Katherine Boisvert-Vigneault est étudiante au doctorat en gérontologie de l’Université de Sherbrooke où elle s’intéresse à la thématique du vieillissement actif. Elle a complété une maîtrise en sciences de l’activité physique et un baccalauréat en kinésiologie où elle a fait ses débuts en recherche sur le vieillissement. Depuis, elle a toujours eu le désir d’allier le milieu de la recherche et le milieu communautaire. Cet intérêt l’a donc menée à joindre l’équipe de recherche de Municipalités amies des aînés en 2018. Elle travaille principalement à la valorisation des données de recherche quantitatives et en soutien à l’élaboration de questionnaires.
Who are the stakeholders? How are they involved? What is their impact? Exploring partnerships in Quebec’s Age-Friendly Municipalities program
Katherine Boisvert-Vigneault, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
Nicolas Goudreault, Research Centre on Aging (CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS), Canada
Anne Veil, Research Centre on Aging (CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS), Canada
Samuèle Rémillard-Boilard, Université de Sherbrooke, Research Centre on Aging (CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS), Canada
Suzanne Garon, Université de Sherbrooke, Research Centre on Aging (CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS), Canada
Collaborative partnerships are a key component of the Age-Friendly Municipalities (AFM) program. Implementing an age-friendly action plan requires the participation of a wide range of actors, from various sectors associated with the 9 AFM program domains: housing, transportation, outdoor spaces and buildings, leisure, communication and information, respect and social inclusion, security, health and social services and social participation. These actors can be involved as members of the steering committee, be responsible for implementing projects, or provide material, financial or human resources to support their implementation.
This paper provides a quantitative picture of the nature of partnerships observed during the implementation of the action plan. More specifically, this paper: (a) presents the domains in which projects have been planned; (b) identifies key partners involved in their implementation and the resources they provided; and (c) outlines some of the perceived obstacles and advantages in developing such partnerships through the AFM program.
An online survey was sent to all 996 age-friendly municipalities in Quebec in January 2021. The response rate was 37% (n=363). Closed-ended questions were analysed using SPSS and short opened-ended questions by NVivo.
The domains most often listed in the action plans were leisure (n=225, 81%), communication and information (n=225, 81%), transportation (n=219, 79%), and housing (n=214, 77%), whereas the respect and social inclusion (n=150, 54%) domain was the least frequently listed.
Participating municipalities reported that 40% of their projects were implemented with the support of partners. Community organizations for seniors were present in 59% (n=135) of the municipalities, while health and social services centers were present in 55% (n=125) of the municipalities. Both partners assisted with the implementation, mainly by providing human resources.
As a result of the AFM initiative, municipalities perceive that there is a more dynamic cooperation (55%, n=146), better information sharing (58%, n=154), and better relationships with community partners (55%, n=146). In order to facilitate the implementation of age-friendly action plans, 16% (n=32) of participating municipalities recommended to improve the mobilization of partners by involving a larger number of partners, promoting better concertation, and encouraging intersectoral collaborations. Our data also suggests that involving the private sector is a challenge for the AFM program.
The AFM initiative allows a large proportion of the projects to be carried out with the support of partners. Municipalities see the AFM program as one that allows them to improve community partnerships. However, as the program expands, challenges to involve and ensure the sustainability of these partnerships remain.