‘Where Everyone Matters’

“We consider the contribution of Kingston CHC to be really significant in so far it really generated some great information and insights that wouldn’t otherwise have been discovered, such as a comment about the fact that Kingston has no water fountains.” Bryan Smale, ED, CIW

The one guiding principle above all others that CHCs consider to be sacrosanct is we are places ‘’where everyone matters.” What this means with respect to community engagement is that a concerted effort must be made to reach out to vulnerable populations.

Taking this to heart, a key role that the Kingston Community Health Centre performed was to ensure that people living in poverty would be included in the Kingston Community Foundation’s Vital Signs that used the CIW as framework.

How they did it?

  1. Through the Kingston CHC’s membership on their Anti Poverty group, permission was sought to reach out to people residing at shelters or attending hot meal programs
  2. Interviewers with lived experience were recruited, trained and offered honorariums.
  3. Face to face interviews were conducted over a three day period.
  4. Each person who completed an interview was given a $ 5.00 gift card from Tim Hortons as token of appreciation for their participation.
  5. A total of 52 surveys were completed and forwarded to CIW for analysis

Why this contribution is significant?

While in no way trying to undermine the value of broad based CIW community survey tools such as have been employed in Guelph and Kingston, the reality is that only a certain segment of the population tends to respond to these approaches.

The reality is different segments of the populations respond more favorably to different data collection approaches.

As a result, the best approach to take when performing community needs and assessment studies is to take a comprehensive approach that consists of a blend of primary data obtained from surveys, interviews and focus groups, coupled with secondary data where possible.