4.1 Systems Planning and Governance: A Conceptual Framework

Homelessness is a systemic public policy problem, involving numerous sectors, institutions and agencies and therefore requires integrated system responses in terms of governance and policy. This chapter responds to the need for a conceptual framework to understand and guide efforts towards system planning and integration from a governance and policy perspective. An integrated ‘system’ is characterized by a coordinated set of policies and programs aimed at aligning services to avoid redundancies, increase efficiency (e.g. reduce wait times), facilitate information sharing and learning in the policy community and provide an unbroken care experience for individuals and families facing homelessness or precarious housing. It is a significant governance challenge, but one that is necessary to tackle as a means towards ending homelessness in Canada. This chapter thus articulates a conceptual framework for collaborative governance focused on what is known as ‘horizontal’ system integration: a more centralized approach to planning, management and service delivery across a network of organizations and institutions within and across sectors.

Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
Naomi Nichols; Carey Doberstein