Single Publication – 4 or more pages | South Island Prosperity Project
Purpose of Project
The South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) emerged in 2016 as a result of several years of economic stagnation in Greater Victoria, Canada’s 15th largest city region. Not only was the region nearly last in GDP growth out of Canada’s metropolitan areas (27th out of 31 in years 2012, 2013, and 2014), but the region was fractured and uncoordinated, with no mechanism to pursue recovery. Historically with 13 municipal and ten First Nations governments (representing just 370,000 people within a tight geographical area), there are very few examples where the region has come together to address issues.
SIPP emerged as a response to this (and other trends like an aging workforce and young people pursuing opportunities elsewhere) through the creation of a public-private partnership involving local governments, private businesses, post-secondary institutions, non-profits and industry/business associations. But with such a diverse group of stakeholders, weaving together a narrative that communicates SIPP’s strategy so it actually resonates with business leaders, elected officials, and everyone in-between is a monumental task.
Enter the SIPP annual Impact Report. The purpose of this publication—along with its companion elements, a video and a monthly newsletter—is to update stakeholders on our activities and achievements over the year in such a way that maintains their buy-in and increases their engagement. This report puts a new spin on economic-development reporting through its focus on people, and how SIPP’s programs and activities are engaging and impacting people—citizens, young people, business owners, and newcomers. The anticipated outcome of this report is that our existing stakeholders will renew their support (through membership fees), and together, we will continue to elevate the Greater Victoria region back to a place of sustainable prosperity and among other leading cities in the Pacific Northwest—Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland. Effectiveness/Meeting Objectives SIPP was founded by 29 members (including local municipal and First Nations governments). The annual Impact Report helped us increase this buy-in to 43 members—including 200% growth in private-sector engagement and 100% membership renewal rate—since inception just 26 months ago.
Challenges & Changes Made
The main challenge we encountered when producing our annual Impact Report was how to demonstrate the value of programs and initiatives that are brand new and still lacking significant qualitative data. We chose instead to provide a snapshot of everything we are working on with a focus on what was being said about SIPP and our work by others rather than simply ourselves.
The target audience for this project is broad, but the primary audience is SIPP members, potential members, and businesses that are interested in potentially using our services.