Focus of the DataBank - Then and Now
THEN - In the beginning, both Canadian and US work on benefits focused on 4 main categories - personal, social, econonomic, and environmental.
The 1992 catalogue identified 27 benefits relating to these four themes and documented evidence that was available at that time. The 1997 version of the Benefits Catalogue organized the benefits within eight key marketing messages and 44 specific outcomes or benefits. The current version of the Benefits DataBank reflects 50 different benefits or outcomes organized within eight key marketing messages. However, they are also organized within the 4 original main categories:
- PERSONAL benefits helping individuals achieve their full potential (Outcomes 1.1 to 3.2 inclusive)
- SOCIAL benefits to promote healthy families, neighbourhoods, communities of interest (Outcomes 3.3 to 5.7 inclusive)
- ECONOMIC benefits critical to financial well-being (Outcomes 6.1 to 7.8 inclusive)
- ENVIRONMENTAL benefits leading to the protection of our common ecology. (Outcomes 8.1 to 8.7 inclusive)
We continue to learn that recreation and parks services are constantly challenged by funders in terms of proving their ‘essential need’ and the real/actual benefits delivered to individuals and their communities. To be sustainable for the long term, practitioners must proactively respond to the critical issues of the day facing our families, citizens and communities. In short, the original project in 1992 evolved from one of attempting to document the importance of parks and recreation, to one in 1997 that challenged the field to reposition and provide programs, services and facilities that responded directly to the personal, social, economic and environmental needs and challenges.
NOW - Ten years later - this challenge is even greater and we must continue to prove the benefits of our important work each day. The messages and new evidence in the 2009 DataBank will help us continue to build the bridges, natural partnerships and new strategic alliances with related fields who are also committed to these same benefits. We will continue to collaborate with health, social services, education, police/justice, tourism, economic development, planning, environmental groups and all the related non profit organizations.
The focus and criteria used to determine the type and quality of research to be used in this resource was as follows:
a) research team searched to find related academic and rigorous quality research as well as grey literature and reports/projects which are not academic research yet very valuable and practical research for the field
b) the research team used the related target fields to mean recreation, fitness, active living, sport, arts, culture, heritage, parks and green spaces.