Evidence Library

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Sharing what we’re learning about different program models, service-delivery approaches, or best practices is an important way for the public benefit sector to advance its work together.

We’ve populated this searchable library with a collection of documents – from academic and community-based research and program evaluations – that we hope can help organizations working in the sector be more effective in their work.

This collection of evidence is a work in progress. As we come across important pieces of research or knowledge, we’ll take note of them, and update this library periodically. Importantly, if you know of a resource not yet included, or want to share the findings from your program evaluation, please share a link to it or upload it here in our Discussion Forum.

Name of Document Author Date Brief Description
Community Food Centres Canada 2015

A brief by Community Food Centres outlining some of the connections between income level, food insecurity and social isolation.

National Ageing Research Institute 2010

This paper describes the evaluation of the Memory Lane Café service in Victoria, Australia. The Alzheimer's Australia Vic Memory Lane Café model aims to provide a social and educational service to people living with dementia and their carers, family members or friends. This evaluation found that Memory Lane Cafés promote social inclusion, prevent isolation, and improve the social and emotional well-being of attendees.

Samara Canada 2017

Report and analysis on civic engagement of Canadians with a focus on political participation at all levels. There is specific focus and metrics on diversity, newcomers, and other typically under represented groups in the civic space.

Rural Ontario Institute 2017

This compiled report highlights a number of successful approaches used to engage youth in tackling rural community issues. Each community and approach is highlighted in such a way that they can be adapted by other communities and applied to their local context.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2009

This resource provides policymakers, programme managers, non-governmental organizations and others interested in implementing family skills training programmes with a review of existing evidence-based family skills training programmes. Its purpose is to provide details of the content of such programmes, the groups targeted, the materials used and the training implemented, in order to assist users in selecting the programme best suited to their needs and to offer guidance as to the kind of programmes available.

Evidence Exchange Network for Mental Health and Addictions 2016

This brief outlines the available evidence on specific mental health promotion interventions for school-aged children and youth, with a specific focus on , Social Emotional Learning; SEL (SEL) programs. The social, emotional and behavioural, outcomes of universal SEL interventions are presented, as well as the components of effective programming, as outlined in the literature.

Rebecca Houwer 2016

The research provides a literature reivew of topics such youth leadership development. It describes the current state of youth development and presents promising practices in the form of an integrated evidence-based model for cultivating youth leadership among marginalized youth. The report concludes with suggested evaluation strategies and tools that assess both process and outcomes at individual, organizational, and community levels.

Stuart Shankar 2014

Dr. Stuart Shankar examines current research on Social Emotional Skills. Topics include the importance of social emotional development, core competencies, measurement of Social emtoional learning, and others. The paper also sites other useful research on social emotional development.

The Ontario Rural Council (TORC) 2007

This report explores the impacts and value of engaging young people in their communities. It examines the uniqeu challenges youth face and provides recommendations for action heard directly from the youth. A summary of the best practices shared by frontline non-youth voices are also highlighted. Questions for further consideration and a listing of related research and resources conclude this report.


A comprehensive resource designed to offer practical information as well as real tools to develop and strengthen successful mentoring relationships between 50+ mentors and today’s young people.


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