Engaging lived and living expertise in COVID-19 recovery planning
Submission to the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild Consultation
At the best of times, there is not enough engagement of lived expertise in policy processes – though the City of Toronto has made significant progress in recent years. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020, there has been an unprecedented government response to the pandemic, with the rapid launch of massive new programs by the federal, provincial, and city governments. For the most part, people directly affected by poverty and homelessness have not been included in planning and decisions about these new programs.
This submission draws on one-on-one conversations with advocates with lived expertise and organizations, and a round-table discussion with advocates with lived expertise, to examine how the City should engage lived/living expertise in recovery and rebuild planning.
These dialogues examined the engagement of persons directly affected in the City’s crisis response; the impacts of COVID-19 for people facing homeless, poverty, and disability; and people’s experiences with new programs in response to the pandemic. The discussions yielded recommendations on priority actions for recovery and rebuild; meaningful engagement of advocates with lived expertise in recovery planning; and building lived expert leadership.