CPO and Street Violence – brief context
Since 2013, Crime Prevention Ottawa has been leading a collaborative strategy (“collective impact”) to reduce street violence in the city. The collaboration has included many different partners including school boards, youth serving agencies, public health, police, community houses, and immigrant serving agencies (click here for a full list of agencies that have taken part in our meetings).

The Strategy aims to address the issue across four pillars of action (listed from the most preventative to the least): neighbourhood cohesion, prevention, intervention, and enforcement. The strategy has gone through 2 cycles, from 2013-2016, and from 2017-2020. At the beginning of each cycle, the community was consulted to determine the direction (2012, 2017), a strategy was developed (2013, 2017), and at the end the efforts were evaluated (2016, 2020).

Calls for a Change of Approach
Towards the end of our last cycle, and particularly since the murder of George Floyd, we have heard from the community that the approach to address street violence needs to be more strengths-based, focus more on root causes, and be built by people from the community. In addition, we heard that the power dynamics in the way we govern the strategy also needs to shift more towards the community.

CPO heard these concerns and, with board approval, created a $50,000 Call for Proposal to conduct community consultations and propose a new strategy.

The Call for Proposals was an open process that any incorporated and insured organization could apply for.

Call for Proposals Timeline
Sept 13, 2021 – The CPO Board approved the call for proposals to refresh the old strategy.
Sept 23, 2021 – We advertised a call for proposals and the information session by posting it to our website and distributing it to our list of over 4,000 people. We also did some targeted outreach where we encouraged consultants from the Black and racialized communities to apply.
Oct 5, 2021 – We hosted an information session to answer questions about the call for proposals.
Oct 21, 2021 – Applications were submitted.
Dec 16, 2021 – We hosted the call for proposals review committee. The committee used a scoring grid based on the criteria in the call for proposals to identify the highest scoring bid. The scoring was based on an equal point distribution:

  • Knowledge and experience in delivering community-based research projects and reports. – 12.5%
  • BIPOC leadership and staff and/or lived experience and experience in the sector will be prioritized. – 12.5%
  • Knowledge and experience with community engagement and broad based consultation – 12.5%
  • Knowledge and experience with collective impact evaluation approaches – 12.5%
  • Knowledge and experience with design of community based governance structures – 12.5%
  • Knowledge and experience with street violence issues – 12.5%
  • Realistic timeline for project – 12.5%
  • Budget (Realistic? Reasonable?) – 12.5%

We then worked to finalize the contract based on committee feedback. This information was presented to CPO’s Street Violence committee and board of directors in the new year.

Why we chose Hefid Solutions and CT Labs
Hefid Solutions and CT Labs had the highest score of all applicants. Their team was the most representative, diverse, and experienced. Click here to find out more about their team and this project. 

CPO Board response to complaints
The CPO Board heard complaints from the community that the contractors were not suitable to conduct the refresh. On Monday, June 6, 2022, the CPO Board held an in-camera (i.e. not open to the public) discussion about whether the process to select the contractors was appropriate. The CPO Board concluded that the contract was awarded in accordance with CPO’s policies and procedures.

How CPO will strengthen the process in the future
Letters of confirmation from all members of consulting team: To protect all parties involved – the community, the sub-contracted consultants, the lead consultant, and CPO – we will be requiring applications to include letters of confirmation of all team members of the consulting team. This will reduce the chance for miscommunication and misunderstanding between all parties.  

Build honouraria expenses into the funding envelope: In contracts that will likely require honouraria/compensation for participants, CPO will build increase the funding envelope to include those expenses. This will eliminate the need to create one-time funding that is separate from the original call for proposal in order to compensate community members for their involvement. Also, this will ensure that all funds given to community was approved by multiple reviewers.