Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health have been investigating ways of nurturing the connections between communities and formal institutions when emergencies and shock events arise, and public services fall short.
With the COVID-19 pandemic’s arrival in March 2020, Professor Blake Poland and his team had an opportunity to look at how formal crisis responders, like public health departments, are able to strengthen their relationships with communities before, during, and after an emergency response. What they found is that a Connected Communities Approach (CCA), an innovative model that grew out of the experience of the East Scarborough Storefront (located in a marginalized inner suburban community in Toronto), has tremendous potential to support community resilience in the face of a crisis. This joint research project, with the Centre for Connected Communities (C3), is helping us to understand how communities can prepare for, respond to, recover from, and “bounce forward” after a crisis.
Watch the video below for highlights of this policy brief: