The Pan-Canadian Community Development Learning Network is a two and a half year project of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) that seeks to promote learning about and examine how integrated, community-based initiatives contribute to social inclusion.
Running from October 2003 to March 2006, the project will facilitate peer learning and develop evidence-based research to strengthen integrated models of service delivery that build assets, skills, learning, social development and economic self-sufficiency opportunities relevant to local community conditions.
The first major publication of the project, this document reviews literature on social inclusion and its related concepts, and examines the strengths of integrated, community-based responses such as community economic development to promote social inclusion.
The impacts of social exclusion and marginalization in Canada are difficult to fully measure. From a range of health deficiencies to lost productivity and additional social costs, it is clear that social exclusion is not only personally damaging and socially disruptive, but it is also extremely expensive. Federal and provincial governments have taken some action to improve conditions, but already policy deficiencies can be identified.
There exist a wide variety of community-level initiatives for improving social inclusion. A crosssection of examples is briefly presented, illustrating various principles that are fundamental to successful, community-based social inclusion strategies.