Integrated Human Services Plans Deliver Major Social and Economic Benefits to Municipalities

Human Serve to Municipal Image1When you add costs, public health, community safety, education, social and other human services are typically a municipality’s largest budget item. Canada‐wide research by Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited (HSAL) found that integrating Human Services Plans with growth management plans, opens doors to improved municipal governance and program performance across a broad range of areas.

Our research and experience show a well‐thought through Human Services Plan (including social services) can:

  • Improve the effectiveness of human services delivery – The process of developing a Human Services Plan can broaden thinking and encourage cross‐ departmental (Treasury, Works, Planning and Community Services) understanding and collaboration to achieve human service goals.
  • Encourage economic investment – Companies deciding where to locate and their employees are looking for a municipal commitment to provide a high quality of life for all residents (e.g. early childhood education, immigration support, preventative health care).
  • Support Triple Bottom Line (TBL) analysis ‐ Human Services Plans provide social data important for TBL assessments (the formal assessment of economic, environmental and social or societal implications of municipal policy decisions).
  • Improve success of funding requests ‐ Foundations and senior levels of government are more likely to fund collaborative funding requests than multiple, less coordinated requests from organizations with overlapping mandates. A Human Services Plan becomes the action plan supported by the broader community and thereby increases the likelihood of successful funding.

Can a well-thought through Human Services Plan enhance your growing municipality’s governance and performance in one of these ways? If so, please contact us to learn how we can provide the expertise to help you achieve your objectives.

(Note: A version of this article was initially published in HSAL’s Social and Environmental Assessment Bulletin, Summer, 2008 but its principles are still relevant today.)

About Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited

Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited (HSAL) is a multidisciplinary strategic planning and public affairs consultancy, focused on environmental and land use planning, stakeholder relations (including communications, facilitation, public consultation and engagement), socio-economic impact assessment, communications, engineering and related services. We have the expertise to predict and decipher technical and public policy issues, and significant experience mitigating them, building consensus and attaining even the most complex approvals. For more information, visit
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