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Knowledge Exchange > Health Policy and Systems > Diversity, Human Rights and Stigma > Building Equitable Partnerships: Tools and Lessons Learned

Building Equitable Partnerships: Tools and Lessons Learned 

A Resource for Individuals and Organizations

Building Equitable Partnerships: Tools and Lessons Learned is now available in PDF format.

Much has been written about partnering between organizations but little emphasis has been given to equitable partnerships between organizations or between service users and service providers. This resource provides strategies, tips and lessons learned from practical experiences of working together to form equitable partnerships, featured at the Building Equitable Partnerships Symposium 2008.

The resource is organized in three key theme areas:

  • initiating equitable partnerships
  • maintaining equitable partnerships
  • evaluation and critical reflection.

Each of these three sections opens with a summary of key principles and lessons learned from the partnership examples. Each partnership example contains the following sections:

  • Who we are
  • Our goals
  • What we do
  • How we initiated our partnership (initiating equitable partnership) / How we overcame challenges (maintaining equitable partnerships) /How we reflect critically and evaluate our partnership (evaluation and critical reflection)
  • How our work/partnership/initiative reflects principles of equity
  • What we have learned
  • Key documents
  • How to reach us.

It is our hope that the partnerships and their accompanying resources will be useful to a broad audience, including mainstream mental health and addiction agencies, hospital services, community agencies, service providers, service users, policy-makers and funders.


Building Equitable Partnerships Project Background

In 2001, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) initiated the Building Equitable Partnerships (BEP) project out of a desire to partner and engage effectively and equitably with diverse communities, groups and organizations. Over the course of several years, the project evolved and grew from an initial staff development course to an in-depth course on equitable partnerships with diverse and marginalized groups, open to CAMH staff and the community. The course was developed and delivered with community partner agencies serving people with disabilities, and the LGBTTTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, two-spirit, intersex and queer), East Asian and South East Asian communities.

In 2008, a symposium was held to reach a broader audience and to showcase a variety of voices speaking on the topic of equitable partnerships. The planning and organizing of the BEP Symposium 2008 included collaboration among community partner agencies, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)–Toronto Branch, CAMH, the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT), the Multicultural Inter Agency Group of Peel (MIAG), Sistering and service users from the partner organizations. The planning of the symposium was itself a process of building an equitable partnership. The latest evolution of the BEP project includes the development of this BEP resource and was completed in partnership with CAAT.

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