The program began on February 26, 2019 and it is now starting year four of its programming schedule.
Throughout the third year, the team worked to increase its SMO audience, kept making new trainings and tools available on the virtual Resource Library (with 286 resources now available), designed innovative learning opportunities including an intermediate-level RBM 201 3-day national course, continued promoting the self-paced RBM 101 course, and continued offering a flexible and responsive programming to support SMOs, Youth and Educators still navigating through the pandemic.
“This training has tremendously enhanced my capacity on inclusive, gender responsive, sustainable and innovative programming in so many ways. I was able to share my knowledge with my other colleagues.”
RBM 201 Participant
Spur Change has engaged with over 400 unique SMOs located from coast-to-coast-to-coast since launching in 2019.
What have SMOs learned from Covid?
In the last two years, Canadian small and medium-sized organizations (SMOs) have had to significantly adapt to the changing context of the unfolding pandemic. While some organizations struggled to shift in this fast-paced changing reality, others thrived and exhibited impressive flexibility, adopting innovative solutions leading to permanent changes in the way they work. Responses from organizations have been diverse, creative and deeply reflective as many SMOs harnessed this period of global disruption to take a step back and truly consider their role in global development.
This report presents research that has been conducted by a research team from the University of Guelph in collaboration with the Spur Change program. Between February and March 2022, the research team interviewed 22 representatives from Canadian SMOs working in the global development sector. Prior to this, in December 2021, an online survey was distributed to Canadian development non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 111 responses were collected and analyzed. This report primarily utilizes findings from the interview data, with some supplementary data from the survey, to illustrate Canadian SMOs’ experience with and response to COVID-19
SMOs participated in Spur Change
This year 109 were new
over last year
Participated in two or more activities
are members of one
of the Provincial
and Regional Councils
>> “Seeing same faces/names and hearing their stories and suggestions regularly through the workshops, and having the opportunity for small breakout groups is excellent!! ” – Fundraising in the Time of COVID participant
Participating Canadian SMOs by Province (excluding Int. SMOs)
Participants by Province
In November 2020, Spur Change launched a virtual Resource Library. It now holds 200 bilingual resources created by Spur and grouped into 7 themes. Feedback on the collection of documents, videos and training sessions has been very positive.
↣ 5,238 pageviews
↣ 1,595 users
↣ 1.61 visits/user
>> “Once we have tools or training materials of the training workshop, we will use and will train our local partners especially DPOs, small NGO and other association.” – Gender Learning Series participant
A Review of the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Small and Medium Organization (SMO) Adaptation and Resilience
2020 was an unprecedented year for the world and for the international cooperation sector. COVID-19 affected all operational parts of SMOs, but Spur Change commissioned a study to see how SMOs have adapted and shown resilience in the face of this challenge. By sharing these findings, we hope SMOs find themselves reflected in the stories and draw strength from knowing they are not alone in their struggles. This report has been produced through a collaboration between Spur Change and a research team at the University of Guelph. It combines quantitative analysis of 128 survey responses and qualitative analysis of 22 semi-structured interviews with participants from Canadian SMOs.
This year’s SMO Report was released on March 11, 2021 at the Annual Conference: Once Step Back, Two Steps Forward: Human Dignity Post-COVID.
The SMO Report conference session included a panel discussion with Wendy Fehr, CAUSE Canada, Lynn Thorton, VIDEA and Shawna Novak, CISEPO who spoke about their organization’s experience working through the challenges placed them by the COVID pandemic.
>> “The handouts, presentations slides, and additional resources were the most effective to support my learning.” – Data Collection Training
>> “Thank you for delivering quality training. The people you brought on board were good and sounded passionate about what they do.” – Gender Learning Series participant
Assessing the capacity building needs and knowledge gaps of Canadian Small and Medium Organizations (SMOs), and appropriate learning methods
Spur Change is thrilled to launch its first SMO report addressing questions about the capacity building and knowledge sharing needs of Canadian SMOs working in international cooperation. What are their organization’s ambitions? What are key priority areas for learning and capacity building for their organization to achieve its ambitions? What are their preferred learning methods? What is their level of knowledge and understanding of the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? The report is based on 252 responses collected from over 150 SMOs across Canada.
On June 25, 2020, Spur Change presented findings from the SMO report to Global Affairs Canada. Watch the bilingual recording to learn more or download slides.