Terms of Reference for the Development of a Craft Industry Strategy for the Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Sector

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Terms of Reference for the Development of a Craft Industry Strategy for the Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Sector

1. Background

Partners in the development of the craft industry of Newfoundland and Labrador have come together to collaborate on a new strategy to further the craft industry in the province. A long history of cooperative working relationships among these partners has led to industry growth as evidenced by the results of previous strategies in 1991 and 2001.

It has now been well over ten years since the last comprehensive industry strategy. The cultural and business environment has changed significantly in the interim, meaning both the data and strategies from over a decade ago are outdated, do not reflect the current realities in the craft industry and can no longer be used to support policy and decision making.

The changing environment also means new opportunities exist for partnerships with other sectors such as technology, tourism, education, visual and performing arts and entrepreneurship.

A new provincial industry strategy will build upon the successes to date and provide a roadmap for all partners to work collaboratively towards the growth and strengthening of the industry while respecting their individual mandates.

The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, College of the North Atlantic, and the Anna Templeton Centre have been identified as they key craft industry development partners and have formed a Steering Committee to develop a new industry strategy. These same partners have been involved in the creation and implementation of prior strategies.

While each partner has its own mandate, commonalities have been identified with respect to craft industry growth and development. A collaborative strategy will ensure all partners are on the same page regarding strategic goals, avoid overlapping of individual efforts, ensure resources are efficiently and effectively used, maximize the right opportunities, and enable funding sources to be appropriately invested.

The Steering Committee commenced meeting in September 2016. To date seven meetings have been held.

2. Objectives and Scope of Work

The main objective is the production of an industry strategy with goals that will guide craft industry development activities over the next 2-3 years. The strategy will be based on the results of the research and will include an action plan.

In order to develop an industry strategy it is necessary to gather current data on the industry and its stakeholders, identify the opportunities and challenges the industry faces and how the strengths and weaknesses within the industry impact its ability to capitalize on the opportunities and address the challenges. The objective of the research is to provide a profile of the craft industry and sufficient information to identify and understand the needs and opportunities in the industry around which a strategy can be built.

An environmental scan of the craft industry both locally and comparatively with similar jurisdictions is needed to help identify trends, opportunities and challenges. Such research would include review of secondary information sources as well primary sources such as focus groups and key informant interviews.

Professional craftspeople A survey to gather data to create a profile that includes: demographics, geographic distribution, stage (emerging/established), education/craft education, craft mediums, sales, employment, business goals/growth, marketing methods, markets (geographic and customer type), export intentions/activities, training needs, areas of opportunity, barriers to success.

As part of this profile, it is important to gather data which enables us to identify the value of the industry in the provincial economy and discuss its economic impact.

Retailers of craft A survey to gather data on the retailers of craft in the province, to include: age and location of business, period of operation (seasonal/year-round), target customers, marketing/promotion used, types and amount of craft carried (% of inventory), how they identify sources of products, how they choose products to carry, payment arrangements with craftspeople (wholesale/consignment), what craft products are in demand, product gaps, and staff product knowledge.

Support and resource people in the industry Information will be gathered through a focus group. Information needed includes: organizations represented, mandate/role in craft industry development, % of focus on craft, services provided to the industry, length of time involved with the craft industry, gaps in services, barriers to industry growth, areas of opportunity for industry growth.

Other outputs of the strategy development process include:

  • Analyse data to inform future strategies of industry partners, articulating both qualitative and quantitative data

  • Identify areas of opportunity (such as craft and innovation, experiential tourism and craft, apparel, methodology and HR needs for production growth)

  • Identify industry successes and high growth enterprises and determine ways to repeat or expand on these successes.

  • Identify potential partners for the craft industry in other sectors

  • Ensure that results of this initiative are used to enhance the profile of the professional craft industry; compare industry value to that of other industries; communicate industry value to NL economy

  • Define targets for industry growth

  • Determine methodology for evaluation including identification of Key Performance Indicators to enable annual monitoring of the state of the industry in a cost effective manner.

All of this information will be analyzed and synthesized into a strategic plan with clearly defined goals, objectives and an action plan.

3. Methodology

The Craft Industry Development Strategy project will be led by the Steering Committee. Smaller sub-committees will be created to take on specific tasks during the course of this project. For example, a Survey Sub-Committee has been identified to advance work on the survey(s) to gather primary data from key stakeholder groups. The sub-committees will report progress to the main Steering Committee on the specific tasks for which they are responsible.

Each Committee or Sub-committee will appoint a chair who will be responsible for organizing and coordinating their respective meetings, ensuring participation of committee members and that meeting notes are recorded for circulation to all committee members.

As timelines for this project are tight – with a project completion target of end of October 2017, the Steering Committee will generally meet every 2-3 weeks to monitor progress and discuss any issues arising as work progresses. Meetings will be a combination of face-to-face and video/tele-conferencing as Steering Committee members are geographically dispersed.

Sub-committees will meet between the Steering Committee meetings as required by the work they are tasked to carry out, and report back on progress at the following Steering Committee meeting.

4. Expertise

The Craft Industry Development Strategy project will require expertise in research, writing, strategic planning, facilitation, meeting management and project management.

The Steering Committee will manage the overall project, but will delegate specific roles to either committee members with the expertise required for a task or to outside expertise.

As the need for original research is so important to this work the Steering Committee has sought external expertise in this area. ACOA is providing the services of one of their economists to draft the survey questionnaires to be used to gather data. An online survey tool has been chosen to get the survey out to stakeholders. The ACOA researcher will also perform some limited economic analysis on the data gathered. A sub-committee has been tasked to work with the ACOA researcher to communicate what information is needed to be captured in the surveys. Because of the survey methodology to be used it is important to note there will be limitations on the conclusions possible from the data that can be applied to the entire industry.

Secondary research for the environmental scan and focus group research to provide more in-depth information is also required. This requires someone with skills in research and in facilitating focus group sessions, synthesizing data and writing clear, concise reports. The Steering Committee will provide direction in terms of who should attend focus groups and what information is needed from participants. An experienced consultant will be hired to carry out the secondary research and the writing of the strategy, in consultation with the Steering Committee.

5. Reporting

All Steering Committee and Sub-committee meetings will have meeting notes recorded and circulated throughout the process.

The results of the surveys will be compiled in a report to the Steering Committee. Some data analysis and interpretation of the results will be included as well as a limited economic impact analysis from ACOA.

Likewise a report detailing the information gathered from the environmental scan and the focus group sessions will be produced and delivered to the Steering Committee by the consultant.

6. Work Plan

The deliverables and deadlines are as follows (also attached is Project Timeline Chart):

Survey design – by June 16

Survey distribution – June 19

Survey Completion – June 30

Environmental Scan research & Focus Groups – conducted by August 11

Survey analysis, interpretation and economic analysis – by August 18

Environmental Scan research & Focus Group report completed and submitted – by August 31

Draft Strategic Plan – by September 29

Facilitated session with Steering Committee to validate/finalize priorities/actions – by October 20

Final Strategy Document prepared – by October 27

Release of Final Craft Industry Strategy – October 30

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