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Partnership Research in Quebec : before and after the CURA program. Benoît Lévesque, Professor Emeritus UQAM et ÉNAP Marguerite Mendell, Professor School of Public and Community Affairs Concordia University FIESS 2011, October 19th. Contents. Introduction

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partnership research in quebec before and after the cura program

PartnershipResearch in Quebec: before and after the CURA program

Benoît Lévesque, Professor Emeritus


Marguerite Mendell, Professor

School of Public and Community Affairs

Concordia University

FIESS 2011, October 19th

  • Introduction
  • The experience of research that prepared the way for the CURA-SE
    • An overview of the Quebec experience
    • What these experiences taught us
  • The CURA-SE
    • CURA-SE (the research project, 2000)
    • CURA-SE (PHASE 2, 2005)
      • The case of CAP Finance
    • Proposal for a new CURA Program and a Canadian SE Hub (2004)
    • The Quebec Social Economy Hub (Réseau québécois de recherche partenariale en économie sociale) (2005-2011)
  • Conclusion
  • Historically, the SE has been closely tied to research
    • SEs such as cooperatives: a movement associated with certain practices but also a movement involving ideas (for example, nineteenth century utopian ideas)-The SE seeks to expand through example and conviction; it gives important status to research and demonstration; need for legitimization-The SE, more complex (social issues embedded in economic issues... and vice-versa) need for applied research or administrative research
  • The Quebec example
    • Société d’économie sociale de Montréal (1888-1911)
    • Creation of a Chair in Social Economy(É. Montpetit, 1904)
    • Creation of a Chair in Co-operation(Père Lévesque, 1938)
an overview of some institutional experiences 1960 1990
An overview of some institutional experiences(1960-1990)
  • New universities which identify a third mission ...
  • CIRIEC-Canada, Centre of Research and Information on Public and Cooperative Economy (U. Sir George Williams, 1966)
  • UCI (Université coopérative internationale)/CIRIEC (1977-1985) et Coopérative de recherche-action de l’Est du Québec (CRAEQ)
  • Chaire de la coopération (U. Sherbrooke, 1967; now IRECUS)
  • Mouvement Desjardins and Reserarch Chair on cooperatives and community development (HEC-Montréal, 1973; UQAM, 1983; Moncton, 1990; UQO, 1998)
  • Community Services, research and formation (UQAM) (1972)
  • School of Community and Public Affairs (Concordia University, 1979)
  • Institute for Community Development (Concordia U., 1985)
  • Partnership Research funding by Quebec government
    • Concerted action of FCAC, then FCAR (end of 1970), now FQRSC
    • CQRS (Conseil québécois de recherche sociale) from 1992, today FQRSC
action research and partnership research
Action Research and Partnership Research
  • Action Research (participatory action research: co-production)
    • A search for an activity or an experience already achieved (UCI)
    • A search for an action or a future experience
    • Tandem
      • Activist academic researchers
      • Researcher Practitioners
  • Partnership Research (university-community: co-construction)
    • Protocol (quasi-contract), joint committee (board of directors),
    • Steering committee; development officers (liaison/contact)
    • Roles somewhat differentiated
    • Professionnalization of partnership research
    • Epistemological basis: theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge, tacit knowledge and codified knowledge
mode 2 knowledge production
Mode 2 knowledge production

D’après: Godin et Trépanier, 2000; Gibbons et al. 1994

cura on social economy 2000
CURA on Social Economy (2000)
  • Continuity with previous partnership experience in research
  • Relatively specific characteristics
    • A focus: the social economy… taking various sectors into account
    • SSHRC funding for infrastructure (an institutional innovation)
    • A partnership between several universities and several partners
    • A multi-level partnership (equal representation/co-management)
      • In terms of policy (major orientations) and resource sharing (board of directors)
      • In terms of management: co-management, coordinating committee for programming research and training
      • In terms of the production of knowledge and research
        • Chantier (CAP): co-management, co-production of knowledge, project selection
      • Steering committee for each project
    • An infrastructure (secretariat, documentation, etc.) providing a measure of permanence and autonomy
    • Two communities and two cultures that must provide themselves with a common language and come up with shared projects and objectives
social economy phase 1
Social Economy (Phase 1)
  • Four universities: 56 professors
  • Other universities: 34 professors
  • 5 major partners (Chantier de l’ÉS, trade unions and their funds)
  • 30 other partners
  • 57 research projects
  • Research Grants: 3 764 464 $
the initial questions
The initial questions
  • The conditions for the emergence, dissemination and development of the Social Economy
  • The mode of operations of these organizations
  • The place and the role of women
  • Relations with the state and market
  • The various forms of collective learning
  • The evaluation and measurement
  • The creation of a database on social economy
  • Comparative analysis with the rest of Canada and other countries
cura se phase 2 2005
CURA-SE (PHASE 2, 2005)
  • We were fortunate in Quebec to have two CURAs that overlapped.
    • Le Réseau québécois de recherche partenariale en économie sociale (RQRP-ÉS) (2005)
    • L’ARUC en économie sociale (2000-2010) 
  • 8 regions across Quebec
    • l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, l’Outaouais, l’Estrie, Montréal, la Mauricie, Québec, le Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean et le Bas-Saint-Laurent.
    • 8 regional partnership research groups (GRAP)
  • All themes pertaining to the social economy are addressed in these regions.
  • Advantage of previous and concurrent work by the thematic groups in the first CURA provided increased resources to the regional groups: academic researchers, practitioners, on going work in thematic areas.
  • Governance of the CURA (1) and (2) created a unique environment for knowledge mobilization : a large and diverse “epistemic community”
cura se phase 2 2005 milestones
CURA-SE (PHASE 2, 2005): Milestones
  • Regional partnership research
    • Regional portraits of the social economy
    • Sectoral studies across Quebec
  • Cross-cutting or ‘transversal’ milestones
    • Four annual conferences bringing together all regional partners
      • Knowledge mobilization; mobilization of actors and researchers across the province; large numbers of students; next generation!
    • Video: At the Crossroads of Partnership Research (10 years of partnership research: 18 minute video)
    • Knowledge mobilization and transfer
      • Two guides
        • Research Partnerships: the ARUC-ES and the RQRP-ES Model
        • Guide for Knowledge Mobilization in the Context of Research Partnerships
      • Publications: (numerous working papers; reports and five monographs)
    • Influence on and participation in public policy
      • Quebec: the National Action Plan
      • Montreal: the Social Economy Partnership
cap finance
CAP Finance
  • Creation of CAP Finance – A Network of Solidarity and Responsible Finance
  • Members of CAP Finance
    • La Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins
    • La Fiducie du Chantier de l’Économie sociale 
    • Filaction, le fonds pour l’investissement local et l’approvisionnement de fonds communautaires 
    • Fondaction, le fonds de développement de la confédération des syndicats nationaux pour la coopération et l’emploi 
    • Le Fonds de solidarité FTQ
    • Le Réseau d’investissement social du Québec 
    • Le Réseau québécois du crédit communautaire
  • This network grew out of eight years of CURA partnership research – an important example of “collateral benefit”!
    • One voice: “socially responsible finance” in Quebec
    • Two recent reports on this activity in Quebec
    • Reseau capital wanted to know why this new network is necessary

This mere question confirmed that it is!!

proposal for a new cura program and a canadian se hub 2004
Proposal for a new CURA Program and a Canadian SE Hub (2004)
  • How did this happen? 
  • Commitment of Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada to the Social Economy (2004)
  • Announcement of funds to SSHRC designated to CURAs on the social economy across Canada.
  • Background document for SSHRC

The Social Economy: Diverse Approaches and Practices.Proposal for a New CURA on the SE (Benoit Lévesque and Marguerite Mendell) July 2004) M

The Social Economy: Diverse Approaches and Pratices.

Proposal for a New CURA On the Social Economy

“To ensure linkages with the community and the transfer of knowledge, the CURA on the social economy would have to go further than the previous program. There is a need not only for a joint board of directors, as it were, but also for teams made up of researchers and practitioners working on research and transfer, so as to create an environment for R & D in the social sphere. Even assuming that the social economy fosters social innovation and that the actors therefore produce new knowledge, the fact remains that knowledge is generally tacit, and tacit knowledge “travels” much more slowly and much less efficiently than codified knowledge. It would therefore be worthwhile to codify the knowledge, starting with the detection and identification of innovations and the establishment of teams of university researchers working with specifically assigned partners…. Lastly, when the research and analysis is complete, the research team should focus on disseminating the results not only in the academic community but also in the other interested communities, using appropriate tools. “ (Benoit Lévesque et Marguerite Mendell, July 2004

  • Today’s question: did we achieve this? In Quebec? In the other nodes across the country?
conclusion what are the lasting results
Conclusion: What are the lasting results?
  • Beyond the (immediate) achievements (ex. CAP Finance)
  • A better understanding of the social economy and social innovations, in Quebec and across Canada
  • Towards a hybridization of mode 1 and mode 2 knowledge creation
  • International recognition of the research experience acquired, and of the experience and achievements in the field
  • Even after the CURA program ends, a partnership research network remains (a success story?)
  • For the social economy and research, there are new needs
    • Research oriented more towards transfer and R & D
    • Statistics -- in partnership with Statistics Canada
    • An observatory
    • A new cycle of social innovations following the current crisis