A major reorganization of Quebec’s health and social service network more than 10 years ago defined a new role for community organizations. This study relates to health in its wider sense (population health determinants, promotion, and prevention) by describing the current practices in community organizations in three sectors: families, youth, and women. Using case studies and a widely distributed questionnaire, the researchers looked at aspects such as programs, governance, partnerships, financing, and evaluation. They then examined the impact of changes in the health and social services system (regionalization, participative decision-making, a continuum of services, complementarity) on community organizations. They conclude that community organizations have an increasing role in Quebec society and that the changes they have undergone are at least partially due to the role they play in the newly reorganized services. The researchers recommend more stable funding to support this new role; they emphasize, as well, the need to maintain autonomy of action in recognition of the specific expertise and particular approach that characterizes community organizations.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.