DATAide Launch

March 14, 2022 •  By Cristina Roque

Centraide launches DATAide to accelerate the
community sector’s digital transition

Montreal, March 14, 2022 – The Centraides of Quebec are pleased to launch DATAide, a training and support initiative to help with the digital transition of 3,000 community agencies in Quebec that fight poverty and social exclusion. This new project has been made possible thanks to $5.4 million in funding from the Quebec Government.

DATAide was developed with the help of 50 community agencies and will support the tech skills of community workers in order to bridge the technology gap that has widened in recent years. Starting this spring, Open North, a specialist data and technology firm, will help give agencies access to support in the areas of digital intelligence and leadership.


“Centraide of Greater Montreal is excited to serve as the operator for DATAide in collaboration with Open North. The community sector significantly lags other areas when it comes to technology. While the pandemic has forced the sector to speed up its transformation, the digital shift nevertheless poses a major challenge for many agencies in all regions. For example, nearly 30% of community agencies in Greater Montreal were significantly behind on their use of technology even before the health crisis,” said Claude Pinard, President and Executive Director, Centraide of Greater Montreal.

“The support of this project by our government reflects our commitment to helping community organizations and accelerating their digital transition. All sectors of our economy are facing a fundamental shift to digital technology. It is essential that organizations offer services that are adapted to today’s reality. Participating organizations will not only be able to reduce the digital divide, but also innovate and be even more agile in terms of their ability to support vulnerable people,” said Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region.

Customized training, a community of practice, tools, and financial resources will be made available to the community sector. This initiative has the potential to optimize their management and administrative practices while increasing their ability to maintain and even scale up services for families, youth, adults and seniors in need.

Information about DATAide is available at DATAide.ca.

DATAide highlights:

  • DATAide is the first project aimed at accelerating the digital transition of Quebec’s community sector. Made possible by the Centraides of Quebec and steered by Centraide of Greater Montreal, the initiative consists of webinars, digital skills training, and leadership support activities.
    • The $5.4 million in funding also includes an investment of $3.6 million for 500 grants that will support tech acquisition or licensing projects and their implementation.
    • DATAide’s three-year horizon will also be an opportunity to collect information about the needs of agencies in different regions and communities.
    • Nearly 30% of Greater Montreal agencies:
      • Believe they are behind or very behind when it comes to the use of technology. The pandemic has further exacerbated this lag.
      • Have a computer fleet that is over five years old on average.
    • Centraide has partnered with Open North, a recognized data and technology governance organization in Quebec, which will operate the training program.

About Centraide

In Quebec, 11 Centraides raise and invest money in their territories to act effectively on poverty and social exclusion. They support approximately 1,500 community agencies and projects that help and bring comfort to over one million vulnerable people in the province. Quebec’s Centraides are also members of United Way Centraide Canada, which includes 77 Centraides and United Ways across the country.

About Open North

Open North is a not-for-profit organization that works with public, private, and community partners to foster the effective, responsible and collaborative use of data and technology to solve complex problems in the public’s interest. Open North acts as a driving force for research, capacity building, program implementation, and collaboration within and across sectors to enable the creation of transparent, accountable, and inclusive communities. Founded in 2011, the organization has developed extensive expertise in areas including smart cities, data governance, and management, data-sharing partnerships, and digital inclusion.