State Funding for Social Movements
The State Funding for Social Movements project was a five-year study that examined (a) the history of state funding for social movements in Canada; and (b) how the relationship between state funding and social movements differs across movements, regions, and time periods. The research for this project was divided into three parts: (i) documenting the evolution of federal and provincial government policy towards NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in Canada; (ii) assessing the impact of state funding on NGOs; and (iii) creating a public database of funding for NGOs in Canada.
Our key deliverables included a digital archive and a database that document funding from governments in Canada to NGOs since 1960. The first stage of the project, which was completed in 2020, was scanning the transfer payments section of the publication Public Accounts for most governments in Canada. Those files are now available in the archive. In addition, we processed the records for the British Columbia, Federal and Nova Scotia governments into a searchable database. Over 20,000 pages were processed using optical-text recognition software. Grants to organizations for Aboriginal peoples, the environment, human rights and women were extracted and uploaded to the database. The final stage, which is under development, is to expand the database to incorporate additional datasets from all three levels of government across Canada.
The following video, produced in 2017, provides a 5 minute introduction to our project.
This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. It also received generous financial support from the University of Alberta Library’s Digital Initiatives team, the Arts Resource Centre and the Kule Institute for Advanced Studies.