Organizational Standards Initiative

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Ocasi logo.png
Organization: OCASI
Contact: Juanita Smith
Started in: 2008


Recognizing that extensive accountability, expertise, and good practices already exist in the sector, this initiative aims to build upon our strengths and further develop our organizational capacity. We will identify the organizational practices and administrative systems that agencies need to be optimally responsive, innovative, effective and accountable. Key priorities throughout the initiative include transparency, meaningful engagement of OCASI members and partners, and ongoing communications

Project Background

In 2009, OCASI established a set of voluntary organizational standards for the Settlement sector in Ontario and developed a user-friendly, online organizational self-assessment tool called OrgWise (CapacitOrg en français). The OrgWise self-assessment and tools are being used by agencies for planning, communicating with stakeholder, and the education and development of staff and board members. The OrgWise website, which serves as a key platform of the Organizational Standards Initiative (OIS) project, has undergone a number of substantial enhancements and improvements. Over the past year, our team has added new tools and features based on the comments and feedback from the OCASI Peer Learning Groups, OrgWise Capacity Building regional sessions, OCASI member agencies, and other interested third parties.

OrgWise has grown beyond the self-assessment and the website itself has been transformed into a knowledge and social hub where users enjoy improved access to a suite of capacity building tools and resources.

These include:

  • An online discussion forum
  • Webinars
  • Multimedia videos
  • A peer mentorship corner
  • OSI events calendar
  • Group coaching
  • New French and English electronic resources.

Users now have the means to connect with their peers, engage in knowledge sharing and information exchange, and collaborate with agencies and settlement sector experts. Additionally, agencies can access OCASI resources and expertise to support organizational capacity building initiatives that have been informed by their self-assessments.

Program Features

Benefits of Participating

  • Online self-assessment to identify each agency’s organizational development needs
  • Work plan development to address the identified needs
  • Group and peer support
  • 10 hours of expert coaching for each participating agency
  • Deployment of a consultant to work with each agency to achieve the Standards
  • Participation in an organizational mentorship program

Agency responsibilities

  • Identify a key representative to serve as a member of a Peer Learning Group
  • Sign an agreement for your agency to participate in organizational development for a period of 2 years.


There is a fee associated with participation in this initiative, which OCASI will negotiate with each agency. Please note that organizations with smaller budgets can apply to OCASI for a subsidy. OCASI has also allotted 2 spaces for smaller agencies that are unable to pay. All participating organizations must be an OCASI member agency.

How to Apply

All OCASI member agencies are encouraged to apply. Visit:

Project Sites

Project Management and Funder

The Organizational Standards Initiative project is managed by OCASI and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Contact Person

For more information on the site, please contact:

Juanita Smith
Organizational Standard Initiative Coordinator
Tel 416-322-4950 x 264