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This past week we launched our Annual Report for 2020-2021, an important milestone in our efforts to be transparent and accountable to Canadians.
Annual reports are (too?) often about celebrating your own organization’s success. Such a notion seemed especially misguided this year, given that this annual report highlights our efforts to better understand the significant implications of COVID-19 for people, jobs and sectors.
The pandemic also posed challenges for organizations.
As a result of my experience working at the United Nations in the wake of the global financial crisis, I was acutely aware that when the pandemic hit many organizations – often in an effort to remain relevant – would shift their efforts to focus on COVID-related research. This can often lead to duplication of work, information overload, and, if an organization pivots too strongly, it risks losing traction on its longer-term goals.
Of course, the pandemic has not been a passing moment and continues to wreak havoc on society and our wellbeing, with new and important challenges emerging on a near daily basis – all of which have increased the demand of information to navigate these complex and intersecting challenges.
How to balance these short-term needs while maintaining momentum on our longer-term goals?
It’s a simple recipe with two ingredients. First, stick to our mandate. Second, work with others.
That is why building partnerships around labour market information needs was a core element of how we approached our work on the pandemic.
This was a natural thing for us to do. It is how we generally approach our work. Strategic partnerships enabled us to add value to the ongoing efforts of organizations and make important contributions to knowledge generation regarding the pandemic – all the while maintaining focus on our long-term goals to support the resilience of Canadians in the face of ongoing disruption and future crises.