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Evaluation in the Government of Canada Robert Lahey Senior Director, Centre of Excellence for Evaluation Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada 16 October.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluation in the Government of Canada Robert Lahey Senior Director, Centre of Excellence for Evaluation Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada 16 October."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluation in the Government of Canada Robert Lahey Senior Director, Centre of Excellence for Evaluation Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada 16 October 2001

2 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 2 1. Canada at a Glance 2. Key Players in Evaluation 3. Perspectives on the Past 4. TBS Study 5. New Agenda: Results for Canadians 6. New Evaluation Policy 7. TBS Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 8. Community Renewal: Competency Profile 9. Resources Outline of Presentation

3 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 3  Sovereign parliamentary democracy  Population 31 million  Federation of 10 provinces and 3 territories  Areas of federal responsibility include: defence, criminal law, postal service, census, copyrights, trade regulation, external relations, money and banking, transportation, citizenship, and Indian affairs. Canada at a Glance

4 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 4 Government Accountability Parliament of Canada House of Commons Auditor General (appointed) -Independent audits of govt operations Parliamentary Committees PM and Cabinet TB Minister Treasury Board Secretariat (secretary appointed) -government policy - oversees spending Public servants All other ministers Federal depts/agencies (DMs appointed) -government operations - approved budgets Public servants

5 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 5 Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS)  Government’s management board (financial, management and human resources)  Comptrollership function  Centre of Excellence for Evaluation  Policies and standards  Capacity building  Links evaluation and performance measurement Key Players in Evaluation

6 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 6 Auditor General (AG)  Conducts independent audits of government operations  Produces periodic oversight reports on the conduct of evaluation  Promotes accountability and best practices  Reports directly to Parliament Key Players in Evaluation

7 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 7 Departments/Agencies  Deputy Ministers (DMs) accountable for the application of Evaluation Policy within their departments  Heads of Evaluation implement policy as per TBS standards and guidelines  Internal accountability and reporting to DMs  External accountability and reporting to TBS and Parliament Key Players in Evaluation

8 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 8 Graphical Interpretation of the Extent of Formal Evaluative Activity in the Federal Government 1960s 1970s1980s1990s 2000s Perspectives on the Past: Activity Graph – Intensity of activity +

9 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 9  Growing demand for information to support increasingly complex and costly programs  New management systems created for financial administration and planning, programming and budgeting  Evaluation as a practice not yet formalized Lessons Learned  Need for formal evaluation increases as resources become scarcer and the identification of priorities becomes more important 1960s

10 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 10  Building of key infrastructure elements in departments  Treasury Board Evaluation Policy (1977) was the first formalized evaluation policy in Canada  Evaluation Policy centre created within the new Office of the Comptroller General (1978) Lessons Learned  Necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for an effective evaluation system are: government investment and support; formalized policies and standards; and, leadership for capacity building 1970s

11 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 11  High expectations for evaluations not always met  Government-wide review led by Parliament Lessons Learned  Evaluation quality depends on an approach that balances: timeliness, usefulness, methodological purity, client requirements and cost 1980s

12 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 12  Evaluation capacity affected by general government downsizing  AG report (1993) indicated renewal of evaluation capacity needed  New Review Policy (1994) linked evaluation closer to internal audit Lessons Learned  Critical mass in capacity is required to ensure evaluation remains credible, relevant and strategic 1990s

13 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 13  TBS study pointed to uneven delivery of evaluation across departments  Strong support to reinvest in evaluation  Commitment to linking evaluation to broader accountability and reporting requirements  Objectivity, not independence, needed TBS Study (2000)

14 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 14 Agenda to:  Improve government services and respond to demands for better value and transparency  Move from reporting on results to managing for results  Applied through a wide-reaching series of initiatives, including the new Policy on Evaluation (2001)  Perspective on modern management shared by the political level and the Public Service New Agenda: Results for Canadians (2000)

15 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 15  Re-emphasis on the need for evaluation to be strategic, comprehensive and systematic  Scope broadened to include programs, policies and broad initiatives  Provides guidance on standards  Evaluators are encouraged to work directly with managers to build evaluation into the “life cycle” of programs  Highlights links between evaluation and results-based performance measurement New Evaluation Policy: Highlights

16 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 16  Managers are responsible for the active monitoring of their programs  Government is committed to the public reporting of evaluations  Centre of Excellence for Evaluation created in TBS  New funding available for departments to build and meet future evaluation capacity Highlights (continued)

17 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 17  Six standards for evaluation:  Evaluation planning and issues  Competency  Objectivity and Integrity  Consultation and Advice  Measurement and Analysis  Reporting  Guidance based on ‘good practices’ New Evaluation Policy: Standards

18 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 18 TBS Centre of Excellence for Evaluation (CEE)  Pro-active leadership role in the renewal of evaluation in Canada through:  Building evaluation capacity  Communicating and networking  Policy development, implementation and evaluation  Repositions and renews the evaluation function across government  Emphasizes partnerships and knowledge management

19 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 19  Draft report (2001) identifies two key attributes of successful evaluators:  Cognitive capacity  Ability to communicate well  The right people:  Respect diversity  Work collaboratively and openly  Recognize and diffuse conflict  Demonstrate sensitivity, tact and empathy  Care about professional practices and standards Community Renewal: Competency Profile

20 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 20 Resources: Evaluation Infrastructure Checklist Cultural institutions are prepared to divulge information managers trust that assessments will be objective agencies are willing to be reviewed managers have the courage to make changes and implement recommendations evaluation function is prepared to evaluate itself relevant accountabilities have been clarified Operational technical, professional and financial resources are available time is sufficient evaluation policies and standards are in place business/strategic plans are developed need for objectivity can be met authority exists to oversee evaluations and act on findings Concise Version

21 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 21 Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) TBS Centre of Excellence for Evaluation TBS, Guide for the Development of Results-based Management and Accountability Frameworks TBS, Evaluation Policy Resources: Selected GoC Web Sites

22 Centre of Excellence for Evaluation 22 Robert Lahey Senior Director Centre of Excellence for Evaluation Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 300 Laurier Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R5 CANADA Telephone: (country code 1) – Fax: (country code 1) – Contact Information


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