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Queen's University

School of Policy Studies

Third Sector Program

The Public Policy and Third Sector Initiative is an exciting research and teaching initiative within the School of Policy Studies specially tailored for students interested in studying the multifaceted relationships between the public, private and voluntary sectors. Originally funded by the Kahanoff Foundation, the initiative was established in 1999 as a response to the need for research into the growing role of voluntary organisations in the process of governing, from policy making to service delivery.

The Initiative advances four broad objectives:

  1. to generate and disseminate research on the state of the third sector in Canada;
  2. to educate current and future government officials about third sector issues;
  3. to develop a national forum for researchers and practitioners interested in the third sector to explore issues in tandem;
  4. and, to educate students to be future leaders in the third sector and create a new awareness of the sector.

Teaching, research and networking activities in public policy and the third sector have established this Initiative as the leading public policy and voluntary sector program in Canada.

Over the years, the Initiative has sponsored an annual conference and several workshops. The conferences and workshops have dealt with policy challenges facing the voluntary sector and have brought together public servants, voluntary sector leaders, academics and, on occasion, people from the media and business sector. These events have thus created the opportunity for dialogue and interaction between the scholarly world and the world of practitioners. Through teaching, conferences, and working papers, we are hoping to bring together established and new researchers and practitioners from across Canada to engage in a more informed and productive debate on the role that non-profit and voluntary organisations may play in the federal, provincial, and territorial policy processes in Canada.

The Head of the Public Policy and Third Sector Initiative is Dr. Rachel Laforest.

School of Policy Studies, Robert Sutherland Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.3020