Community Development


Community Development Programs

Social Planning in Durham

CDCD is Durham Region’s official Social Planning Council.  As such, we endeavour to improve the well-being of residents through social research, engagement, and identifying what matters to our community.

Leadership Durham

A Community Leadership Program (CLP) is an innovative way to bring together emerging and aspiring leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors of the community.  In cooperation with many community partners, CDCD has brought our local CLP: Leadership Durham, to life in our community.

These programs provide an opportunity for participants to explore and strengthen their leadership skills, develop a newfound network of meaningful contacts, and learn more about the outstanding characteristics and challenges of our community.

Each year, non-profit/charitable agencies have the opportunity to submit proposals for projects that they may not have the capacity to achieve otherwise. These projects may include feasibility studies, strategic plans, policy and procedure development, fundraising, etc. Successful proposals are completed by the leadership program participants, supporting our local non-profit sector and building connections across sectors.

Who is involved?

In December 2014, the Ontario Trillium Foundation funded a 1-year pilot project for the creation of a Durham Leadership Program. It is expected to begin implementation in 2016. The project is a collaborative effort between:

  • Community Development Council Durham
  • The University of Ontario, Institute of Technology
  • Durham College
  • Town of Ajax
  • City of Oshawa
  • Town of Whitby
  • United Way of Durham Region
  • Durham Community Foundation
  • Business Advisory Centre of Durham
  • Durham Region Employment Network
  • Literacy Network of Durham Region
  • Durham Workforce Authority

Community Lens

Community Lens is a series of community-based research reports intended to disseminate and interpret important Durham Region-specific data as it becomes available. Reports focus on specific populations or regions and help guide conversation and planning throughout the community.

Initially, Community Lens was created to focus on results from the 2016 Census as this information became available. Current and future issues will cover subjects such as population, age and gender, seniors, housing, poverty, and immigration. Online versions of all Community Lens reports can be found below.

If you have any questions or comments regarding any of these publications, please contact Alison Baxter, Manager, Social Planning and Research at or 905-686-2661 ext. 138.

HIFIS Implementation

CDCD is working with housing and homelessness organizations to build capacity and support program delivery for the homeless population. The Homeless Individual and Family Information System (HIFIS) is part of the Coordinated Access System for the Durham Community.

With HIFIS Coordination, CDCD can help to improve data collection and service delivery. Our 2014 Housing Conference, funded through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, allowed housing experts across Durham to meet, network and discuss best practices.

One of the best ways to serve those experiencing homelessness is to make sure that programming is appropriate and targeted. CDCD is working with service providers to enhance service coordination through the production of locally relevant community resources on homelessness and poverty. Our priority is to build the capacity of service providers through knowledge-sharing, training and networking opportunities, which will, in turn, improve service and program delivery for homeless populations.

The DARHN (Durham At-Risk Housing Network) was established as a network of frontline service providers who work with homeless populations to address challenges and successes related to homelessness programs, services and projects across the Durham Region. Training and networking opportunities are also provided.

HIFIS (Homeless Individuals and Families Information System) is a free, community-driven application. As a client management tool, the HIFIS software enhances services providers’ ability to manage their operations and collect information about the population using shelters, such as client bookings, provision of goods and services, housing placement, and case management.

To support this program and its potential for local data collection, CDCD offers:

  1. Training & Technical Support- training is provided for frontline service providers in the implementation of the HIFIS system. Relevant training modules are being developed.
  2. Data Integration & Public Education- Using HIFIS data, community report cards are being developed. A community website has been established to help navigate Durham’s broader Homelessness system, including HIFIS, the By Name List, and Coordinated Access.  This can be accessed at

Contact Homelessness Data Coordinator, Kazzrie Cormick at

Download the HIFIS 2020 report here.

Newcomer Women’s
Entrepreneurship Program

Are you new to Canada and want to start your own business? We are offering an Entrepreneurship Program for all newcomer women in the Durham Region. Visit the Newcomer Women’s Entrepreneurship webpage here.

Contact Us – Community Development