The role of advocacy coalitions in a project implementation process: the example of the planning phase of the At Home/Chez Soi project dealing with homelessness in Montreal

Eval Program Plann. 2014 Aug;45:42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2014.03.008. Epub 2014 Mar 22.


This study analyzed the planning process (summer 2008 to fall 2009) of a Montreal project that offers housing and community follow-up to homeless people with mental disorders, with or without substance abuse disorders. With the help of the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), advocacy groups that were able to navigate a complex intervention implementation process were identified. In all, 25 people involved in the Montreal At Home/Chez Soi project were surveyed through interviews (n=18) and a discussion group (n=7). Participant observations and documentation (minutes and correspondence) were also used for the analysis. The start-up phase of the At Home/Chez may be broken down into three separate periods qualified respectively as "honeymoon;" "clash of cultures;" and "acceptance & commitment". In each of the planning phases of the At Home/Chez Soi project in Montreal, at least two advocacy coalitions were in confrontation about their specific belief systems concerning solutions to address the recurring homelessness social problem, while a third, more moderate one contributed in rallying most key actors under specified secondary aspects. The study confirms the importance of policy brokers in achieving compromises acceptable to all advocacy coalitions.

Keywords: Coalitions; Homelessness; Implementation process; Mental health.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Consumer Advocacy*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Homeless Persons*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology