Prairies Economic Development Canada
Evaluation, Impact Measurement and Management
The Department of Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was established in 1987 to lessen western Canada's (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) strong economic dependence on its natural resources. The Western Economic Diversification Act, 1988, mandated the department to "promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and to advance the interests of Western Canada in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation." Working from its headquarters in Edmonton and offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Ottawa, the vision of WD was to be a leader in creating a more diversified Western Canadian economy that has strong, competitive, and innovative businesses and communities.
In August 2021, the Government of Canada announced that WD would be divided into two new agencies: PacifiCan for BC and PrairiesCan for Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The two agencies will lead in building a strong, competitive Canadian economy by supporting business, innovation, and community economic development unique to the respective regions. The change is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to build a more focused, locally informed approach, putting people first to foster innovation, business growth, and resilience in urban, rural, and Indigenous communities.
Formulated as part of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was designed to assist businesses and organizations across Canada to mitigate financial pressures caused by the pandemic. RRRF provided loan funding to businesses as well as contributions that enabled not-for-profit organizations to provide technical and other support to assist businesses in mitigating COVID-19 impacts.
The purpose of this evaluation is to report on the extent to which the objectives and short-term outcomes of the RRRF have been achieved in the Prairies, review the effectiveness of the design and delivery of RRRF programming, and provide recommendations for future delivery of such interventions. Client satisfaction with program delivery is also assessed as part of the study. The evaluation will focus specifically on programming delivered by WD in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
We are employing a phased evaluation approach incorporating three distinct phases, each composed of multiple tasks and activities. The planning phase is designed to enable the Project Authority and Steering Committee to provide important input into the design of the evaluation. By employing this approach, we will ensure that the evaluation meets our client's needs and is conducted within a defined quality assurance plan. We will then implement an extensive research program in Phase 2, leading to analysis and reporting in Phase 3.
To date, we have conducted a preliminary review of program documents and data, conducted preliminary interviews to inform the development of the project plan, developed a profile of the program, prepared the evaluation matrix, and determined the most appropriate methodologies to undertake the assignment, and prepared this evaluation work plan. The project was completed on time and within budget.
We have been providing management consulting services to clients in the government, public, non-profit and private sectors across Canada for more than 30 years.
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