An important deadline is coming up for organizations wishing to participate in the États Généraux du Communautaire in 2015, which we’ll refer to hereafter as the “États Généraux”, and which can be roughly translated as the Community Sector’s Provincial Conference. All community groups who wish to participate in the États Généraux will want to fill an internal consultation document before May 15th 2014 (in 9 days).
What are the États Généraux du Communautaire?
The États Généraux are meant to be a collective inquiry and reflexion to determine possible actions for the future of the movement of autonomous community action in Quebec. The major event, a provincial conference in 2015, will be preceded by two steps: a consultation of individual community groups through a questionnaire, and a regional consultation. Groups are to collaborate in these various steps to collectively represent the current situation of the community sector, in relation to the principles of autonomous community action. Groups may also propose actions to engage in collectively in the future. An example could be a common set of strategies to maintain an organization’s autonomy in decision-making when faced with requests from funders.
Who is organizing the event?
The CTROC, Coalition des Tables Régionales d’Organismes Communautaires, a national network of regional networks, is organizing the États Généraux. Community groups are invited to be voting participants (local and regional networks can attend only as observers). Some 500 groups have already signed up. Regional consultations will also be co-organized with your TROC (Table Régionale d’Organismes Communautaires). In Montreal, this role is played by the RIOCM. See links below for members of the CTROC to identify your TROC.
What to expect from attending?
It will be an occasion to network with the broader community movement from across Quebec, and to discuss problems and solutions with other groups to common problems. The goal is to discuss the current situation of autonomous community action and to find strategies and collective actions that groups can adopt and execute together to further this movement and the community sector. It’s open to all community groups, not restricted to health and social services groups. Local and regional networks may attend as observers to accompany their members.
The provincial conference will be broken down into workshops, and you can attend the ones that are most relevant to your organization. Which topics will be discussed? In the consultation questionnaire, you’re being asked to rank topics such as work conditions, independence from funders (autonomy), collectively mobilizing for more mission (core) funding, movement building, etc. In question 3.8, you’re also being asked to list any topics you’d like to see discussed that aren’t mentioned in the document. The responses participating groups will give should inform the process for the prioritization of topics. Like all collective action, what will come out of it concretely is directly related to what participants will make of it.
How to participate.
If you want to participate, to be eligible to participate in later steps, your organization must first do an internal consultation step by May 15th (see links below). The deadline is tight. The CTROC encourages you to involve not just staff, but also board and/or members in this process, as all are part of the organization. The form is only available in French, and the provincial conference will also only be organized in French. This means that some level of French proficiency is required to participate fully in this event. You can however write to the CTROC and call them if you have questions when filling out your form.
Even if you’re not directly participating, as the preparatory steps and the events unfold, they have the potential for far-reaching change which could interest or concern your organization. You may want to get in touch with the CTROC, or your local TROC, to be kept in the loop concerning the outcomes of this exercise.
Related to this topic : Just Talking event at COCo
Community groups who already participate in coalitions for community organizing may also want to consider participating in COCo’s upcoming event (next week) on May 14, Just talking: an opportunity to discuss democratic decision-making within multisectoral coalitions.
Resources and links
États Généraux Page
General information document about the États Généraux
Guide for participation in the État Généraux
Document for consultation in your organization (to be completed before May 15)
- Online : https://fr.surveymonkey.com/s/etats_generaux
- PDF: http://www.ctroc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/sondage-e%CC%81tats-ge%CC%81ne%CC%81raux.pdf
- Word: http://www.ctroc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/feuille-reponse-cahier-de-participation-etats-generaux1.doc
CTROC’s 16 members (together representing 3000 community groups total)