Partnerships for Success: Building Social Capital



Release Date

July 19, 2013


Marie‑Hélène Gagné believes that a partnership approach constitutes a major advantage when carrying out research. It helps to build social capital that can be drawn upon to resolve complex situations, consequently helping to shape a more equitable and prosperous society.

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Marie‑Hélène Gagné: My two main partners on this project are the Centre jeunesse de Québec and the Centre jeunesse de Montréal, both of which are university organizations.

I think our research will lead to many benefits for the partners.

Beyond helping to develop more precise practices and knowledge, I think it is really leading to a type of social development in the direction of human relations between researchers and organizations.

It’s a type of capital that we acquire: we can draw on it when we experience social difficulties or problems, or have to sort out complex situations. In these terms, I think that social research—particularly when performed in partnership—is really a society’s social capital.

Danielle Lalande: The phenomenon of mistreatment is a daily concern for the Centre jeunesse de Montréal’s university institute.

The chair’s work will help us to broaden our research approaches, particularly in assessing parental aptitude and also anything to do with the life course of children.

We think that the chair’s work will enable us to speed up knowledge expansion and also to develop best practices and evidence‑based practices. Networking between different partners and knowledge sharing with everyone will support these initiatives.

Marie‑Hélène Gagné: Since it’s about practices, the partners will be directly involved in putting this strategy in place. It would be impossible to do it without the project partners.

The partnerships sort of snowballed. It started with partners with whom I and some of my fellow researchers involved in the project had already been working for years.

It’s very interesting because it shows that when you succeed in convincing a partner, often that partner will then help convince other people in their network. From that point you have a genuine network, and you are also sure to have people who are really committed. They have given a commitment not just to a researcher but to the people with whom they work on a daily basis.