Q: What does SEDI stand for?
A: Social and Enterprise Development Innovations. The organizational name reflects SEDI's dedication to recognizing and facilitating opportunities for social progress. More specifically, however, it communicates that the seat of such progress is in the value of the individual and the ability to unlock and encourage the potential that resides within all of us.
Q: Is SEDI a policy think-tank?
A: Not by the classic model in which intellectuals, academics and experts are housed in an organization in order to answer the research inquiries of funders. More than a “think tank”, SEDI is a “do tank”. This means that SEDI's research projects draw on the results of programs: real-life interactions with everyday people and the everyday experience of making a living. As these programs are based in the community, delivered either through community-serving organizations or, less frequently, one-on-one with individuals, SEDI not only produces answers to research questions, but demonstrates and communicates the results, as well. Therefore, SEDI not only studies social and economic patterns, but acts as an intermediary through which communities and individuals can communicate with decision makers to inform public policy.
Q: Does SEDI do any front line program delivery?
A: SEDI strives to be a non-front-line program delivery agent. As such, SEDI is able to work closely with front-line organizations, facilitating the development of their capacity to bring innovative programming to vulnerable communities and individuals experiencing both chronic and acute poverty. An active example of this principle at work is the learn $ave program which drew on the expertise of organizations such as the Halifax based Prior Learning Assessment Centre to develop a financial capability curriculum on asset-building for low and modest-income Canadians that was then delivered through different community-service sites across the country.
Such partnerships provide SEDI with the unique opportunity to learn about the challenges and barriers that vulnerable communities and citizens face on an everyday basis.
Q: Who are SEDI's partners?
A: Many community-serving organizations, private companies and governments at all levels from across Canada have participated in helping to support, develop and deliver SEDI programs and projects. To date, SEDI has worked in over 50 communities with more than 100 different organizations. To learn more about these partnerships, click here.
Q: Who are SEDI's funders?
A: Funding for SEDI programs and research comes from an array of national and international public and private sector sources. For a complete list of funders, please click here.
Q: How does SEDI assist people earning modest income?
A: SEDI's assistance to people earning modest incomes takes on many different shapes. Examples of SEDI's work at the hands-on level are our youth-serving initiatives which work with community-engaged agencies, providing programs that develop social and economic awareness among youth-at-risk. Another example of SEDI's hands-on work in another area is our recent collaboration with the Office of Learning Technologies to develop and deliver, with the support of community-serving organizations, online tools that people with disabilities can use to start their own businesses.
SEDI's assistance to people earning modest incomes is also based in broader activities of research and advocacy. Partnerships with a variety of different community-serving organizations puts SEDI in the unique position to be able to tap into the stories of struggle and success that make up the fabric of Canada's society and economy. SEDI's Ottawa office keeps the organization well-placed to transfer learning and knowledge and to remain current where policy change and formation is concerned.
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