Creating the CVI

The Community Vitality Index project began in the fall of 2012. The first step in creating the CVI for Happy Valley – Goose Bay (HV-GB) was to meet with key people and women in the community to affirm support for the development of a CVI. As recommended by the Joint Review Panel for the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Dam, the process was to be participatory—meaning women from HV-GB would be actively involved in creating and testing the CVI.


The first community workshops were held in Spring 2013 in Happy Valley – Goose Bay (HV-GB) and at the College of the North Atlantic. 26 women participated in brainstorming and discussions that contributed to the initial framework for the Community Vitality Index (CVI). The objective was to capture what wellbeing means to women in HV-GB, using their words, concepts, and ideas.

Elements of this initial framework were then tested at the Labrador Wellness Annual General Meeting in April 2013.


Based on the feedback received on the initial framework, researcher Leah Levac and a student research assistant created a draft survey. The questions  included in the survey were drawn from both literature on wellbeing as well as suggestions from the women who participated in the workshops.

The overall intent was to measure women’s sense of wellbeing in each of the areas identified in the Wellbeing Framework. The experiences of wellbeing (or lack of wellbeing) shared by the women in the workshops helped with choosing questions that would be relevant to diverse women’s situations in HV-GB. Questions were also reviewed to ensure the language used was reflective of the language used by the women themselves.


During Winter 2013 and early Spring 2014, women who participated in the CVI development workshops piloted the draft wellbeing survey with other women they knew in the community.

The survey is currently being finalized based on the feedback we received.


In Winter 2013, graphic designers from Nunatsiavut developed an image for the Wellbeing Framework based on drawings and ideas shared during the community workshops (see image on right).


The CVI was officially launched in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on June 12, 2014. The event included an overview of the CVI process and a discussion about how the community can work to move the CVI project forward in coming months.

Next steps include:

  • Finalizing the wellbeing survey that will be used to collect data
  • Launching the website for the CVI, which will include information about the CVI, a detailed description of the Wellbeing Framework, preliminary results from the first completed wellbeing surveys, and the finalized survey form
  • Carrying out the first full-scale wellbeing survey
  • Sharing the CVI model with other communities