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Accelerating Human Rights in Canada and Beyond

We helped the Canadian Museum for Human Rights articulate its theory of change and develop an ambitious strategic plan to help it achieve its vision of a world where everyone values human rights.

Opening its doors in 2014, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is one of Canada’s National Museums, and the world’s first Museum dedicated to the evolution, celebration, and future of human rights. Its mandate is to explore the subject of human rights, with special but not exclusive reference to Canada, in order to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others, and to encourage reflection and dialogue. When the Museum approached Junxion for support in updating its strategic plan, we proposed they begin by articulating a theory of change. A theory of change would ensure a solid basis on which to build its strategic plan. This approach matched the Museum’s desire to work inclusively with staff and stakeholders, drawing on lived experiences and a range of voices across the country to inform its strategy.

The Challenge 

Under new leadership, the Museum wanted to develop a new strategic plan and approached Junxion for support. Early discussions made it clear that the Museum would benefit from articulating its desired changes, and developing a framework to measure its impact within and beyond the Museum’s walls. The Museum ultimately commissioned Junxion to support the development of a theory of change, an accompanying impact evaluation framework, followed by a robust 5 year strategic plan.

How We Helped 

To develop its theory of change, we began by researching the Museum’s context, the change it is seeking, and who is/ should be involved in creating that change. We facilitated two workshops made-up of the leadership team, board members, Indigenous elders and other audiences. We then drafted a theory of change, which laid out the short-, medium-, and long-term changes required to achieve its overall vision. The process resulted in a greater shared understanding of its primary avenues for change: individual action and education, shared storytelling, and national and global accountability.

Junxion then drafted an impact evaluation framework that mapped the Museum’s existing performance measures on to its new theory of change, and recommended new measures to address gaps. This framework allows the Museum to begin understanding how its current efforts are making progress against its desired impacts. This process laid the groundwork for developing its strategic plan. The planning process was deliberately inclusive, involving staff and board focus groups, interviews with leadership and peers, a survey of staff and visitors, as well as public consultations that took place from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The input gathered through this process, supplemented by two full-day planning workshops, was used to craft an ambitious yet pragmatic 5 year strategic plan aligned to its theory of change. Essentially, it describes how the Museum will achieve the changes outlined in its theory of change

Measuring Success 

The theory of change aligned the leadership team around the change they desire, so they could develop a 5 year strategy for bringing those changes to fruition. The impact evaluation framework will support the Museum to ask the right questions of the right people, through a process of collecting, monitoring, and evaluating data, and learning from it. At this time of writing, the Museum’s strategic plan has not been made public. We look forward to sharing its strategic priorities when they’re released in Spring 2024!

I’ve had way more clarity of thought than I’ve ever had around who we are and what we do.

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