Every organization goes through periods where they must ask themselves questions about their current situation, whether it's with regards to their organizational structure, their territory, the way their environment is evolving, the current health of their sector, and so on. All these questions have in common that they cannot be answered without going through a data collection process. Indeed, in any group or community there comes a time when we need to stop make an assessment to see where everyone stands. However, sometimes it is difficult to obtain clarity on the overall picture and collecting intelligence is an essential first step towards gaining this clarity.

Whether it's through a literature review, the establishment of an organizational overview and diagnostic of the sectorial or territorial situation, a case study or a participative action-research, Niska can help you to better grasp the significance and potential of your field and therefore increase your knowledge of it. Our interventions are not dropped from the top of an ivory tower; rather, they aim to produce accessible results which are easily communicated and rooted in practicality. Our clients acknowledge and appreciate our solid experience in research methodology. We are experts in qualitative research and work with collaborators whose grasp of quantitative methods is sturdy. Our interventions are carried out through rigorous reference frameworks which aim to spark positive change and help fuel the ambitions, inspirations and the organization of communities and organizations. Strategic funding and sustainable and local development are two great exemples of frameworks which we regularly use to help make sense of evolving contexts and development processes.

In addition, we can carry out project and program evaluation contracts for you. Our participative and progressive approach aims to facilitate the emergence of new learnings and to put forth lessons into action throughout the length of the project right until the end. We can also guide future members of the family of collective enterprises in their pre-startup process by carrying out market and feasibility studies.


Five Year Interim Evaluation for the Kahnawá:ke Community Health Plan 2012-2022

In response to the Request for Proposal for the Five Year Interim Evaluation for the Kahnawá:ke
Community Health Plan 2012-2022, NISKA is pleased to submit our proposal with the expertise
of our collaborators from HCA.
The following proposal outlines our understanding of the project and our approach to the 5 year
interim evaluation of the Kahnawá:ke Community Health Plan 2012-2022. It includes a description
of the activities involved, and an!overview of the project team who will be carrying out the work.
The proposal also includes a detailed budget and proposed work schedule for the completion of


Evaluation research of the effects of the 2013-2018 regional planning exercise in the Montérégie-Est RCEO

Niska carried out an evaluation research on the effects of the 2013-2018 regional planning exercise which was implemented by the Montrérégie-Est Regional Conference of Elected Officers. The exercise included the modelization of the regional territorial planning exercise. 2014-2016

Evaluation of Specific Agreement on Gender Equality

During the Fall 2015, Niska will undertake the evaluation of the Specific Agreement on Gender Equality in Chaudière-Appalaches 2011-2015. Qualitative in nature, this process will help to assess the awareness of different groups (women, professionnals, etc.) when it comes to issues such as the hypersexualization of young women, women's mental health, women entrepreneurship and the participation of women in non-traditional trades. The process also aims at evaluating the degree at which socioeconomic stakeholders are engaged on these issues, to highlight the construction of partnership in the region and to identify the lessons learned to help identify strategic follow-ups for collective action on gender equality in Chaudière-Appalaches. Fall-December 2015

Feasibility study for Cree arts & crafts collective workshop

Niska was mandated by the Chibougamau Eenou Friendship Center to study the feasibility of a collective workshop aiming at training Cree craftspeople in skills relating to production and management of their microbusiness, with the purpose of facilitating the procurement of the arts and crafts boutique of the Centre and contribute to local economic development. February-May 2015.

Profile-assessment of Food Security in MRC des Maskoutains

Food insecurity preoccupies development actors and citizens. Moisson maskoutaine and its partners have undertaken to produce a Profile-Assessment of the situation on their territory. Niska supports the stakeholders in the territory in their process aiming at identifying their needs as well as the issues pertaining to food insecurity in the MRC des Maskoutains. This project should also allow the development of a common vision of food security in order to better coordinate resources and enable continuous improvement of services on the territory. December 2014-July 2015.

Literature Review on Perinatal Rites in First Nations Communities

In order to better meet the needs of its members and communities in terms of maternal and child health, the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health & Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC) has mandated Niska to conduct a literature review on perinatal rites in First Nations from around the world. The results of this research will help the FNQLHSSC and its partners to continue their process aiming at developing a vision of perinatal rites which reflects and represents the culture and health of First Nations. Thus, the literature review holds informations on promising practices from Canada, Latin America, New Zealand and Australia. December 2014-February 2015.

Vision and development orientations for Centre des arts et de la scène Jean-Besré

Niska has the pleasure of supporting the members of the Regroupement des compagnies résidentes du Centre des arts et de la scène Jean-Besré and its Board of directors in a practical strategic thinking process. This process will enable the emergence of a shared vision as well as general development orientations which are coherent with the mission and strength of the group as well as the opportunities offered in this sector of activities. July – November 2013

Public consultation for sustainable planning at CÉGEP de Sherbrooke

Niska was mandated to conduct a public consultation to set the stage for the development of a sustainability plan at the main campus of CÉGEP de Sherbrooke. More precisely, this mandate aims at identifying the main needs and wishes of the CÉGEP population (professors, students, managers as well as administrative and support staff) in terms of sustainable development. In addition, we seek to ensure that space and uses are complementary for the next master plan. June 2013-January 2014

Inventory of social economy businesses and assessment of their training needs for the Cree Social Economy Regional Table

Niska is under mandate by the Cree Regional Authority (CRA) to undertake the inventory of the social economy businesses present in the nine Cree communities of Eeyou Itschee. Niska will be working with the CRA's consultative committee, the Cree Social Economy Regional Table (CSERT), comprised of the signatories of the Social Economy Specific Agreement with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions & Land Occupancy (MAMROT), namely the Cree Outfitting & Tourism Association (COTA), the Cree Trappers' Association (CTA) and the Cree Native Arts & Crafts Association (CNACA). At the table also sit the Eeyou Economic Group (EEG), the Cree Women of Eeyou Itschee Association (CWEIA) and the Eeyou-Enou Friendship Centre in Chibougamau, to name a few. Niska will be working closely with all partners to make a list of existing and developing businesses, with whom Niska will complete a survey, adapted from the Chantier de l'Économie Sociale questionnaire, in order to gather information on their basic characteristics. In parallel, Niska will conduct focus groups with employees and board members to assess their training needs, and will draft a training delivery plan for the CSERT. This work will help the CRA and the CSERT to best know their social economy entreprises and to be able to work with them better. April 2013-January 2014.

Multiple case-study analysis for Capitale-Nationale Social Economy Regional Table

Niska has received the mandate from the Capitale-Nationale Social Economy Regional Table to undertake a multiple case study analysis (12 case studies) with the purpose of identifying success factors for this kind of entreprise. The results of the study, based on knowledge collected from the "field", will then be shared with the region's entreprises to help guide them in their strategic development decisions. March to October 2013.

Impacts of aging on the local population

In the next few months, Niska will support the Argenteuil Health & Social Services Agency (located in in the Laurentians region) as well as its partners in a reflection around the impacts of aging on the local population. This exercice, in addition to mobilize the community, is a linchpin in a strategic planning process aimed at raising awareness on these impacts and better prepare development actors to respond to them. March to October 2013.

Developmental evaluation of the Centre facilitant la recherche et l’innovation dans les organisations (CEFRIO) Living Lab

NISKA is charged to undertake developmental evaluation of the Living Lab, a pilot project undertaken by the Centre facilitant la recherche et l’innovation dans les organisations (CEFRIO) with many partners including the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de Longueuil, the Centre de transfert technologique en écologie industrielle (CTTÉI), the Ministère du Développement Économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (MDEIE) as well as researchers from various Québec universities.

The general objective of the Living Lab is to increase the democratic caracter of regional development governance on the territory of the Longueuil agglomeration by using information and communication technologies (ICTs) in a targeted sector, which is school motivation, success and retention for youth under 20.

NISKA is responsible to implement a developmental evaluation process in the context of an emerging and innovative project. 

Youth Consultation for the Montérégie Est Youth Council

Niska is pleased to have been selected to undertake a mandate for the Montérégie Est Youth Council, who wishes to consult youth and youth organizations about its strategies for its upcoming 2014-2019 action plan. The co-operative will thus write an online consultation workbook which will be distributed to youth stakeholders in the region, after which the results will be analysed in time for a Niska-facilitated planning day in which the youth themselves will have their say on the priorities and actions to be taken on by the Youth Council for the next five years. The project starts in October 2013 and will end by May 2014.

Annotated bibliography on studies and consultations conducted with Nunavik elders

NISKA is undertaking an annotated bibliography of studies and consultations conducted with Nunavik elders in the past twenty years. The mandate is with Kativik Regional Government and will take place from February to April 2012.

Participatory evaluation of six Avenir d’enfants Local Action Committees

Local Action Committees in the des Sources RCM, Magog, Waterloo, Mont-Laurier/Rivière-Rouge, the Laurentians and Saint-Eustache. Support in co-writing and monitoring the evaluation plans and logic models, co-redacting reports and results statements, defining and revising action files (indicators and measurement tools) and coordinating action. 2010 to date. 

Participatory evaluation of Saint-Camille Rural Laboratory project

Named A learning, innovating and solidary community: towards a rural development model

The project takes place on a three-year period. Throughout this innovative project, NISKA is responsible for research and participatory evaluation. This consists in undertaking a participatory evaluation of experimentationwhich took place through an innovative rural development process aimed at building the capacity of a rural community to learn, innovate and create solidary linkages. Furthermore, the project will use information technology to support the activities of the Rural Laboratory. Designed to enable learning throughout the project, participatory evaluation is an approach which values the contributions from the greatest number of actors and supports the mobilisation of various actors and stakeholders participating in the process. Through questionnaires and evaluation grids, stakeholders are questionning themselves on their practices, learning from them and ajusting them accordingly to enable the project to succeed. They identify objectives and success indicators together, and they take part in results analysis and interpretation. 2009 to 2012. 

Participatory evaluation of Argenteuil RCM Rural Laboratory project

Named My health in mind

This project takes place over a five year period. The project aims at developing activities to improve the health of citizens through a "0-5-30" process. NISKA plays a role in relation to orientation, analysis and support. NISKA professionals assist the committee in identifying its specific objectives and its initial workplan, as well as in updating its information annually. The evaluation plan is drafted jointly. NISKA collects, compiles and analyses data which is then published in an annual report presented to the committee. 2008 to 2013.

Social development in the Laurentian region

This mandate with the Laurentians Regional Social Development Council (CRDSL) aims at undertaking action-research to provide answers to the three major questions presented below:

  1. How is social development manifested in the region?
  2. What are the social development issues and priorities according to the various stakeholders?
  3. What roles can the CRDSL play in revitalising social development in the region?

In so doing, NISKA's team, in close collaboration with local and regional actors, is undertaking the following five steps:

  1. Write a profile of each of the five RCMs and of the region;
  2. Undertake a participatory assessment;
  3. Identify social development issues (local and regional);
  4. Facilitate the process towards the enunciation of a vision for social development in the Laurentians and
  5. Assist in developing an intervention structure at the regional level. 

This mandate starts in the spring of 2011 and finishes in the fall of 2012.


Development of co-operatives in devitalized areas of Mauricie region

Creating employment through collective entrepreneurship in devitalized areas is a project initiated by the Centre-du-Québec/Mauricie Regional Development Co-operative (CDRCQM) in collaboration with the Ministère de l'emploi et de la solidarité sociale (MESS), the Ministère du  Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation  (MDEIE), the Ministère des Affaires Municipales, des Régions et de  l’Occupation des Territoires (MAMROT), and the Conférence Régionale des Élus (CRÉ) de la Mauricie. It aims to support the revitalization of seven municipalities in the Mauricie region which are considered to be very devitalized based on 2001 and 2006 census data as well as on a MAMROT study. The revitalization will take place through employment creation within collective entreprises.

First, NISKA's mandate is to support the collective entrepreneurship officer active within the project. In addition, NISKA is responsible for the research phase of the project. 

The project has the following objectives :

  • Identify and understand local dynamics necessary to uplift devitalized rural communities in Mauricie;
  • Understand the required associative dynamics necessary for collective initiatives to emerge and develop in a devitalized rural setting and 
  • Evaluate the relevance of the intervention methods used for the pilot project, specifically relating to the role of the project manager. 

The project takes place from April 2009 to March 2012. Publications and presentations are expected shortly. 

Measuring the sense of belonging in James Bay

This mandate aimed at finding out how James Bay residents perceive themselves and their region through a regional study on their sense of belonging. NISKA reviewed scientific literature on the sense of belonging and developed a unique and transferable survey tool which is used to measure it. 

This mandate emerged from the action priorities of the James Bay Social Development Committee (CDSBJ) and the specific agreement on social development. This specific agreement aims to ensure the implementation of CDSBJ's strategic planning, whose main actions correspond to recommendations voiced in the James Bay Sustainable Development Assessment and Winning Strategies study conducted by NISKA in 2008.

Social development assessment in James Bay

Following the analysis of issues identified in the 1st Regional Social Development Forum and in community profiles, the Direction de santé publique of the Centre régional de santé et de services sociaux de la Baie-James, in collaboration with the James Bay Social Development Council (CDSBJ), asked the following question : "How could we strenghten the health and development potential of James Bay communities?"

NISKA's research mandate therefore had two objectives. First, the study had to examine the capacity of local James Bay communities to develop in a sustainable fashion. This analysis enabled the fulfillment of the second objective, which consisted in identifing inter-sectoral action opportunities which could guide and empower local communities. 

Participatory evaluation of the transfer of the Foire des villages du Québec model

For Solidarité rurale du Québec and the Secrétariat rural du Québec

This project aimed at learning lessons from the skills, partnerships and successes/failures of a large scale event organised in two Canadian provinces (Ontario, Manitoba). This large two-year project of a superior level of complexity was deemed a great success. 2005 to 2009. 

Participatory evaluation of the transfer of the Maison familiale rurale du Québec model

Continuous evaluation of the transfer and implementation of three Maisons familiales rurales in two French-speaking communities outside of Québec (Ontario and Manitoba) and one in Québec (Mashteuiatsh). 2005 to 2008.