Adjust font size:A-A+
Adjust font size:A-A+
Home » About BBW » Guidelines for Working Together
Banner Art by Linda Wiebe

Guidelines for Working Together

Building a Bigger Wave - Together!


Purpose

The Building a Bigger Wave Ontario Network was founded in 2011 to provide the infrastructure that connects Violence Against Women Coordinating Committees and their allies in Ontario. The Network facilitates the sharing of knowledge and expertise, creates opportunities for advocacy and collaboration, and engages VAWCCs and their partners in strategies and projects working to end violence against women and children.


Goals

The goals of the BBW Network are:

  • To develop and support relationships between VAWCCs, their members and allies that are transformational, inclusive, challenging and focused on our common goal of ending violence against women.
  • To provide a place for exploration, dialogue, connection, knowledge sharing, research, and collective learning for VAWCCs, their members and allies.
  • To advocate and work together for system, social and community change to improve responses and prevent violence against women
  • To collaborate on joint projects and strategic initiatives across the province to raise awareness and engage citizens in the work of ending violence against women.


Values

  • Every contribution is important and has a place in building our bigger wave
  • We build the road as we walk it, therefore our process is emergent
  • We regularly communicate our progress so that everyone can see what is happening and participate or provide input
  • We move forward with whoever shows up. The ‘right’ people are always present.
  • We reflect
  • Together we are wiser
  • We use anti racist, anti oppression, and gender based approaches in our work
  • We are inclusive and welcoming. We recognize the richness and opportunities that come from diverse perspectives.
  • We are fearless and exploratory.


Membership

All Violence Against Women Coordinating Committees are invited to be members of the Network, along with other individuals, organizations and coalitions that agree with the BBW goals and values and share our common goal of ending violence against women.


Working Together

Network Structure

The Network is a flexible structure that supports dialogue, common understanding, sharing of information and a shared learning approach. The Network’s structure engages and supports the broadest possible inclusivity of VAWCCs, individuals, and allied organizations.

Advisory Team

The work of the BBW Network is guided by an Advisory Team made up of members from VAWCCs, individuals and allied organizations. Advisory Team members come from a range of geographic and cultural perspectives. They bring their enthusiasm and expertise to provide leadership, direction and evaluation for the work of the BBW Network.  The Advisory Team seeks input regularly from Network members and makes decisions based on input provided. It ensures that members have many opportunities and ways to contribute to the Network development and activities.

Steering Committee

The Southwest Region VAW Coordinating Committee (SWRCC) serves as a steering committee for the Network. SWRCC is a regional committee with representatives from 10 VAWCCs in the southwest of Ontario. SWRCC meets monthly (since 2005) and first conceived the development of a provincial network. to support the work of VAWCCs in Ontario. 

Working Groups

Working Groups are convened as needed. They carry out tasks for the Network, as decided by the Advisory Team or the Network membership as a whole. Any BBW member can be part of a working group and bring their expertise to the group. In the past, the Network has the following Working Groups:

  • Newsletter Working Group: produces the BBW Newsletter and sends it out to all members, allies, supporters and interested.
  • Website and Social Media Working Group: keeps the website current and posts information on the website and social media.
  • Fund Development Working Group: searches for sources of funds for the BBW Network and assists with writing proposals.
  • Forum Advisory Working Group: organizes the agenda and focus of the Building a Bigger Wave provincial forum.

Coordination

The Coordinator(s) provide administrative support, leadership and management support for the Advisory Team, and liaison with funders. The Coordinator(s) organize and document meetings and provide support to the Working Groups. This is a paid position currently funded through project work. At present, there are three people sharing Coordination for the Network.

Meetings

Advisory Team meetings take place four times a year by teleconference in February, May, September and December. Working Groups meet as required and determined by the group members and task.

Provincial Forums

The BBW Network organizes provincial forums to bring together VAWCCs, supporters and allies to:

  • develop broad plans and action strategies for provincial implementation
  • share knowledge and successful community initiatives
  • learn together and strengthen relationships and capacity
  • provide a place for deeper conversation and dialogue.

Decision Making

The Network uses a consent model of decision making. In a consent model everyone agrees to live with the decision, even if the decision is not their first choice. If a member of the group cannot live with the decision, the group continues with discussion until a decision is found that everyone can live with. Decisions are made and the work is advanced at meetings by ‘who ever shows up’ and by reporting fully to all committee members so they are keep abreast of developments. This style of flexible working and thinking together and decision making unites people working towards a shared goal in complex situations and environments.

Sharing of Information and Resources

Information is shared and communicated with Network members and their allies through:

  • Building a Bigger Wave interactive website, www.buildingabiggerwave.ca and social media.
  • Regular BBW Newsletters sent electronically to all members and posted on the website. All members are invited to contribute to the newsletters and distribute them widely within their local networks.
  • Presentations, reports and surveys for Network members from the Advisory Team and Working Groups.
  • Minutes, notes and emerging news items from the Advisory Team and Working Groups.
  • VAWCCs have been asked to make BBW a standing agenda item and to provide regular reports to their membership on BBW activities and campaigns.

Evaluation and Review

The Network evaluates the work of the Network for relevance and the value of its work as part of the Building a Bigger Wave Forum gatherings. The Guidelines for Working Together are reviewed annually by the Steering Committee.