Using Social Data in Community Evaluation: OCASI’s New Service Information System


Information from public datasets available through Statistics Canada and other providers are useful for tracking social indicators at a large scale like provinces or major cities, but how can they be used at a smaller scale by community organizations? How can community data help agencies improve and demonstrate their impact? Join us on October 5th, 2017 at 1:30pm - 3pm ET to hear from Dr. Gillian Kerr on an exciting new project that is creating a shared information platform to support evaluation and learning among community agencies.

Dr. Gillian Kerr, an organizational psychologist who has been leading evaluations and policy reviews for decades, is working with CCSD to create a community data portal, a key component of a new shared Service Information System (SIS) being developed to serve the needs of 200 agencies serving immigrants and refugees in Canada. The initiative is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration in a partnership grant between the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and LogicalOutcomes.  

The Service Information System will include a registry of validated indicators defined according to international metadata standards, a shared evaluation platform for OCASI's member agencies that will include client surveys and administrative data, as well as the community data portal. The data portal will house information on income and employment, by immigration status, age group, location and sex, as well as other social and economic indicators drawn from Statistics Canada and eventually other datasets.

Community agencies will be able to assess community needs and demographics, working with powerful data visualization and reporting tools to create accessible and meaningful data products to support learning and evaluation. For example, an agency may be able to show that their client group is representative of the local community on relevant variables while achieving better outcomes in employment. Through the SIS, we hope to enable the use of quasi-experimental evaluation designs incorporating public datasets from multiple sources as is being done by the Johns Hopkins's National Evaluation Platform in Africa.

The webinar will present our progress so far, as well as our challenges and plans for the next couple of years, and more generally, the opportunities opening up for community organizations to pursue learning and evaluation that meets their needs.

Enter your details below to register. You will receive an email one week before the event with the link to the webinar. Max participants at 100. Event is open for all CDP members.

If you have registered but have not received a link to the webinar, please email