There is increasing consensus that lasting impact in a fast-changing world requires capacity, resources and ability in frontline research and development, or R&D. However, currently only a small proportion of social mission organizations have the organizational capacity, capability, and funding to research, design, experiment and incorporate new knowledge (like insights into how the brain works and how positive behaviours can be encouraged) or new technologies (like machine learning) or new processes (like prevention science).
R&D is an essential complement to existing social sector capabilities. Canada has the opportunity to be a world leader in using innovation to dramatically improve long term outcomes for our communities. The key to this is embedding R&D across the social sector – and grant makers and apex organizations have an integral role to play.
In order to advance this, SiG, in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation convened Social R&D practitioners and grant makers in Ottawa this Spring. The roundtable was hosted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. This highlights report illustrates central themes from the discussions and identifies where additional action was recommended by the participants.
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