The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) currently experiences the 4th highest rates of poverty out of 29 Regional Districts in BC, with a child poverty rate of 32.2% and significant barriers around housing, transportation and health access which vary between urban, rural, remote and First Nation communities. Many organizations in the region offer services to address these issues but in order to be effective, an overarching poverty reduction strategy has proven to be the most effective course of action. Recognizing that poverty is a complex issue which cannot be addressed by any one organization or initiative, leaders in the ACRD have begun to bring together local stakeholders to discuss, identify opportunities and plan around poverty reduction.
The Alberni Clayoquot Health Network (ACHN) convened a workshop on May 30th, 2016 to begin the process of identifying outcomes which aim to reduce and/or alleviate poverty in the ACRD. From this workshop we were able to develop a Theory of Change which identifies some key areas we can address to begin making an impact on poverty in our region. The Working Together to Reduce Poverty Theory of Change in the ACRD is the first draft of a living framework which will assist to guide future collaborative actions. A Theory of Change is meant to be tested, revised and evaluated based on stakeholder input and regional shifts. It recognizes that no one organization can take on poverty reduction alone. Identified activities and focus areas are parts of a complex system which require input, shared ownership and evaluation. The ACHN has made a commitment to supporting this process and look forward to future collaborations, revisions and planning with community stakeholders.