Analysis of LIP Strategic Plans

The Analysis of LIP Strategic Plans, conducted in 2011 and 2012, resulted in two reports: (1) The Analysis of LIP Strategic Plans: Priorities and Directions; and (2) The Analysis of LIP Strategic Plans: Promising Practices.

The initial study, The Analysis of LIP Strategic Plans: Priorities and Directions’, examined the major themes and priorities identified by a sample of twenty-seven communities participating in Ontario’s Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) initiative.  The analysis was conducted from the perspective of the research domains employed by the Welcoming Communities Initiative (WCI).   These domains focused on newcomer attraction, retention and business development; children and youth; community civic resources; education and education policy; health and healthcare; the social, cultural and political inclusion of immigrants; and workplace integration.  The findings were intended to inform program and policy development, and to provide insight into best practices for local collaboration, planning and leadership engagement.

The study examined the areas for which each domain was directly responsible, along with closely related areas.  The research was further bolstered by reviews of the relevant literature.  The resulting analyses identified commonalities or areas of consensus across the LIPs regarding desirable initiatives (reflecting a combination of needs, service gaps, emerging program opportunities and capacities).  Five key priorities were selected and described for each research domain.

In order to ascertain the validity and importance of the priorities identified by the research teams, a survey was then conducted of all Ontario LIPs, both the original twenty-seven participating organizations and the eighteen new LIPs that had been initiated since the study’s inception.  LIPs were asked to rate the priorities using a 7-point scale ranging from ‘not at all a priority’ to an ‘extremely high priority’.  (It is important to note that LIPs were given an opportunity to identify ‘other priorities’ in the event that those chosen by the WCI did not accurately reflect their perceptions.)  Overall, there was considerable consensus on the importance of the selected priorities.

In the second research phase, The Analysis of LIP Strategic Plans: Promising Practices’, the WCI’s research domains undertook a search of  the Canadian and international literatures covering the 2005-2011 time period to identify promising practices associated with the top five priorities confirmed by the LIPs.   The study offers summary descriptions of promising practices for each of the five priority topics identified by each domain.

Common templates were used in developing the summaries.  Where possible, the analyses examined questions such as: what makes the practice a ‘best, or promising, practice’; what combination of internal and external supports and conditions would be required for a practice to operate successfully; is the practice scalable and what would be entailed in scaling it up or down; and, could the practice be transferred and under what conditions.