The Sault Ste. Marie Public Library and NORDIK Institute collaborated together to determine the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of the Public Library on the City of Sault Ste. Marie. The study demonstrated that the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library branches respond to the neighbourhoods in which they are located and are highly valued by community members, businesses, and service organizations. The research shows that the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library creates almost 100 jobs, generates more than $4.5 million in economic returns to the community through its programs and circulation, and is valued at $603 for every open hour. The Library supported the overall health and well-being of the community through early childhood development; increased literacy; and decreased social isolation for all strata of society.
Dr. Gayle Broad, Amanda Parr, Adela Turda
In summer 2009, the NORDIK Institute approached the Sault Ste. Marie & District Labour Council to conduct a research study on the impacts of Sault Ste. Marie trade unions on the social economy of Sault Ste. Marie. The purpose of the project was to explore the nature and extent of labour’s involvement in the social economy of Sault Ste. Marie, as a way of celebrating and making more visible the major contribution that the labour movement has made to the City of Sault Ste. Marie. Unions are an integral part of the community, and continue to contribute positively to the social economy through their relationships with community groups and organizations, as well as through the activities of their membership. These contributions have transformed leaders in the labour market to act in solidarity with others in the community. Labour’s contributions highlight similar principles to the cooperative movement, which include solidarity, democratic decision-making, skills building, and the prioritization of people before profit.
David Thompson, Dr. Gayle Broad, Arnie Harnish, Al Fraser
This exploration into the effectiveness of the Sault Ste. Marie Mental Health Court demonstrated the vital role this community service plays towards improving the outcomes for individuals experiencing mental health issues who come in conflict with the law. NORDIK researchers collected feedback from participants in the MHC processes through pre- and post-court interviews. The overall assessment of the MHC was quite positive, noting improvements in participants’ sense of self and their capacity to meet program requirements. Suggestions recommendations for areas of improvement were also noted. Through enhanced community support, this valuable service could assist individuals in avoiding incarceration and encourage improved treatment outcomes.
Robert Rawn, Dr. James Horley, Dr. Gayle Broad
ASOPRICOR is the Association for the Holistic Development of Rural and Urban Communities, a community organization that represents many rural organizations, co-operatives and communities in rural Cundinimarca, Colombia. This project studied the sustainable development initiatives in rural Columbia, including agriculture, social enterprise and women’s organizations. Researchers from Algoma University collaborated with the Columbian association ASOPRICOR to exchange knowledge and experiences of rural communities, cooperatives and organizations between North and South. The research stemmed from a knowledge exchange between ASOPRICOR and the CESD program at then Algoma University College, The goal of which was to share information and knowledge with the hope that it will be a source of inspiration, reflection and questions about the daily work of community development in both the global South and North.
2005 – 2010
Jose Agustin Reyes, Maria Eva Bergaño, Dr. Gayle Broad