Past Projects

Evaluation of the First Nations Health Authority

In 2013, the First Nations Health assumed responsibility for programs and services previously discharged by Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch – Pacific Region and associated administrative functions, as part of a broader mandate to work with the Province of British Columbia to improve health services for First Nations in BC. The purpose of this evaluation, which covered fiscal years 2013/14 to the end of fiscal year 2018/19, was to tell the story of change resulting from FNHA’s creation and to give an account of the progress that FNHA has made against its mandate and strategic plan. More specifically, the project reviewed the progress made in transitioning the healthcare system, enhancing health governance, championing the BC First Nations perspective on health and wellness, advancing excellence in programs and services, and operating as an efficient and effective First Nations health organization. To evaluate the FNHA, we conducted interviews with 50 key informants, including members of the Senior Executive team, regional directors, departmental representatives, BC First Nations leaders, delivery partners, and government partners; led focus groups with the Boards of Directors of the FNHA and First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA); conducted a detailed review of documents and files related to the FNHA; and developed 11 case studies exploring key areas of FNHA operations and programming, corporate capacity and governance.

Pharmacy Program for BC First Nations

In 2013, Health Canada transferred responsibility for health programs and services for BC First Nations to the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). One of the programs so transferred was the Non-Insured Health Benefits program, which provides eligible First Nations individuals (both on- and off-reserve) with supplemental health benefits, including pharmacy, medical supplies and equipment, dental care, vision care, short-term crisis intervention mental health counseling, and medical transportation to access medically required health services not available on reserve or in the community of residence. This evaluation centred around the FNHA’s Pharmacy Program for BC First Nations with a primary focus on the transfer of the drug benefits to PharmaCare Plan W in 2017. It covered a range of topics related to effectiveness, efficiency, governance structure, risk management and controls, and implementation of Plan W. To perform the evaluation, we conducted an extensive review of documents, files, and administrative data related to the Pharmacy Program and the transition process; interviews with 76 key informants; 4 focus group sessions, involving 55 representatives of the FNHA, First Nations Health Council, and First Nations Health Directors Association; a survey of FNHA clients and service providers; and 2 case studies.

PSC Respectful Workplace Policy Evaluation 2019

The Respectful Workplace Policy (the Policy) was developed in 2013 by the Government of Yukon in consultation with the Yukon Teachers’ Association and the Yukon Employees’ Union. The Policy replaced the Workplace Harassment Prevention and Resolution Policy with alternative dispute resolution processes, which are considered more effective in promoting a respectful, healthy and well-functioning workplace. To evaluate the Policy, we conducted a review of files, documents, and data provided by the Yukon Respectful Workplace Office (RWO), which implements the policy; reviewed literature and policies in other jurisdictions; surveyed 262 RWO clients; conducted 47 follow-up interviews with clients; interviewed 34 key collaborators of the Policy; and conducted two focus groups.

Federal Support for Family Justice

Through Budget 2017, the Department of Justice Canada received a mandate to continue its support of the family justice system. Federal support of family justice is provided through the work of the Family, Children and Youth (FCY) Section and the Canadian Family Justice Fund. The FCY plays a vital role in ensuring that family justice issues are considered at the federal level, that public awareness is raised, and that efforts to address these issues are coordinated through collaboration and information sharing among jurisdictions. This evaluation addressed questions specific to family law, its overall program delivery and operations, and the management and distribution of grants and contributions. Methodologically, this assignment involved surveys of 16,000 parent education program participants and 650 mediation service participants; a follow-up survey of 283 people; interviews with 26 key informants; a focus group involving 20 participants; two file reviews; and eight process mapping and costs studies.

Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy

The purpose of this evaluation was to examine the advocacy, coordination, convening, and business development activities of the Western Economic Development (WD) defence procurement/Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) team. The ITB Policy entails that firms bidding on eligible defence procurements be evaluated on quality, price, and economic benefits. To conduct this evaluation, we completed a document and literature review; developed a profile of WD activities including WD defence procurement-related projects; and conducted interviews with 86 key informants, including WD staff and representatives of industry, universities and colleges, industry associations, other federal government organizations (including other Regional Development Agencies), and provincial government representatives. We also conducted 6 case studies focused on specific activities and a series of focus groups and roundtables.

Social Procurement: State of Practice & Recommendations

The purpose of this project was to support the City of Calgary in accelerating social procurement, which is a means to leverage added and intentional social value from existing procurement. Specifically, we conducted a risk analysis of social procurement in Calgary with respect to the legal risks with trade agreements and existing binding legislation, political risks, economic risks and reputational risks. We reviewed trade agreements and relevant legislation to assess and uncover methods to minimize the legal risks of a City social procurement policy.

Evaluation of the Indigenous Courtwork Program

The objective of the Indigenous Courtwork (ICW) Program is to contribute to achieving the federal government's commitment to facilitate and enhance access to justice by assisting Indigenous persons (adults and youth) charged with an offence under any federal or provincial statute, municipal by-law, or otherwise involved in the criminal justice system to obtain fair, just, equitable and culturally relevant treatment. Our evaluation of the ICW program examined its relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency. Our thorough evaluation methodology involved a document, data, and literature review; surveys of 819 program clients, 124 judicial and court officials, 114 courtworkers, and 35 other key informants; follow-up interviews with 62 ICW program clients; and 3 case studies.

Development Strategy for the Tech Sector in Cowichan

The Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is home to an emerging tech sector featuring digital animation companies, software developers, and respected thought leaders within the tech industry. Advancement of the tech sector has been identified as a potential priority for Economic Development Cowichan, owing to the sector’s high rate of growth; high-paying, high-skilled jobs; spillover benefits; and potential for diversification of the region’s traditional economic sectors. We created a strategy for further developing the tech sector in the Cowichan Valley Regional District. To produce this strategy, we identified existing tech companies in the Cowichan; identified 25 companies as priority research targets; interviewed 19 representatives from the Regional District’s tech sector, 13 representatives from relevant organizations, 9 representatives from government, and 15 representatives from organizations outside the region; and hosted an industry roundtable involving 30 tech stakeholders.

Interim Evaluation of the Southern Ontario Prosperity Program

In 2009, the Government of Canada created the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) with a mandate to strengthen southern Ontario's economic capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration and promote the development of a strong and diversified southern Ontario economy. The Southern Ontario Prosperity Program served as the Agency’s core program for its second five-year mandate (2014–15 to 2018–19). We conducted an interim evaluation of the Southern Ontario Prosperity Program, focusing on relevance, effectiveness, and design and delivery. The methodology included a document and literature review; a survey of 550 project proponents, potential applicants, non-approved applicants, and beneficiaries; 65 key informant interviews; and 6 case studies.

Evaluation of Innovation Programming

Western Economic Diversification Canada’s innovation programming contributes to the department’s strategic outcome of growing and diversifying the western Canadian economy. The department uses two grant and contribution initiatives to provide funding for projects under its innovation programming activities, namely the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative and the Western Diversification Program (WDP). Our evaluation, which focused on 311 WDP and WINN projects, considered issues related to relevance and performance. The methodology included a review of relevant documentation and data, 53 key informant interviews, surveys of 179 funding recipient organizations, 12 case studies, and 2 focus groups.

Evaluation of the Communicable Disease Control and Management Programs

The purpose of the evaluation was to examine the relevance and effectiveness of the Communicable Disease Control and Management (CDCM) Program within the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch for the time period 2008/04 to 2014/03. The evaluation was undertaken in three phases. The primary objective of the first phase was to prepare a detailed evaluation work plan that outlined the specific evaluation issues, indicators, data sources, and methodologies that were to be used. During the second phase, extensive literature, document and database reviews were undertaken and telephone interviews were conducted with a broad cross-section of 41 key representatives including staff from the national office, regional offices, representatives of the Public Health Agency of Canada and national program partners and experts.

Summative Evaluation of the Industrial Research & Development Internship Program

The Industrial Research and Development Internship (IRDI) program creates private sector internship opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. During an internship, students receive a minimum stipend of $10,000 for a placement term of four months to six months. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the relevance, achievement of expected outcomes, design, implementation, and efficiency and economy of the IRDI program, which provides grants and contributions to private sector companies to engage interns to assist in undertaking innovation and commercialization activities. The lines of evidence employed for the evaluation included document and literature review; review of administrative data on costs and participants; interviews with 52 key informants; surveys of 1,300 participants that included 536 interns, 353 sponsors and 411 supervisors; surveys of 20 prospective interns who applied but were not funded; and 7 focus groups and case studies that focused on achievement of outcomes and delivery. The evaluation results from the different lines of evidence were triangulated and summarized by each evaluation indicator and evaluation issue. Both thematic analysis for qualitative data and statistical analysis were utilized for the quantitative data.

Evaluation of the National Anti-Drug Strategy

The Strategy is a horizontal initiative of 12 federal departments and agencies, led by the Department of Justice Canada (Justice Canada), with approximately $513.4 million in funding covering activities over five years from 2007/08 to 2011/12. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Strategy, in accordance with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) requirements as set out in the 2009 TBS Directive for Evaluation. The evaluation addressed the relevance and performance (effectiveness, and efficiency and economy) of the Strategy and its three action plans. The scope of the evaluation focused on the period from 2007/08 through to 2010/11.

Evaluation of the Adventure Youth Initiative, St. John’s Newfoundland

The Velocity Adventure Program (Velocity) is an intervention program aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour, increasing attachment to school, and reducing substance abuse and contact with the criminal justice system among youth. The Program works with youth, ages 12 to 19 years, who are at-risk of, or have already been involved in, criminal activities. The objective of this evaluation was to determine the effectiveness of Velocity in reducing the targeted risk factors and examining the implementation, relevance and feasibility of conducting a cost effectiveness of this Program, and to measure the effects of the Program on the participating youth by assessing the extent to which the initiative is being implemented as intended; assessing whether the intended outcomes were achieved, and whether there were any unintended outcomes; providing a descriptive cost analysis for the project; identifying lessons learned, exploring what has worked well, what has not worked well and making recommendations to strengthen the project for the benefit of others interested in implementing or supporting a project of this nature in the future; and assessing the extent to which the project has been adapted to meet the needs of the youth/community.

Aboriginal Courtwork Program Evaluation

This project involved a national evaluation of the Aboriginal Courtwork Program, focusing on its continued relevance, performance, and demonstrated efficiency and economy. The evaluation was a survey of 1,166 clients, interviews with 116 Judicial and Court Officials, a survey of 161 Aboriginal Courtworkers, a document and file review, and key informant interviews with 9 Federal Justice officials, 11 provincial/territorial representatives, and 15 service delivery agency representatives and other stakeholders

Labour Market Information Research for the BC Manufacturing Sector

The specific objectives of the assignment were to develop an inventory of existing Labour Market Information and Intelligence (LMI) specific to the manufacturing sector (North American Industry Classification System - NAICS codes 31 - 33) in BC; undertake a thorough Environmental Scan of the industry; and define the primary occupations and skills identified as in short supply by BC manufacturers. The methodology included a literature review, development of an extensive database of companies active in the BC manufacturing sector, a survey of 557 companies active, and interviews with 18 subject matter experts.

Evaluation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The evaluation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program was designed to assess the continued relevance of the Program, its performance in achieving immediate and intermediate intended outcomes, and its performance in terms of efficiency and economy. To address the complexity of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the evaluation used multiple lines of evidence collected through interviews with 110 key informants including policy, program, and field staff from the three administering departments, provincial and territorial government representatives, third party representatives, and other stakeholders; surveys of 2,650 employers, 1,521 temporary foreign workers, and 159 third party representatives involved in the Program; literature review; document, file, and administrative data review; and 12 case studies each focused on a specific evaluation question or research area. The case studies relied on various lines of evidence collected through the evaluation, complemented with an additional 45 interviews with employer and government representatives.

Evaluation of the Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund (ASTSIF)

The Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund (ASTSIF) was a $75 million program, introduced in 2009, and targeted at Aboriginal (i.e. First Nations, Inuit and Métis) youth aged 15 to 30 years living either on or off-reserve, including in urban centres. The purpose of this study was to follow-up on program participants to assess the need for and impact of the program. The report presented findings from multiple lines of evidence including: a document, file and literature review, interviews with 103 key informants including 5 HRSDC representatives, 68 project proponents, and 30 key partners involved in ASTSIF projects; development of a new database and participant profiles based on nearly 5,000 participant records submitted by ASTSIF project proponents; a survey of 514 participants in ASTSIF projects; and an analysis of the survey data linked to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) files as well as Employment Insurance (EI) administrative data.

Evaluation of the Federal Skilled Worker Program

The objectives of the FSWP evaluation were to assess program design and implementation, including timeliness, consistency and transparency of selection; and the impact of the program to date at the immediate and intermediate outcome levels, including a preliminary assessment of the economic establishment of skilled workers, and whether they meet current and long-term labour market needs, while ensuring public safety and confidence in the program. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the impact of changes made to the selection system for the program in 2002. The work included a detailed literature review on skilled immigrant workers both in Canada and other countries, a document review , interviews with 53 key informants, field visits to 5 Canadian Visa Offices Abroad (CVOA) including London, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Port of Spain, and Buffalo, a statistical analysis of the FOSS and CAIPS databases, an econometric analysis of the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB), and surveys of 1,500 FSWs who participated in the FSWP as well as a sample of employers who had participated in the program.

Evaluation of Homelessness Partnering Strategy

The HPS seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with communities, provinces and territories, other federal departments and the private and not-for-profit sectors. Through its community-based approach, the HPS provides communities with the flexibility and tools to identify and address their own distinct homelessness needs and priorities. HPS funding is invested in local priorities identified by communities thorough a comprehensive community planning process involving a range of local stakeholders. We were engaged to prepare an evaluation framework and conduct an extensive summative evaluation of the HPS.

Evaluation of Young Canada Works

The Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) contributes to the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES) through the YCW Initiative, created in 1997 to help young Canadians develop work skills and on-the-job experience in sectors aligned with the departmental mandate. The overall objectives of the YCW Initiative are to enhance participants’ knowledge and appreciation of Canada’s achievements and rich cultural heritage; to increase nationally the pool of skilled and qualified candidates for the cultural, heritage, and official language sectors; and to help young Canadians, through practical work experience, to develop their skills, enhance their employability, and learn more about their career options within the culture, heritage, and official language sectors. The objective of the evaluation was to provide comprehensive and reliable evidence on the ongoing relevance and performance (effectiveness, efficiency and economy) of the YCW Initiative. The lines of evidence employed for the evaluation included document and literature review; administrative data review including 10,000 employer exit survey entries and over 11,000 youth exit survey entries; survey of 1,707 of youth who participated in YCW; Survey of 1,029 employers who participated in YCW; and Interviews with 24 key informants. Multiple lines of evidence were triangulated and summarized by each evaluation indicator and evaluation issue.

Evaluation of Business Productivity and Growth

Business Productivity and Growth is one of three sub-programs supporting Western Economic Diversification Canada’s Business Development and Innovation Program, which ultimately contributes to the department’s strategic outcome of growing and diversifying the western Canadian economy. Our evaluation focused on the relevance and performance of the department’s Business Productivity and Growth programming. Our methodology included document/literature review, file and database review, 74 key informant interviews, 101 survey respondents and three focus groups.

Community Futures Program in Ontario

We developed a performance management framework for and evaluated the performance of the Community Futures Program, administered in southern Ontario by FedDev Ontario to promote economic stability, growth, and job creation leading to more diversified and competitive rural economies and economically sustainable communities. We collected research using multiple lines of evidence, including a mixed mode survey of 512 Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) clients; a survey of 79 CFDC representatives; a survey of 73 community partners involved in or affected by the delivery of the Community Futures Program; interviews with 12 representatives of FedDev Ontario; telephone interviews with 16 other stakeholders not directly involved in the program; an extensive review of internal and external documents and data sources; analysis of administrative data; and four case studies.

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