The topic of accountability is one that is frequently brought up within the non-profit sector, as people often wonder how organizations ensure that they are being managed in a good way, and that strategic decisions are being made in a way that is cohesive with the needs of the community.
In the case of The Winnipeg Boldness Project, people regularly ask us how we make strategic decisions, as well as how we choose which prototypes to work on. The truth is there is no one decision maker in our project, but rather an accountability framework that is comprised of several layers of strategic thinkers that help to keep us on track, make recommendations, and ensure that our work is being completed in a way that works for the community.
This accountability framework includes groups that are made of people from all walks of life, which ensures diversity in opinions and allows issues to be examined through a variety of lenses. We believe that the breadth of our partnerships is one of the best things about the project, as it brings people together to work on social issues that affect all of us in different ways.
We have spent the past two Parent Guide Group meetings discussing and evaluating the project’s accountability framework in great detail, in order to gain a better understanding of not only how our parents interpret our framework, but whether they feel that this framework is of value to the community.
Our overall takeaway from these discussions is that our Parent Guide Group feels that our accountability framework, one that values community input above all else, is unique and something that could or should be applied by other groups. They feel that we’ve created a structure where their opinions and feedback are valued at a very high level, and that they are able to see their input reflected in our work.
In a society where systems and frameworks are generally designed with a top down approach, where officials and delegates commonly have the final say in policy and decision-making, our parents feel that it is positive to see a framework where the community’s voice and ideas remain the most important factors in creating change for the community. They would like to see this model applied across all systems, in order to create a city that allows families and communities to make decisions for themselves, rather than having “experts” make decisions for them.