Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Planning Context

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Objective and Scope of the Planning Process

The planning process is intended to produce a five-year evaluation plan for approval by Deputy Minister.

The five-year evaluation plan was designed to achieve evaluation coverage of all ongoing grants and contributions programs, and direct non-grants and contributions program spending as appropriate to the department, in accordance with Treasury Board policy. For the period of 2012-17, the department currently does not have any major statutory spending, any specific evaluations requested by the Secretary of the Treasury Board, or WD-related evaluations outlined in the Government of Canada evaluation plan. If that circumstance changes during the life of the plan, the plan will be amended accordingly. The plan is reviewed and updated annually or when a significant change in mandate of programming has occurred.

The evaluation plan was developed taking into account the broader government context within which WD is functioning and some important factors that are impacting on the work of the Evaluation Branch. The following sections describe the context and a brief methodology used to develop the five-year evaluation plan.

Environmental Scan

Overall Government Priorities and Drivers

Through the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan in April 2006, the Government of Canada enhanced its commitment to responsible spending and accountability by introducing a new focus on value for money and broadening the scope of evaluation beyond grant and contribution programs. The Financial Administration Act now requires that all grant and contribution programs be evaluated over a five-year life cycle.

The Government of Canada’s Expenditure Management System (EMS) requires clarity on expected results, sound logic models, feasible performance frameworks and periodic evaluations to inform program decision-making. The EMS focuses on results and value for money for all spending.

The Government of Canada’s Policy on Management, Resources and Results Structures (MRRS) sets out the requirement for departments to have performance measurement information on which allocation and reallocations decisions can be based. This performance measurement framework should include integrated financial and non-financial information. The development and application of performance measures has long been an integral part of the program evaluation function in government. Evaluation units have traditionally used measures of program performance to assess the impact and effectiveness of various government programs.

Central Agency Priorities and Drivers

The Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation requires deputy heads of small departments and agencies to evaluate all ongoing programs of grants and contributions every five years, as required by section 42.1 of the Financial Administration Act; and evaluate direct program spending, excluding grants and contributions, as appropriate to the needs of the department.

This evaluation plan addresses all those requirements.

Departmental Priorities and Drivers

WD’s basis for reporting to Parliament is its Program Activity Architecture (PAA). The PAA seeks to describe how the department manages the resources under its control to achieve intended results/outcomes. The most recent PAA state WD’s strategic outcome as:

  • The western Canadian economy is developed and diversified.

The following five program activities contribute to the achievement of this strategic outcome:

  • Business Development - Strong SMEs in western Canada with improved capacity to remain competitive in the global marketplace.
  • Innovation - A stronger knowledge-based economy.
  • Community Economic Development - Communities have increased economic opportunities and capacity to respond to challenges, as well as the necessary investments in public infrastructure.
  • Policy, Advocacy and Coordination - Policies and programs that strengthen the western Canadian economy.
  • Internal Services - Effective and efficient support for the delivery of the organizational strategic outcome.

WD has identified three program priorities for 2012-13: Technology Commercialization; Trade & Investment; and Business Productivity and Growth.WD has also committed to three management priorities:Advancing the Interests of Western Canada, Performance Measurement, and Managing in a Challenging Environment.

Linking the Plan to Government, Central Agency, and Department Priorities

This evaluation plan is directly linked to current departmental priorities, the PAA, MRRS, and is designed to achieve coverage of ongoing grants and contributions over the next five years as specified in the Treasury Board evaluation policy. The plan outlines targets and timeframes for each project evaluation. Evaluation engagements included in this plan will provide objective, timely and relevant information around program spending in support of WD’s strategic outcome.