Canadian Index of Wellbeing wins international award for work with City of Guelph

The Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) Impact award celebrates projects from around the world that demonstrate the power of indicators to drive positive community change. “It was an honour to attend #CICSummit 2013 and be surrounded by communities and researchers doing amazing work” says CIW Associate Director of Research Margo Hilbrecht, in Chicago October 17-18 with the City of Guelph to give a presentation and receive the prestigious award; the CIW’s first international award.

group photo accepting CIC award in Chicago, 2013

Left to right: joe Baldwin, President, CIC; Margo Hilbrecht, Associate Director of Research, CIW; Barb Powell, General Manager of Community Engagement, City of Guelph; Craig Helmstetter, Award Chair, CIC. Photo courtesy of Flickr: Stephen B. Thomas, Oct. 17, 2013, Chicago. 

This award is a success story originating from a demand for local data after the launch of the CIW national composite index of wellbeing report How Are Canadians Really doing? First to approach the CIW for local data was the City of Guelph, Ontario and it resulted in the development of a new Community Wellbeing Survey tool. This innovation is the first of its kind in Canada and uses the CIW framework as a guide to ask residents how they are really doing.

The findings from the CIW survey, along with all of the other information gathered from the extensive community engagement process undertaken by the City of Guelph, has been used to create a community profile and the City’s new community wellbeing strategy. The strategy aims to improve services and facilitate community-wide action to enhance wellbeing in Guelph. Mayor Karen Farbridge says “receiving the Impact Award is a clear indication of how the Guelph community strongly values wellbeing…the initiative is a model of how residents and government can work together and share accountability to achieve better outcomes.”