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Collective Impact in Ontario

What is Collective Impact?

Collective Impact is an approach to tackling complex social problems in communities. Its central philosophy is that no single policy, program, government ministry, sector or organization alone can solve these problems.

Collective Impact aims to support local groups working together in communities to improve how multiple systems and groups work together and rally around a shared vision of success in tackling common issues. A Collective Impact approach can be used to tackle issues across sectors, including economic development, child and youth wellbeing, the environment and housing instability.

The Ontario government has embraced the Collective Impact approach in a number of initiatives to support improving outcomes for youth.

What is Collective Impact for Disconnected Youth?

We know that some of Ontario’s youth face very complex issues and that they interact with many different systems (e.g. health, education, justice, employment) across government and in their community.

Collective Impact for Disconnected Youth (CIDY) is a made-in-Ontario approach to improving outcomes for youth who face multiple barriers to success.

The approach brings together a range of leaders, resources and investments to experiment with a new way of working together to move the needle on youth outcomes in selected demonstration communities across Ontario.

By bringing together government, local business, philanthropy and the non-profit sector, CIDY aims to promote solutions that are co-developed and better align systems to be more responsive to local youth issues.

What does it look like?

Who are Ontario’s NEET youth?

Recognizing that the majority of youth in Ontario are thriving, CIDY is committed to supporting youth who face multiple barriers to success in school and at work. In particular, CIDY is focused on reducing the number of youth who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET). In Ontario, there are approximately 160,000 (nearly 1 in 10) NEET youth.

Despite significant investment in Ontario’s youth sector, these young people have become disconnected from school and work. The rate of NEET youth in Ontario has not significantly changed in over a decade. This is because the systems are disconnected, not the young people. Recognizing that these investments have failed to reach this group of youth, by working across systems and engaging various levels of partners, CIDY will test a new way of working to improve the lives of these youth.

Provincial Partnership Table

CIDY is guided by a group of leaders from across sectors. Established in March 2016, this Provincial Partnership Table (PPT) is made up of leaders from the public, private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors. The PPT is working with communities and youth leaders to tailor their contributions to what is needed on the ground.

Provincial Partner Table members include:

Public Sector
Ministry of Children and Youth Service Nancy Matthews
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Alex Bezzina
Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development Glenn Craney
Ministry of Municipal Affairs / Ministry of Housing Laurie LeBlanc
Ministry of Education Bruce Rodrigues
Private Sector
Hospitality Workers Training Centre Mandie Abrams
RBC Noah Aiken-Klar
Starbucks Canada Ross Anderson
Virgin Unite RE*Generation Joanne Kviring
Non-Profit Sector
United Way Toronto & York Region Nation Cheong
Ontario Trillium Foundation Jennifer Roynon
Philanthropic Sector
Laidlaw Foundation (Youth CI) Jehad Aliweiwi
J.W. McConnell Family Foundation Stephen Huddart/Aaron Good
Social Capital Partners Bill Young/Judy Doidge
Lyle S. Hallman Foundation Laura Manning
Strategic Advisor Suzanne Herbert

Youth Collective Impact

Youth Collective Impact (CI) helps groups of community, government, and private sector organizations across Ontario learn about, develop and launch Collective Impact projects that generate change in local community settings, such as: increasing secondary school graduation rates or reducing the number of youth who experience homelessness.

Funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and delivered by the Laidlaw Foundation in partnership with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation’s Innoweave Initiative, Youth Collective Impact works to build the capacity of Ontario’s youth serving sector so that communities are able to work collaboratively and tackle complex community problems. Youth CI offers support to existing and potential community-based groups through information and engagement sessions, workshops, coaching and funding.


Email to learn more about Collective Impact for Disconnected Youth in Ontario.


Here are some resources to help you learn more about the Collective Impact methodology.

NEET Youth

Collective Impact