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 in working together to improve how systems, services and communities interact, and to help local partners rally around a shared vision of success in tackling common issues. A Collective Impact approach can be used to address issues across sectors, including economic development, child and youth wellbeing, and housing instability.

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

What is Collective Impact for Connecting Youth?

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

Collective Impact for Connecting Youth (CICY) is a made-in-Ontario Collective Impact approach to improving outcomes for youth who are Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET).

CICY is working in demonstration communities across Ontario to bring together public, private, philanthropic and non-profit organizations, along with local businesses and community members. CICY aims to promote solutions that are co-developed and make systems more responsive to local issues.

What does it look like?

Who are Ontario’s NEET youth?

CICY is committed to supporting youth who face multiple barriers to success in their communities. In particular, CICY is focused on reducing the number of youth who are NEET. In Ontario, there are over 150,000 (nearly 1 in 10) NEET youth.

Despite efforts to support Ontario’s youth, these young people remain disconnected from school and work. The rate of NEET youth in Ontario has not significantly changed in over a decade. The systems in place to serve these young people are disconnected. Interventions have not reached a significant number of Ontario youth. By working across systems and engaging cross-sector partners, CICY will test a new way of working to ensure Ontario’s youth have what they need to thrive.

Provincial Partnership Table

CICY is guided by a group of leaders from across sectors. Established in March 2016, the Provincial Partnership Table (PPT) is comprised of leaders from the public, private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors. The PPT works with communities and youth leaders to tailor their support to what is needed locally.

PPT members include:

Public Sector – Deputy Minister Co-chairs
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport Nancy Matthews
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Service Janet Menard
Public Sector – Other Ministry Representation
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Ministry of Education
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 (Innoweave) Ryan Conway
Social Capital Partners Judy Doidge

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.

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services funds Youth Collective Impact, and it is 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 Coonnecting Youth in Ontario.


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

NEET Youth

Collective Impact