Building on the success of the United Way Public Policy Institute since 2011, we offer this training and capacity-building program year after year.
Between January and June, we bring together a group of 25 leaders from the BC non-profit sector whose organizations want to better understand and influence the public policy process. Ideal participants are able to influence the policy work of their organization, are focused on social policy, and are living and working in BC.
Applications open September 13, 2023, and close on Sunday, October 29, 2023 at midnight.
Public Policy Institute Overview
What does the Public Policy Institute offer?
- A participatory learning environment that introduces tools and opportunities to hone a participant’s skills in influencing public policy
- a diverse array of panelists and guest speakers
- an applied learning approach as each session and session assignment requires participants to reflect on their learnings and apply them to their policy project, and
- the opportunity to learn from the other participants who bring a wealth of experience and insight into this learning space
When does it take place?
The United Way BC Public Policy Institute (PPI) takes place from January to June each year.
What are the themes for the six sessions?
1) Introduction to Public Policy and Each Other
2) Engaging and Informing Decision Makers
3) Developing and Analyzing Policy Options
4) Research, Impact, and Power Considerations
5) Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation
6) Final Presentations
What is required to participate?
Enrollment is open to not-for-profit organizations and/or organizations with a registered charity number, from all regions of British Columbia. Each applicant that applies provides details on a policy project that they and their organization have been working on advancing.
We welcome applicants that are:
- able to influence the policy work of their organization,
- focused on social policy in their work, and
- living and working in British Columbia.
Participants attend in-person sessions in Vancouver, BC at UBC Robson Square for 1.5 days a month from January to June. Three to five hours of commitment each month is needed for readings and assignment completion between sessions.
Upon acceptance into the program, participating organizations will be asked to pay a registration fee of $850.
Information & Resources
Our faculty lead for the Public Policy Institute is Carole James and she is joined by Dana Hayden, Ruth Wittenberg and Jim Rutkowski, Andrea Reimer and Ginger Gosnell-Myers as our Public Policy Institute faculty.
Left to Right: Jim Rutkowski, Dana Hayden, Andrea Reimer, Ginger Gosnell-Myers, Ruth Wittenberg, Carole James.
Collectively, they bring a wealth of real-life public policy experience to the program, complemented by an impressive and diverse array of panelists and guest speakers.
The Public Policy Institute is a leadership training program that is modeled after successful training institutes provided by the Maytree in Ontario and the Max Bell Foundation in Alberta.
All three programs create an experiential learning environment that integrates peer learning activities to enrich the program experience.
More Information & Resources
Meet our Alumni
Our participants come from diverse backgrounds and represent a wide range of social policy projects. They are all changemakers that bring zeal and commitment to better the lives of the people living in British Columbia.
Since its inception in 2010, the Public Policy Institute has run every year. Through challenging financial times for our province and the pandemic that affected the globe, our sector still had changemakers committed learning about how to influence public policy.
Public Policy Institute Graduates
Meet our 2021 Public Policy Institute Graduates and learn more about the work they champion.
Here is what our graduates had to say when asked, “How did the Public Policy Institute equip you and your organization to advance your public policy change?”
“This is new territory for me and my organization, so the teachings were vital in helping me develop the foundations for the work we are undertaking.”
“The program helped me to become crisper in my explanation of my program as well as how to weave in my own lived experience. The result is much more casual conversations with politicians that end with “how can I help””.
“It helped me understand the way governments think and what they need to be able to act on our issues. I’m still working on lining that up, but we’re getting there!”
More Information & Resources
Ida Goodreau Alumni Award
The Ida Goodreau Alumni Award was launched in 2020 in honour of one of the Public Policy Institute’s beloved and original faculty members, Ida Goodreau.
Since the Public Policy Institute’s inception in 2010 until her passing in 2019, Ida played an integral role at the Institute – sharing her invaluable experience and wisdom in policy and leadership to students as an instructor and helping shape the program’s delivery and curriculum.
How to apply?
Every year in the Spring, applications for this Alumni Award open. United Way BC keeps a contact list of graduates and emails that list to do a call for applications. (If you are a graduate of the program and are not receiving alumni emails, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to update your contact information.)
Who can apply?
Applications are open to Public Policy Institute graduates only.
Meet Past Award Winners
2023 Alumni Award Recipient
Erin credits the Public Policy Institute for equipping her with the tools needed to take the policy proposal to the next level.
Erin learned to tailor the “Bike Right” proposal to help meet the province’s climate change goals, as cycling is a sustainable mode of transportation, with benefits around health, affordability, equity, and access.
HUB Cycling began with no funding and now receives funding more than $500, 000 annually from the Province of BC.
2022 Alumni Award Recipient
Daljit Gill Badesha
View the short video clip below to learn more about Daljit’s journey since graduating, how it has impacted her work, and what the award means to her. Click on the image to view the video.
More Information & Resources
Blog & Stories
Looking for more information, or have questions? Please contact us.