Research
Publications
Information Exchange
Performance Improvement
Municipal Independence

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Institute Programs

Purpose
To accomplish our mission, we have created a number of programs specifically designed to support you and your organization on your journey to achieving excellence in local government.
Research Program
Since our founding in 1994, we have studied many high-performance organizations to learn what makes them successful.  From this research, we have distilled a set of principles, paradigms, policies, programs, and practices which are the key elements of their success.  And, the search continues.  We are always interested in finding another success story in local government.  Will it be yours?
While much has been written about the achievements of larger cities, very little is available on small and medium-sized municipalities.  Yet, many of the real gems of local-government performance are found among these less-publicized organizations.  These innovators have not received the recognition they deserve.  Moreover, other local-government agencies, which want to improve their own performance but are unaware of what has been accomplished already, are left to choose between re-inventing the wheel or living with the status quo.  We want to change all that.  And, your organization can participate.
Publication Program
The centerpiece of this program is View from the Cordillera, our on-going commentary on achieving excellence in local government.  We have also published the Cordillera Institute Journal.  It features success stories in local government.  Articles focus on the solutions and how best to obtain them.  Written by the people responsible, they offer many ideas on what works and what to avoid on the journey to excellence.
There are links to the catalog of VFC (View from the Cordillera) commentaries in the sidebar to the right.
Information Exchange Program
Here is where our Members turn to meet their specific information needs.  Whether you have a quick question or a complex research assignment, this program can provide the answers.  It draws on a network of some 6,000 innovators in the field of performance improvement for local government.
And now, all of the services in the Information Exchange Program are available to anyone who shares our interest in promoting excellence in local government.  Institute personnel are available to provide assistance to persons researching specific topics in this field.
You will find links to the Information Exchange Program in the sidebar to the right.
Performance Improvement Program
An essential part of achieving excellence is improving performance.  The Institute has developed 2 initiatives to assist local-government agencies to do just that – the Local Government Performance Checkup and the Comparing & Sharing Initiative.
You will find links to both of these initiatives in the sidebar to the right.
Supporting Other Initiatives
In addition to our own programs, the Institute supports the initiatives of other organizations which share our objectives.  We have sponsored the Prize for Excellence in Local Government which was part of a larger improvement awards initiative for all levels of government conducted by the Fraser Institute.  When the Public Sector Quality Fair was launched in 1998, our Institute was an in-kind sponsor and our Director served on its Organizing Committee.  He also served on the Board of the Canadian Public Sector Quality Association, an organization which supports the adoption of quality service and management principles by all levels of the public service.
VFC Catalog
To assist you in finding the issues of most interest to you, the VFC catalog groups them by major subject.  Each major subject has its own page in the catalog.  On each catalog page, you will find 1 or more summaries of the issues which relate to that major subject.  For your convenience when ordering, each summary title is followed by its volume and issue number.  To see the summaries on any of the major subjects, just click on its heading in the list below.
Achieving Sustainable Local Government
Characteristics of Good Government
Structuring Local Government
Assessing Policy Proposals
Paradigms of Leadership
Choosing Our Elected Officials
Building a Win-Win Organization
Accomplishing Your Objectives
Measuring Your Performance
Improving Your Productivity
Managing Your Finances
Relating to the Public
Relating to Senior Government
Growing a Robust Economy
Planning for the Future of Your Community
Moving People and Goods
Delivering Services
Reforming Social Programs
Improving Our Environment
Responding to Crises
What Can We Learn from ...?
Special Issues
Information Exchange Program
The Information Exchange Program is built around the Information Network and consists of the following services:
the Network Listing Service;
the Network Access Service;
the Information Order Service; and
the Information Request Service.
This variety of services should enable you to obtain the information you require, using the options which best suit your budget.
Performance Improvement Program
The Performance Improvement Program offers 2 key initiatives proven to improve the performance of local-government organizations, from the largest city to the tiniest village or rural municipality.  You can read more about these initiatives by clicking on the following links.
the Local Government Performance Checkup; and
the Comparing & Sharing Initiative.
Each of our Municipal Members is eligible to participate in the Local Government Performance Checkup.  (If you are not yet a Municipal Member, you may participate by becoming one.)  This initiative enables participants to quickly and easily establish performance baselines for 11 key municipal functions.  Those baselines can be used to set performance goals and to measure progress toward achieving those goals over time.
For those local-government agencies wishing to use performance comparisons to drive performance improvement, we offer the Comparing & Sharing Initiative.  It empowers participants to use the comparisons from the Local Government Performance Checkup to identify the good practices that others are successfully applying.  It then gives you the opportunity to adapt those better practices to improve the performance of your organization.
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